April 1, 2015
Vancouver is full of code opportunities, which is pretty exciting for me.
Code is really cool. It is the wood, lathe and tool box of our time.
As you know, our lives are becoming more connected. We use products built by amazing designers and developers that really change the world.
It’s so cool what we can build. Even if we are just building a homepage for our pets, it’s an amazing achievement.
For me code has been more than that. It’s been the key to a career that could meet my needs and goals here in Vancouver. Learning a skill that can be learned by anyone is changing my life.
Code gives me a feeling of accomplishment and reward I never had before.
I want others to have the same opportunity as I have had because of code.
How to Learn to Code
How I became a web developer in Vancouver
1. Go to a “Normal” School
I spent last year learning code, web design and UX at BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology) here in Vancouver. Traditional education is what most people think of when learning a new skill. It’s not a bad choice. Getting the most of this experience is in how you approach it.
You are giving yourself one or two years to learning something. Embrace it like a kid dances, with excitement and enthusiasm.
Take out a loan, quit your job and focus on school. Really focus. Just passing a course in web development won’t give you anything but debt. Learning what they are teaching will provide you real value.
Try and remember to keep a good level a personal hygiene too, you’ll be busy.
2. Learn Online
I have spent more time on Treehouse (a great online learning website) than I have playing Halo. I credit my ability to leave school directly into a great job in Vancouver to their website. You can learn almost everything you need to be a web designer or web developer. I would be careful abandoning traditional education for it though.
Although it will give you the same skills, much of the world still places more value on traditional education. Traditional education will show you where to start. Treehouse will help you learn in the correct order, but it can’t know what’s in demand in your area. Good traditional programs will.
If you are looking to invest in your future, do both. If you can’t afford traditional education even with a student loan reach out your web development or web design community for direction. Always keep learning.
3. Meet People
Being a great web developer is only part of starting your career of building the internet. You need to meet other developers and get comfortable talking about yourself, your skills and your goals. The more you reach out to people in your industry the more success you will find when you are looking to enter it.
A great resource for this is meetup.com. Here in Vancouver, the web community is always getting together and learning. Companies like HootSuite host many events to learn and network at. The development community in Vancouver is focused on learning and growing. Meet ups provide opportunities for mentorships and employment.
Since we are building products to connect people, we should be connecting with each other whenever we can.