Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

The Hired Girl

Laura Amy Schlitz

Learn to code.

Learn to code.
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Learn how to code. If you can fog a mirror, you can learn a computer coding language. You're not too old to learn, and you're definitely not too young. In fact, if you're a teen, even a tween, now is the time to start.

Need a reason to get going? We've got three:

Reason #1 you should learn how to code: You want a job someday. `

Art history majors may be working at Starbucks, but computer engineering majors are among the highest paid college graduates in the United States, with a current annual average salary of $72,000. Think about that as you think about college loans.

Reason #2 you should learn how to code: You like to be popular. Even if it’s just with employers.

floating city

Waterworld.

The demand for coding know-how exceeds the supply of people who know how to code. In fact, the nation’s colleges and universities don’t produce enough computer engineers, so employers recruit from overseas. In 2012, nearly 50% of the H1-B immigrant work visas granted by the US Government were for “computer-related fields.” But the government also limits the number of foreign workers on US soil. That's why tech companies, desperate for computer engineering talent, talk of plans to dodge those federal restrictions by anchoring this floating home-away-from-home for 1,800 foreign experts in international waters off San Francisco.

Reason #3 you should learn how to code: Maybe you’ll be great at it.

Five-year-olds learn to code, which means you can, too, even if you don’t think you’re “mathy.” That’s because computer languages aren’t about “math” so much as they are about logic. Learn to code, and you don't just tap into your existing problem-solving skills, you strengthen them.

We’ve brought you the resources right here to start you on your coding journey. Many are free, and some are as close as your web browser. Any of them will get you on your way. The language of code may be humanity’s only universal manmade language. Why not learn how to utter a sentence…or two?

ONLINE RESOURCES


Codeacademy

homepage segment image of codeacademy.comCodeacademy would be amazing even if it weren’t free. But it is free, which makes it beyond amazing. The website teaches you the basics, and then some, of a half-dozen major, in-demand coding languages, engaging you through an interactive technology that makes the process both rewarding and fun.


Coursera

homepage segment image of coursera.org Enroll in an actual Stanford University computer science course. Taught by actual Stanford faculty. Covering the same material taught to actual Stanford undergraduates in the actual “brick and mortar” institution. Did we mention it's free? You won’t get college credit, but you will get to complete homework assignments, takes quizzes and tests, and participate in virtual “office hour” discussions. And you can do it on your own schedule. If a structured curriculum is your thing, Coursera's collaboration with Stanford is your gift from the coding gods.


Treehousehome page segment image of treehouse.com

Treehouse teaches you how to build websites from scratch, create Android and iPhone apps, and takes you from novice to expert in several practical programming languages. It uses an engaging video format with a playful interactivity. Treehouse offers a 30-day free trial. After that, it’s $25 a month.


COMMUNITY RESOURCES

Many schools still aren’t equipped to teach their students how to code. But local and national—even international—organizations are rushing to fill the void. It’s becoming more and more likely that you’ll find at least one of them in a community near you.

The Computer Clubhouse, Girls Who Code, and Black Girls Code, seek to inspire teenagers in low-income communities to learn how to code. GirlDevelopIt sponsors activities to help girls of all economic and ethnic backgrounds to learn how to code. And CoderDojo is a global cooperative that organizes learn-to-code activities for teens throughout the world.


Check out our chat with killer coder Parisa Tabriz: Google Chrome's "Security Princess."


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