Huffpost Technology
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Adda Birnir Headshot

The Best Money Decision You Can Make Today: Start Learning to Code

Posted: Updated:

You heard me right, the best career move any woman (or man) can make is to learn to code. And believe or not, I think that you will enjoy it. Let me tell you why.

Tech skills are lucrative and seriously marketable:

Tons of opportunity:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there will be 250,000 new software developer jobs created in the next 10 years. That's double the growth rate of jobs in general, and it doesn't take into account all of the web designer, project manager and marketing positions that will also require coding skills.

Highly paid:
The median pay for Software Developers is $90,530 per year, more than double the national average. And I can tell you from experience that I have never paid anyone, even the most junior developer, less than $35/hr., and I have frequently paid developers $100/hr. or more.

Work flexibility:
Tons of developers work from home or have flexible work hours. The job lends itself to working remotely, and also, frankly, the skills are in such high demand that employers are often happy to offer perks like flexibility to attract top talent. Yes, that means busy moms can work from home!

Long term job security:
As more and more businesses move online, tech skills become increasingly crucial. If you become one of the only people in a company with tech skills, you are indispensable.

Not convinced by the numbers? Then consider some of the cooler things about working as a software developer:

Developing is really exciting, creative work:
Ask any developer about their job and I will wager that they will talk your ear off about a bunch of gobbledygook. Their excitement and energy will be contagious. There is nothing quite like having an idea and then being able to make that idea a reality.

Lots of collaboration:
Despite popular belief, very few developers work alone. Instead, developers usually work on diverse teams that include project managers, web designers, product designers, copywriters and strategists. Some of the fancier web development shops even practice pair-programming, meaning that their developers never work alone.

Work for the good of the world:
Software developers can have a huge positive impact on the world. Think about how Kiva is helping spur economic development in the Third World or how Kickstarter is changing the way we fund the arts. None of these organizations could be doing the work they are without the skills of a developer.

Have I convinced you? Great!

Believe it or not, the barrier to entry into software development is actually quite low. Since web programming is not taught at most universities, the majority of web developers are self-taught. If they can do it, so can you!

Your first step is to familiarize yourself with the terminology. Learn what frontend vs. backend means, what a programming language is and why you would ever want to use MySQL.

Next, start coding. Start by learning HTML and CSS. Then dip your toe into JavaScript, before moving onto the harder stuff: Ruby, Python or PHP.

And even if you find some of this confusing right at the beginning, don't despair! You should expect it to take a year or two for you to truly master a programming language, but along the way you are going to amass a set of skills that will make you marketable, immediately.

From Our Partners