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Learn to code

Apr · 26 · 2016

There are many ways to learn how to code: universities or vocational studies, DIY as well as coding bootcamps. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of the most popular of these.

When looking at the way people enter the software market, there are three main options:

The standard choice
Traditional software engineering and vocational education are the most common ways to access this sector. Although widely accepted and coveted by employers these are disconnected to the most up-to-date needs of the industry. Universities’ slow development of their curriculum leaves students with gaps in their knowledge of the latest technologies, which are usually in high demand in the job market. Furthermore it takes a student four years to enter the market, usually without having gained real-world work experience.

The main question here is: why is Spain creating only around 8.000 software engineers per year when there were 80.000 unfilled vacancies in 2015 alone?

MOOC, self taught, etc.
The developers’ community has grown strong, and there are plenty of free resources to keep updating and adding to your knowledge if you already have a coding background. Most developers will tell you that they are mainly self-taught, as they use online resources to resolve doubts or learn new languages.

So, modular and customisable content is key to building a less rigid curriculum and adapt to each professional's or student’s specific needs. 

There are two problems in this DIY path. If you start from scratch, you probably don’t know what’s important to learn and what’s not. What language should you study? What is the industry demanding? The second significant problem for everyone following this path: according to a study by Harvard and MIT, there’s only a 5% completion rate in self-paced online courses.

Coding Bootcamps
Although online tutorials and coding books are a great place to start, some relevant studies (like this paper from Berkeley University) demonstrate that personalised systems of instruction are an even more efficient way to learn to code: a seasoned programmer can lead students through the concept and mentor them from the experience gained by years of coding.

Skylab Coders Academy
The curriculum and learning process of Skylab Coders Academy builds expertise in a curated suite of technologies and concepts, each is selected for their workplace utility and relevance to modern software engineering paradigms, to ensure students learn in 11 weeks what the industry is requesting.

Being a coder is not just writing code. Companies do not want just coders but rather people that can be fully productive as soon as possible, being able to engage with the team, the principles, methodologies and technologies. IT people are required to have strong cross-departamental communication skills. Another recent Gartner article shows the evolution of IT people: the skill profiles for the new IT will be, in many cases, be a hybrid of business and IT skills. There are plenty of methodologies and best practices that can only be learned in a simulated real-world environment.

Learn more about our coding programs and available dates.