If you’re not 100% sure about what to do with your life/career—why learn to code? Is it a waste of time, or are there other ways that coding can help you even if you’re not sure about going pro?
There sure are. Joy Carrera studied chemical engineering and international studies, then spent 6 years working in startups, before learning basic web development skills transformed her life.
She attributes those skills to finding her voice and starting Part Time Exploradora (a tech & travel lifestyle blog) and the Basic Brown Nerds podcast. Now, she is founding PoderX, her own adtech & digital operations firm.
In today’s episode, Joy talks about why everyone should learn to code, even if you’re not technical. Listen below!
1. Learning basic code can help you professionally and personally
Even if your role at work isn’t directly tech-related, you might be surprised how improving your tech skills can help you level up in your day job. “As an example, in sales, if you are going to be at a company selling their software, how will you be effective if you don't know how it actually works?” Joy explains. Having background knowledge of technical functions and terminology will give you a massive boost.
If you’re in a role of leadership, understanding your team’s duties is essential for you to oversee their work. “I hired and managed people,” Joy says. “I think understanding what they were supposed to be doing also made me a better manager. It also let me know who I needed to hire and understanding that they weren't going to try to pull a fast one on me either. “
Knowing these skills can broaden your options when it comes to your personal life as well. “Even for the simple things, like setting up a simple website, right? You need to know a little bit of code, like if your plugin doesn't work. I think it's really beneficial to understand how that works. I was having an issue with my podcast and was able to go through it and understand it myself.”
2. Coming from a different background can be an asset
When you’re thinking about transitioning into tech from an established career or different field of study, start by considering the various strengths your former background gives you.
“For me, it wasn't that crazy of a transition when I really thought about it,” Joy says. “I actually have a background in chemical engineering and International Studies. Chemical engineering was very process-based, like A plus B equals this, right. And I feel like that's really how programming works: everything has a cause and effect. When I realized that, it became way less intimidating for me.”
In a previous episode, Ventrice Lam talks about her transition from finance. And I (Laurence) was an English major! It goes to show that tech can welcome anyone, and you probably already have skills that can help you—be it an analytical mind, visual design skills, or a knack for explaining complex concepts in simple words.
3. Tech makes it easier to travel
For a lot of technical jobs, Joy says, “All you really need is wifi! All of my project management tools were online. Talking is often slacking (chatting with) everybody or emailing people.”
“One of my passions is traveling,” she continues. “I love meeting people from different countries, from different cultures and gaining new perspectives while also seeing really cool places. I met some people in Southeast Asia that told me they worked online. That really sparked my interest in tech because I was like, hold up, you’re telling me that you can travel and be able to make money while using your skills? And that's really how I pivoted my job.”
If you’re interested in learning more about working remotely and traveling, make sure to tune in for our next episode where I talk to Dave Trabka about being a digital nomad!
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