It is the fourth consecutive year of national coding week, so we thought we would interview our coders to understand their own career paths to coding, as well as their day-to-day tasks to align with the national code week’s aim – helping adults improve their digital literacy. Our developers have provided their top tips, and insights into the coding world to help people become more connected and understand how the digital world works.

Ready… set… code:

We found that each of our code wizards – Mike, Craig and Paul – had a very interesting and very different route into their current jobs. Mike, a drummer in a metal band touring across  Europe living that musicians’ lifestyle, moved to the coding world after researching rates for their band’s website design and development. Being the tight Yorkshireman he is, he decided to build it himself – and once he started, that was it. Love at first sight. Craig moved from his job as a joiner after a serious accident at work had him spend weeks on end at home. He started learning code as a side hobby but in the end learnt the the ins and outs of digital languages after joining a new company, who sent him on courses for website development and code training. Meanwhile, Paul moved from his Sainsbury’s retail job to Huddersfield Uni to start his ICT course, which gave him an insight into coding & web development. After his placement year with Fishtank Agency he decided to take it up as a career.

The learning process:

Mike: “It’s a language in its own right, so you can’t put a timescale on how long it will take an individual to learn how to code. Like riding a bike, everyone learns at their own speed. A key message would be that you can never say you have learnt to code FULL STOP as it’s constantly changing, with new systems being implemented and new platforms being created every day.”

Staying relevant:

Mike, Craig and Paul all made a point of joining in the online conversations topical to your field of code: “learn and read other coders’ work to gain an insight into the challenges they have overcome and the unique ways they implemented processes. Through blogs and podcasts, you’re are able to stay up-to-date in the coding world by gaining an insight into new platforms, techniques, coding languages.”

Craig: “Despite the mass amount of people being able to do some coding, there is still a high demand for coders trained for a specific purpose and doing that one thing to a very high standard. Mike states “coders need to be aware of the sites that are a fad and should look out for new systems that will catch on”. Let me just get my crystal ball out!

Starting early:

With coding being such an immense industry to just jump into, it is important for resources to be readily available – and for people of all ages! Two of our developers have children and were able to give us an insight into children’s education today.  As it turns out, learning code is being implemented early on now, starting from primary school years. Craig is very happy about that: “I’m excited to teach my son in the future about the various processing techniques and how to code and I think it’s fantastic that age-appropriate resources are available now to teach young kids how to code – even if it is an after school club in the local library.” At Fishtank, we believe it is great children are learning to code at such a young age but you want to make sure they are also enjoying it: “If you enjoy coding then you will pick it up easily and keep to it, it will be an amazing new world to delve into, but remember it usually won’t work the first time you try it, you have to be persistent and try different modes of getting the results you want” – Paul commented.

Where will coding be in 5 years time?

“It is impossible to know where the digital world will be in 5 years time and how it will evolve unless you are the one building a new system or developing a new language” says Mike. Regardless of the direction, the unknown is a very interesting prospect for our coders who enjoy constantly learning how they can update their knowledge and develop their technical skills.