Keeping up with technology

“I still don’t have a Twitter account!!” There…I’ve said it.

Gmail, Facebook, Pinterest, WordPress, Stumbleupon (though not much of an user), check. Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, a big FAT no.

It really hit me today. As I was going to 5th avenue, intending to work productively at the glorious Rose Main Reading Room (see below), I saw a young mom and her toddler on the phone on my bus. The latter was animatedly chatting to a friend/cousin of a similar age on Facetime (If you have to look up Facetime, then you’re definitely in the right place!).

I have no idea if the other kid was in NYC, somewhere in the US, or halfway across the world. Skype chatting in public places between adults is now a norm, and kids are evidently at it too. For those kids, life online is norm.

As they grow up, these kids will be in a world where artificial intelligent robots make their coffee and holograms of their grandparents attend Thanksgiving dinners. I expect everyone (including my 9 year old) will be reading, writing and living tech. Does this scare you…or do you see this as an opportunity?

code online
The magnificent Rose Main Reading Room at the Main Library on the 42nd Street, New York City.

Code online and demystify

So I have been plodding along very slowly on my coding journey. I’m ok at it, but I tend to shy away and shrink like a violet as soon as it becomes a little challenging! I am known to pace up and down, do something completely unrelated, or take an umpteenth coffee break when I’m overwhelmed. I really need to work on this. I love the idea of a Growth Mindset (“You can do anything if you put your mind to it”), but it’s proving a little hard to put into practice.

Still, I think, if you’re completely new and curious about tech, give it a go and try to learn to code online. It’s a safe environment where no one will judge you, at least initially :).

There are a plethora of resources out there. Try basic Youtube videos, and keep searching until you find the perfect one for you. Try W3schools, Codeacademy, Udemy. I like the last one. Yes, there are free courses, and also paid ones. Check Udemy often as they offer deep discounts sometimes for good courses. That’s how I found my course, called The Complete Web Developer Course. It’s taught by a well-regarded teacher-turned-coder, well structured, authoritative, and fun.

Try an Hour of Code or Scratch. I’ve touched upon these before. In fact, the feature image of this post shows a snippet of some of my code (Javascript and jQuery) based on a tutorial on Udemy. It looks scary, but it’s quite simple really, once you have someone online breaking it down. Don’t let it scare you!

Code online for real

It’s one thing to complete tutorials. Quite another to actually get a job and make money. My husband, who has been in tech for almost 30 years, breaks it down practically – build a website, build a portfolio, bid for simple projects on Fiverr, get yourself out there. He’s right. I do think I’m shortchanging myself – perhaps I’ll start building a basic website and take it from there. What do you think?

Do you code online?

So there you have it. My weaknesses and fears. You might be asking – why do you want to do it? Well, money is a factor. But I also love solving problems and creating different solutions, and the feeling of euphoria when I do actually solve something. And what’s not to love about the flexibility of this career? Now that I’ve moved to a new city, perhaps it’s a sign to ‘move’ my thinking and get skills that are relevant for the future. Would you agree? Do you feel the same way or completely the opposite? Similar and differing opinions very welcome!

Drop me a line if this post inspired you or made you run in the opposite direction!!


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