Before you decide on a programming course, read this

If you don’t come out of college (or high school) in programming or computer technology, chances are you don’t know if a programming course would be right for you. Questions arise such as: Where can I use the course in my everyday life? Is programming for me? Will programming help me make a career move? How should I even start learning programming?

The fact is that the path you choose and the reasons for that path differ from person to person (we know this from the conversations of the trainees and believe us, they come from all possible jobs).

Is programming scary? Yes and no.

If these subjects, such as maths or physics, have given you trouble and you’ve never felt quite at home in that area, then we suggest caution. Some courses may be too advanced for your level of computer (and math) skills, and start somewhere in the middle, bare bones. This can act as demotivation, and you may inadvertently give up on programming too quickly due to the wrong choice of course.

That would be a shame, wouldn’t it?

If you want to choose the right programming course, ask yourself the following questions:

  • IS IT INTENDED FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH THE SAME LEVEL OF PROGRAMMING KNOWLEDGE AS MINE?
  • DOES THE COURSE TEACH TECHNOLOGY THAT I COULD USE IN MY CAREER?
  • DOES THE COURSE DESCRIPTION CONTAIN A SKILL SET THAT WILL ENHANCE MY RESUME?
  • CAN THE COURSE GIVE ME A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE OVER OTHER INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE ON THE SAME CAREER PATH?

What will the programming course teach you?

[MEDICAL WORK AND PROGRAMMING] Let’s say you come from a medical background. When you enter the nursing field, you will use spreadsheet-based software to collect patient data. Understanding how to automate these spreadsheets significantly shortens your work process, and you also have a unique advantage over other employees.

[WORK IN RESEARCH AND PROGRAMMING] Let’s say you are a biotechnologist. In your workplace, you often deal with large data sets that you could automate with a simple application or with SQL knowledge.

So let’s go to the beginning. You don’t know exactly what challenges await you in the industry you are going to enter.

So how do you know which programming course to choose?

There are four ways:

  • Find a mentor who already works in this industry and ask him what programming knowledge would be useful to have.
  • Find out from the course description (or additional information from the course provider) where the skills can help you on your career path.
  • Choose a programming course that corresponds to your current course level (beginner / advanced).
  • Check the skills you will learn in the programming course

Based on the questions we receive in our inbox daily, the biggest concern of prospective students is that they will be stuck with a bunch of computer geeks listening to an instructor who uses space terms.

Beginner programming lessons are not scary – the instructor starts from scratch and teaches you everything you need to know to succeed in the class. Think… We have more than 2,000 trainees in 12 countries who have taken courses, the foundations of which we laid together with experienced instructors. With the introductory course, you will learn all the necessary jargon that you will need for further lessons.

Let’s look at the valuable skills you will take away from the programming course.

Problem-solving

Programming design involves drawing diagrams of how program logic flows. This process teaches you to think in terms of making decisions using logic. This process checks to see if something is true and then decides based on those truths. In this way, you can reach a final solution in the logic of decision-making. This problem-solving process works in many areas outside of programming. The analysis of symptoms leads to the establishment of a diagnosis, for example.

Decision making

Programming involves defining all the variables that could affect a process. You can use these variables for calculations or comparisons. Understanding and defining all the variables is a key activity in the decision-making process. An example in the financial industry: Identifying the variables that affect a company’s stock price change can serve as excellent investment advice.

Working with others

Structuring the code in a modular way means that you can plug the code into any other code module and it will still work. There is a lot of project work in programming, where each person in the group writes a module of code that ultimately forms a whole. This skill is important when entering any workplace – optimizing and preparing a process that will not only be for you but also for your colleagues.

Creativity

The flow and logic of each program involve a lot of creativity. You can design graphical user interfaces that are intuitive and aesthetically suitable for users (UX, UI). You also learn to deal with unexpected user responses (believe me, there are a lot of them). This thought process builds empathy and thinking outside the box, as you put yourself in the user’s shoes and see the world through their eyes, not just yours.

Which programming course is right for me?

We’ve already mentioned that a great first step in making this decision is to talk to someone who is on a similar career path with programming knowledge. Think of a mentor or an individual who you would like to be more like in terms of knowledge and performance. He may be able to advise you on which knowledge was crucial for him and “worth the money”. Find out what types of computer skills, software, or hardware are commonly used in your industry.

Smartninja’s programming courses, for example, are chosen by many freelancers and corporate employees to learn the basics of programming (such as the Introductory Web Development 1 programming course or the more comprehensive Web Development 1 programming course) to learn:

  • Build a website for your own needs
  • To be able to work with programmers, understand their process, and evaluate it accordingly.
  • To learn the logic of programming, to the extent that this is sought after and desired in the company, and to be able to work together as smoothly as possible as business analysts or a link between programmers and the product team.

Many individuals and employees also opt for the SQL and database course, as this enables them to operate with data and read data correctly (financial plans, learning about users, systematization of large amounts of data, etc.).

In addition to the above, try to find out what kind of expertise employers need but are having trouble recruiting qualified people.

Based on conversations with companies, the biggest critical points are:

  • Someone who would provide soft skills in the company and convert programmers’ knowledge into understandable presentations of how programs work.
  • Someone who would manage user data in the direction of a better buying and re-purchasing process.
  • Someone who, as a business analyst, would optimize processes within the company based on logical reasoning.

Do not give up! Learning to program is worth it.

Learning to program may sound challenging, but it is similar to learning any other language. First, you learn to say “hello” and “goodbye”, and then you continue in the direction you need. The basis is the foundation on which you can continue your career path in any direction that makes sense to you.

You might even discover that you love the logic and process of programming, and the result: a website or processed data that offers you concrete solutions.

Smart’s advice: Devote yourself fully to the programming course, ask questions, do your homework, and think outside the box. Smartninja instructors are with you throughout the course on the Slack channel, where you can ask them about dilemmas (if you didn’t succeed during the course).

Once you’ve identified the programming skills in demand in your industry, you’ll be an extremely valuable contributor if you hone your programming skills. Even if you will never use programming directly, we guarantee that the new “programming” approach to problem-solving and critical thinking will be something that will open a window to many opportunities.

If this is not something worth investing in, then we don’t know what is!

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