To celebrate ‘National Coding Week’ this week we sat down with a few of our developers to find out how they got into coding, why they enjoy it and what advice they would give to those starting out
National Coding Week, founded in 2014, aims to help build people’s confidence and digital skills, including coding, through engaging digital events. At Attach we think the more digital events, the better, especially those that introduce people to coding. Some of our developers didn’t learn to code until University, and no were not that old, so it’s great that coding is now taught more in schools, introducing children at an earlier age.
As well as through schools or University, people can learn to code though great organisations like Code Club and CoderDojo, for young people, or North West based Northcoders and Code Nation, for adults. There’s also online resources like Codecademy and Treehouse, or courses on Udemy.
We held a quick fire Q&A session with Tom, Jon and Jordan to find out more about them and coding.
When did you first get into coding?
Tom: "I didn’t do any actual coding until the first year of University unfortunately, however I did build a couple of simple websites back in school for our class."
Jon: "Similar to a lot of people, it was in the first year of university. I always thought it would be cool to learn it in college and that was one of the main reasons I chose the course actually!"
Jordan: "My first year at University, I was studying engineering at the time but quickly found that it wasn't to my taste. I then gave a few online courses / tutorials a go and soon after I realised how much fun it actually was, after that I quickly switched to a programming course."
What is your favourite language when coding and why?
Tom: "Despite it not being a popular language amongst a lot of developers, CSS is probably my favourite language. Being a front end developer at heart, CSS, along with HTML, is my bread and butter when it comes to coding and it’s what I use most often. I love using CSS to create amazing looking user interfaces with subtle transitions and animations."
Jon: "I prefer working with PHP. I do a lot of backend and optimisation work so I've naturally fallen into this area and really enjoy its versatility."
Why do you enjoy coding?
Tom: "There’s always something new to learn, aside from the many different languages, frameworks and platforms, the industry moves so fast, it's a challenge trying to keep up but it’s a fun and interesting challenge. Also it’s a great feeling when you get to see something you have built live on the web and people are using it."
Jon: "Seeing the work we do positively impacting companies is my main enjoyment. To see something we have built save time or reduce costs is always nice to see."
Jordan: "I love being able to build things, whether that's a website, a fully fledged business application or an Alexa app, it's fun. The landscape is constantly evolving too, you're never stuck doing one thing as technologies advance which can sometimes be challenging, but the experience you gain makes it worth it."
What advice would you give to someone learning to code?
Tom: "It can be scary when you first start learning to code, you see how much there is to learn and it can feel like a big mountain to climb. You will never be able to learn everything, there's no shame in Googling, but if you concentrate on the basics it makes it much easier to pick up more complex stuff."
Jon: "Stick with it! It can be really difficult and frustrating at first but the rewards are amazing! To see something go from nothing to fully built from code you have created is so rewarding, and is worth the effort put in during the learning stages."
Jordan: "Start small and focus on one area. Take an online course in that area and try building something small with your skills, then slowly try expanding your skills by adding new features to your projects. Keep building things and before you know it you'll have a wealth of knowledge!"