The world needs more coders. That’s not just because we are marching towards digitalization at such a rapid pace. It’s also because there’s still a shortage of coders at present, as our founder Abid Abedi discussed on Newsradio 740 KTRH last year. This is a need companies are itching to fill but finding it difficult to do. It goes without saying that it’s high time to prepare the next generation of coders — but with special consideration for the so-called “new normal” of work.
The new normal means lots of remote work, and plenty of work-from-home arrangements. In fact, the world of coding might have already had a head start in this regard, with DigitalOcean finding out last year that 86% of IT developers are already working remotely. Unsurprisingly, 43% of the 4,500 respondents polled by DigitalOcean admitted that having the option for remote works is a prime consideration when it comes to accepting a job offer or not.
With the pandemic pushing remote work into the mainstream, the new breed of coders can most definitely look forward to working from home more in this new normal. But in the meantime, there’s a need to prepare them, so they can excel when their time comes. The tips below will help in that regard.
Teach them early
We already discussed why coding should be thought at an early age in the previous post on Benefits of Learning Coding at a Young Age. Teaching individuals coding as soon as possible helps them enhance their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and develops their grit and tenacity. And, of course, teaching them while still young will further stoke their interest in coding, and equip them with base skills for more advanced lessons. All this will prepare them for job opportunities in the future — and there will be plenty given the aforementioned shortage of coders!
Introduce remote work productivity hacks
In this new normal, those with a nuanced understanding of the work-from-home dynamic will be at an advantage. That’s because they’re more equipped to handle the challenges of remote work. Notably, it’s these five concerns as outlined by ZDNet: distractions at home, blurring of home life-work life boundaries, difficulties with collaboration, feelings of isolation, and connectivity issues.
This is why it’s imperative to introduce aspiring coders to some work-from-home productivity hacks, like the ones suggested by writer James Gonzales in his guide for professionals working from home. Chief among them are laying down ground rules and setting up a home office to concretely delineate the professional life from the personal one. By learning these tips and tricks, the new generation of coders won’t be overwhelmed when asked to work remotely, and will, thus, be more productive.
Encourage pair programming
One of the best ways to teach coding to aspiring coders is through pair programming, described in the study Ten Quick Tips for Teaching Programming as a software development practice where one person (the driver) performs the coding, while the other (the navigator) comments on it. The two switch roles several times, thus allowing not only the practical application of skills, but also an exchange of coding knowledge. Both aspiring coders gain experience in actual coding through this learning technique, while also learning about collaborative problem-solving, critical thinking, and teamwork — all of which are critical in this new normal.
Strengthen school-business partnerships
Finally, it is imperative that future coders be exposed to the actual work environment of professional coding. A way to ensure this is by having schools partner with companies in need of coders so that aspiring ones will have on-the-job training opportunities right away. Better yet, schools must consider earn-and-learn models that will make coding learning more accessible, while ensuring a talent pipeline for the partner organization.
Such is the model Kenzie Academy has implemented in partnering with staffing company Kelly Services starting last year. With it, students can learn coding while earning and getting invaluable on-the-job training. This partnership has been a success, with program completers landing good jobs in the Indianapolis area. That said, the mass-adoption of similar models may very well be the biggest key towards preparing the new generation of coders who will augment the current shortage of coders.
Article exclusively written for icodeschool.com
By Reena Lopez