People who enjoy and are passionate about coding as a hobby often wonder whether they should consider pursuing it as a career. There are several reasons it might be a good idea:

  • The tech industry offers a high number of well-paying, high-reward jobs;
  • Trained coders can explore a number of career avenue options within the industry;
  • Programmers typically earn above average salaries, based on the education it requires to become eligible for jobs;
  • Promotions can happen quickly;
  • And flexible work schedules, relaxed work environment, fitness center memberships and other perks are available at many tech companies that employ coders.

Something to consider, though, is the seriousness of the industry. Those who are passionate about coding videogames, for example, may lose steam when faced with coding a program that someone else has created. Also, though most coders reap great rewards, the tech industry as a whole is typically high-stress. Deadlines are important and programmers are held accountable when they’re missed. Hobby coders considering a career in the field should identify the root of their enthusiasm.

Regardless of motivation, though, there is a right way and a wrong way to learn to program. Some programmers find themselves spending long hours re-learning proper coding techniques because they didn’t learn needed skills in an appropriate order. Of course, there’s no better method than learning by doing, so people attracted to a career in programming should gain as much experience as possible by continuing to code videogames or other programs that interest them. The more a person can practice and expose himself or herself to coding languages, the better.

Online resources such as Codeacademy and Treehouse solidify basic skills and techniques a hobby programmer has begun to learn. Through various exercises and engaging educational experiences, students of these online “classrooms” come away with a good base knowledge of common computer languages.

When to Enroll in the Software Guild

After checking out the better online coding resources like Codeacademy and Treehouse, those who are ready to take their web development or programming education to the next level should check out The Software Guild. TSG is a fast-paced, 12-week apprenticeship program that teaches programming and software development in a collaborative and hands-on way. Enrollees receive staff expertise and personalized attention they may not get in traditional college classrooms — and they certainly won’t receive such attention through online tutorials.

Enrollees, also called apprentices, spend time learning from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. over the course of each 12-week session, but many choose to work on projects on their own time to develop stronger portfolios. The portfolio is an important takeaway of TSG; having proof of the real-world projects one has created from the ground up is an asset all employers appreciate. Some require a portfolio for specific opportunities.

The bottom line is that TSG’s boot camp helps students master the computer languages they’ll need to create software programs from scratch, and ultimately land the lucrative coding jobs they want. Prospective coders should check out reputable online resources like the ones mentioned here, and if they find they still have the passion and interest in coding long-term, TSG is a logical next step on the path to a successful career within the tech industry.