Seven Simple Coding Skills You Can Master to Boost Your Job Prospects in the New Year

by Tracy Teague, Software developer and Dev Bootcamp Alumni

Dev Bootcamp is the original, short-term, immersive software development program that transforms those new to coding into job-ready, full-stack web developers.

Coding has become a skill that that is highly valued by employers, both in and outside of the tech industry. If you work in a non-technical job, knowing how to use even just a little bit of code can give your career a boost and help you standout at work or when you are looking for a job. Below are seven simple ways you can get started coding even if you don’t have any technical experience.

Personally, I originally decided to learn some basic code in order to distinguish myself as an candidate for administrative opportunities at start-up companies. I began my learning process by utilizing free, online learn-to-code resources, such as Codecademy and CodeSchool. As I completed various tracks, including Ruby, JavaScript, and HTML/CSS, I unexpectedly found myself myself drawn to the creative, problem-solving nature of code. Ultimately, decided to pursue this new passion full-time by attending Dev Bootcamp, an immersive, web development program in New York City.

Based on my experience, here are seven ways you can get started with code and boost your career:

1. Learn simple HTML to format a marketing email

E-mail is one of the primary means of business communication. The ability to transform a plain text e-mail into a visually appealing and easily readable template is key for businesses to make sure that their products and services capture their users’ attention. Learn how to add some basic HTML and CSS to enhance your emails by following this step-by-step tutorial.

2. Build your own website

Employers who are looking to hire you really want to get to know you as a person beyond your resume. Making a personal website is a great way to to showcase your personality, interests and creativity in addition to your experience. Not only does it show your prospective boss your relevant skills, but it also helps your colleagues to get a sense of who are you as a person outside of the office.

To get started check out these tips from FindSpark and Wix. You can also try out Codecademy’s “Make a Website Track” to get started and easily host your own website on Github by creating a free account.

Need inspiration? Check out some of these 10 stellar portfolio websites.

FindSpark Learn to Code

3. Maintain a personal blog

Similar to building your own website, building and maintaining a personal blog will show off your personality, but also illustrate how you express yourself, and highlight your ability to clearly articulate ideas, and your written communication skills. Feel free to write about anything, ranging anywhere from your favorite foodie adventures, to how you taught yourself to build the actual blog.

Link your personal blog to your website on Github. You can choose to create your blog with a personal publishing platform, or you can apply the skills you learned from Codecademy to build your own unique blog.

4. Embed custom widgets to a webpage

Take your website or personal blog to the next level by embedding some custom widgets to make your page more interactive and exciting. After mastering website basics you can advance to Codecademy’s related tutorial, “Make an Interactive Website”, to find out how Javascript and JQuery can make your page more captivating to the user.

5. Introduce yourself to database manipulation

According to a recent article by SkilledUp, SQL (Structured Query Language) the most in-demand skill in the tech industry. SQL is a “query language” that retrieves data from different tables in databases, and then combines this data together to create reports.

You learn the basics of building tables and manipulating database systems using SQL commands by using free online resources, such as the SQL courses available on CodeSchool and Codecademy.

6. Write a script or formula for Excel

Excel is used in a variety of fields to consolidate heaps of data into clean, organized tables. Save time from manually performing simple calculations by writing scripts and formulas in Excel to perform the calculations you need in a fraction of the time they take to do by hand.

Check out this tutorial from Microsoft to see how you can get started.

7. Practice critical thinking skills

When you exercise critical thinking skills you can focus, be creative, and think outside-of-the-box. While not always easy to quantify, thinking critically enables you come up with new ideas and share innovative ways to improve upon a company’s existing conditions and establishing future goals. A fun way to practice critical thinking and problem-solving is to test out different solutions with algorithms by using code.

To jump into solving problems with code, try out a “back end” programming language, such as Ruby. You can learn the basics through free online tutorials, such as Codecademy and CodeSchool. After you feel comfortable you can apply your new knowledge to challenging problems on Project Euler or Coderbyte. If you run into trouble, don’t give up! You can reach out to the tech community and check out online forums and Question and Answer pages on StackOverflow, just like software developers do all the time!

If you try out a few of these ideas to help you in your current job and get really into coding, like I did, and want to learn more, immersive bootcamps like Dev Bootcamp are a great way to learn coding skills that will get you ready to work as a junior web developer.



FindSpark Dev Bootcamp

Dev Bootcamp is the original, short-term, immersive software development program that transforms those new to coding into job-ready, full-stack web developers. In Dev Bootcamp’s rigorous and supportive environment you will gain a thorough knowledge of software development fundamentals, the metacognitive skills to quickly pick up new programming languages, and the emotional intelligence to land your first job and have a successful, evolving career as a web developer. Find out more and start your today at