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Learn To Code For Social Good

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Within the tech business, there are many different beliefs regarding who is excellent at the work or the “kind” of people who will succeed. The truth is that everyone can be successful. That is something I believe should be discussed more. In my five years of coding, I’ve met a lot of developers who, like myself, had no idea they’d get so immersed in it. Before learning to code, I did a lot of wandering. In reality, before opting to become a full-stack web developer in 2017, I was pursuing a modeling career. Among other things, the idea that I could use coding to create a positive social impact made coding a tempting career choice for me. I learned to code not just for myself, but also for others.

 

1. Be open to storyline surprises

I majored in Philosophy at the University of Washington during my undergraduate years. It’s the same department where Bruce Lee, the legendary martial artist, studied. Bruce Lee was studying for an undergraduate degree when he recognized that his true calling was not in school. In that philosophy session, like Bruce, I was also preoccupied with other dreams. Then the first story twist occurred. As I was about to begin my last quarter, a fantastic opportunity arose: a trip to New York for Fashion Week. I took advantage of the plot twist and was able to enroll in online classes as a result.

 

However, my long-held ambition was met with unexpected difficulties. Saving money was a challenge. I’ve always had the impression that I didn’t have enough time or money to create a life on my own terms. Now that it was a reality, I knew that modeling wasn’t going to be a long-term job for me, and I needed to examine other choices. A non-profit organization founded by philanthropist and supermodel Karlie Kloss instilled in me the desire to learn to code. Kode With Klossy is the name of the organization. “Kode with Klossy” is their mission: “In a technology-driven world, Kode with Klossy delivers learning experiences and opportunities for young women that boost their confidence and empower them to pursue their passions.”

 

2. Use visualization to help you overcome your fears

There are numerous approaches to learning software programming. There’s the academic approach, the bootcamp route, and the guerilla education route of “I can just learn all this stuff for free via the internet and Discord.” It takes a particular kind of individual to pursue self-education and see it through. The bootcamp made the most sense to me. Given the plot twist, I’d just experienced with modeling, enrolling in an intensive boot camp for a career I’d only recently begun to contemplate seemed a bit intimidating. It is not possible to try it out to see if you like it. It’s a big commitment, and it’ll cost you a lot of money. You don’t want to change your mind after you’ve begun.

 

I used meditation and visualisation to anticipate positive outcomes for myself as a software developer who assists people in an environment where I want to create. I read and listened to accounts of what it’s like to work as a developer, as well as the obstacles and rewards that come with it. One motivation was that I sensed a moral need to support socially beneficial efforts. I believe we should strive for greatness in order to best serve humanity. Another motivator was the chance to work with modern web technology, which is an ever-evolving ecosystem that allows me to combine design and analysis to address challenges.

 

As a result, I began to study. The amazing thing about the bootcamp was that everyone there not only came from different backgrounds than myself, but they’d all made a conscious decision to participate in it. We were all there with the goal of learning and succeeding. I was out in the woods hunting for my first job after bootcamp. Imposter syndrome struck me, as it does practically everyone who finds himself in a new competitive setting. And, once again, imagining happy outcomes through affirmations and meditation helped me get through it. “I am a confident developer who has a feeling of belonging and encourages strong communication with others around me,” I would say aloud to confront negative beliefs and inspire positive transformation. Being okay with where you are, open to making errors, and learning as you go are all part of the growth process. People will ideally meet you where you are if you are in an environment that is conducive to learning.

 

3. Maintain a cool demeanor when debugging

The a-ha moments that come from fixing a bug provide me the most joy, as they probably do for many coders. When it comes to software development, bugs are unavoidable. They’re an unavoidable reality of life. Programming is, in some ways, a never-ending series of puzzles. However, the dopamine release rewarded by your brain when you truly solve that challenge is part of what keeps me coming! There’s a meme comic that encapsulates the experience of coding. In one scene, you’re just a clumsy dog at a computer who has no idea what they’re doing. You may command the cosmos in the other.

 

 

These two moods are really accurate. These moments’ balance is what keeps me going. Something that helps me stay calm during debugging is speaking or writing a simple explanation for the bug. “There’s an error in that variable name, and I couldn’t access the value for a calculation,” for example. I misinterpreted what data type a function intended, therefore the programme tried to perform the action on a string rather than an array.” It’s vital to me not to linger on the fact that a problem was introduced; instead, I believe it’s important to acknowledge its function. Take a deep breath, be calm, and debug when you run into an error. It’s easier said than done, but you’ll get to that a-ha moment someday. Take a break from a difficult problem if you can afford it (whether it’s a 10-minute walk or three days).

 

4. Align yourself with your core principles

As a developer, my ethics system is very important to me. And when I was looking for a job, I knew I wanted to do something worthwhile that would benefit humanity. I currently work as a Front End Engineer and Scrum Master for Dreambox Learning. We produce math software for kids at Dreambox. It would assist to level the playing field in mathematics learning if software like ours was available in every school and zip area across the United States. Simply put, the more one’s mathematical comprehension, the better one’s overall learning outcomes will be.

 

Working on technology to combat oppressive elements in our school system (such as racism, classism, and standardized testing) is both a delight and a moral duty. Because the product is so useful and touches literally millions of children, I believe this is one of the most ethical ways I could participate in the digital industry. At the extreme, all of these youngsters excelling in math might mean that more individuals are making data-driven decisions to preserve humanity! In addition to my programming responsibilities, I help a cross-functional team of 8 to 10 people produce solutions using an Agile development framework by facilitating Scrum ceremonies. I enjoy assisting my coworkers in finding their voice and am pleased to be able to assist them in their coding endeavors.

 

5. Strive to be a lifelong learner

I sometimes think of myself as someone who picked up coding later in life (at least, compared to some coders). In actuality, I switched to software development when I was a youthful 23-year-old. When I was 25 and first became interested in dancing, I had a similar concern about starting “late.” However, other people take completely different routes much later in life. My older friends were a source of inspiration for me. Leaving a familiar route and embarking on a new one requires guts. But I believe I recognized a little of myself in them–I, too, am a lifelong learner. In ten years, I’m sure I’ll be doing something completely different than web development. I’m eager to go on the next adventure when – and if – it arises. And I believe that a consistent desire to start over and appreciate witnessing your progress is what helps someone become a lifelong learner. It’s never too late to learn something new. As a developer, being open to continuous learning is critical to your development.

 

6. Make an impression, even if it’s after hours

It’s critical to select a profession that allows you to contribute to causes you care about. Even if you don’t find it during the workday, you can still make a difference after hours without jeopardising your work-life balance. You can work on an open-source software project with developers from all around the world in just a few hours every week. You can also use your specific skill set to raise awareness for causes that are in desperate need of help, or you can use an organization like Code for Good to discover NGOs to collaborate with. Supporting marginalized populations is something I’m very enthusiastic about. And whenever I get the opportunity to use my tech skills to accomplish so, I’ll gladly spend those extra hours at my computer.

 

Almost everyone nowadays requires a website. I recently had the opportunity of making one for my breakdancing instructor’s dance collective. I was delighted to lend my support to their campaign. On the dance floor, I don’t face much difficulties as a male breakdancer (breaker), but that isn’t the true for many dancers. Cypher Queenz is a women’s collective that provides a supportive environment and a safe space for non-binary breakers. They’re run entirely by volunteers and have a lot on their plates. I discovered they didn’t have a website and volunteered to build one for them. It was up and running in a matter of days, and I’m hoping it will help them increase their visibility and influence. I’ve been dabbling with graphic design and 3D modeling in addition to web development. Blender is a fantastic free and open-source 3D modeling and art program. I prefer taking a vacation from coding, so I use a mouse and keyboard to interact with it (and occasionally a Wacom Stylus).

 

7. Examine the junctions with a keen eye

The intersections of many fields add a lot of colour to my life, and programming is no exception! We recently talked about Blender, and while I don’t do code-based art with it, others do. You can automate anything you can do with a mouse and keyboard with Python or a programming language. People that use code to create art are geniuses in my eyes. They can populate a landscape with thousands of unique trees, bushes, and flowers in a fraction of a second with just a few lines of code. There are a lot of code-based artists out there. I’m not sure if my journey will get me there, but if I could just share one cool artist with you, it would be Diana Smith. She uses HTML and CSS in the same way that I do. But she isn’t merely a software developer. She creates drawings and portraits that are completely “hand-coded.”

 

There are even parallels between programming and dance (or any physical training, for that matter). If you want to improve your dance or web programming skills, you must first master the fundamentals and understand the components. Building fluency takes time and careful application, just like learning a new language. Once you’ve mastered the tools necessary to develop something, such as a web app or choreography, you’ll need to figure out where the problems are. After you’ve identified the flaws, you’ll need to work out how to fix them. Make it a practise to ask yourself compelling questions that beg to be answered.

 

8. There’s never a bad time

We have a concept of the happy road in software development. The shortest path between two points is the happy path. It’s a default path that assumes no problems or exceptions. We don’t always have the happy route in real life, just as we don’t always have it in software. At any moment in our life, our routes and jobs can take unexpected turns. Every aspect of life is a learning experience. Regardless of your background, the moment you decide to learn to code is the ideal time. There is no such thing as being too early or too late. I hope, like me, you’ll find the proper people and locations to help you along your journey.

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Hannah
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Jin

About HKCC

Hong Kong Coding Club is a social coding club for children, teenagers, and young adults who want to learn how to code. We’ve created a number of online coding challenges to help those who are new to coding get started.

We believe that everyone is proficient in at least one field. The goal is to recognize and capitalize on your skills. Assist your child in achieving his or her creative and technical goals.