We get this kind of thing a lot at ALPHA Camp:

“I don’t have any tech experience. Is it possible for me to jump into learning coding?”

It’s totally understandable, because to those on the outside looking in, the world of coding can seem almost impenetrable.

The short answer to this question is “Yes, you can learn coding with no previous experience”.

The long answer? We spoke to a couple of our students that were in this position when they joined ALPHA Camp…

learn coding with no experience

Name: Yang Li Yi

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Economics, joined ALPHA Camp web bootcamp (Taiwan) in August 2015

Li Yi is currently working as a programmer with concierge and delivery service startup, honestbee.

What led you to decide to learn coding? Are you looking to work in a particular industry, or do you have an entrepreneurial idea you want to pursue?

Though my major was economics in college, I soon found out that I wasn’t interested in working in the finance industry. My first full-time job was in the finance team of a German company, and even then, I felt out of place. That’s when I started looking to switch my career.

After doing some research, I decided that working at a startup would be a good fit for me; however, when I looked at these job positions, I realised there isn’t much need for fresh economics graduates. What they need most are marketers and engineers, and so I decided that it was worth a shot to try learn coding.

After doing three months of self-study, I made up my mind to take ALPHA Camp’s web bootcamp and focus on switching my career. And sure enough, I did it. Now I’m working at honestbee as a software engineer. I really enjoy building a product, and then being able to see how it helps people in their daily lives.

Did you have any concerns about learning coding before starting the course? Were you concerned about not having any technical experience?

I did some research and actually started to teach myself programming before I started the course. This helped me to understand that it was possible to learn coding without experience, but I also realised I was going to make much better progress if I had professional instruction, and a group of peers to work with.

It was at this point that I decided to take the course.

How was the course? Have your perceptions about coding changed since completing the course?

Learning coding by yourself could be lonely and frustrating, but learning with people with the same goals as you can be a lot of fun!

The course itself was intense. We had so many things that we needed to learn and practice in a short period of time, but with our classmates’ support, we overcame everything and graduated!

What advice would you give to others with non-technical or non-coding backgrounds who are interested in learning to code?

It’s not gonna be easy. You’ll have to keep learning, and keep solving problems one after another. But the sense of satisfaction you’ll get is incredible.

Now that you are working as a software developer, do you think you made the right decision to switch careers? And why?

I definitely feel it’s been the right decision for me. During my time as a student, I was always good at math and problem solving, so I feel quite comfortable working as an engineer as it involves working with a lot of problems. I love seeing people’s lives improve because of the product we build!

Anything else you’d like to add?

Without ALPHA Camp, it would have been way too hard for me to switch my career! Keep up the good work!

Thanks Li Yi!

 

“Be ready to ask for help and admit when you don’t know something. It is better to look accept that you don’t know something, rather than delay your understanding.”

learn coding with no experience

Name: Stan Shalom Chin

Education: Bachelor’s in Accounting, a diploma in Wine and Spirits, and Master’s in Gastronomy. Enrolled in ALPHA Camp’s web full-stack development course in January 2017.

At the time of writing, Stan was still completing his studies with ALPHA Camp.

What led you to decide to learn coding? Are you looking to work in a particular industry, or do you have an entrepreneurial idea you want to pursue?

I always had a secret interest in programming and wanted to pursue one of my lifelong dreams to learn it. I believe learning to “speak” a computer language is the future and I wanted to be ready to face that future. Initially, I did not think of becoming a software engineer but after this course, I fell in love with the process of creating software. Now, I am looking to switch industry and look into becoming a software engineer so that I can gain experience to master the craft.

Did you have any concerns about learning coding before starting the course? Were you concerned about not having any technical experience?

If I knew all the problems I’d face in doing something that I have no experience in, I might have changed my mind. Ignorance is bliss! It doesn’t help that I am also dyslexic, but it does help that I’m no quitter.

How is the course going? Have your perceptions about coding changed since starting the course?

The course has been quite challenging.

I learnt that coding is not difficult, but actually, grasping the concepts and planning out how to write good software is tougher.

Now, I have a greater respect for people who are in this line of work. I also learnt a lot of things about myself; for example, I learnt that patience goes a long way in solving problems that seem unsolvable.

What advice would you give to others with non-technical or non-coding backgrounds who are interested in learning to code?

Focus on the principles behind the technology rather than the code.

Try to understand how things work because just writing code doesn’t solve problems. People solve problems by thinking analytically, critically and objectively about solutions. Be patient when you come across a problem and never give up – even if it takes days.

Be humble about what you do not know, and ask those who know better than you. Be ready to ask for help and admit when you don’t know something. It is better to look accept that you don’t know something, rather than delay your understanding.

How do you feel now about your decision to try something totally new? Do you have a clearer idea of the future now?

Choosing to learn the craft of building great software is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. It opened my eyes to a different world. With the knowledge I have gained from ALPHA Camp, I can put that to good use to help build software that can make people’s lives better. With technology, the boundaries are endless.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Never give up no matter how miserable or uncomfortable you might feel. There are always going to be people who can pick things up faster than you. Spend more time with them so that you can learn faster. Learning is a journey not a destination. Don’t compare yourself to others because it doesn’t help you become a better person.

Thanks Stan!