Recently, a group of 15 year-olds from across the world were assessed in various subjects. The UK came in at #26 for Maths and #20 for Science. This is a significant decrease since the last time this assessment was taken in 2009.
So, it is purely a maths and science bent that will determine your success or otherwise in coding? Well, it would appear that this is not the case. Employers continue to look at other aspects that make up suitability – these other attributes include personality, creativity, attitude, drive, ambition, aptitude and experience (among many more)
Here are of the attributes that many of the employers that we have spoken to look for when considering applicants for a coding role
Strategic Game Playing
Both online and offline game playing stimulates the mind, helping to shape minds to think about both long term as well as very short term, immediate issues. People who play chess for example tend to make good coders. Other board games such as Risk and Monopoly are also included in the mix.
Coding is often about solving problems. It is about using the constraints of a language to discover the optimum passage to solve the particular problem at hand. Employers often simulate problem solving tests and quizzes at interview stage. In Code Institute, we tend to include problem solving questions prior to even accepting people onto our course. The problem solving challenges can come in various guises and you need to be conscious of this fact – when you are being questioned in an interview, for example, this may in itself be a problem-challenge!
In the modern coding world, nothing (or certainly, very little) is developed in isolation (of course, people will holler and tell me that Flappy Birds, for example, was created by a single guy, on his own. There are always going to be exceptions to the rule). And that rule is that you will, undoubtedly, be working as part of a team. Modern coding tends to happen in small front-end/back-end teams (ie a couple of people coding the UX/front end aspects while another couple working on the back-end aspects of the application). So, you need to have a solid suite of “soft skills” that enables you to work closely with your teammates in a collaborative manner.
Musicians Make Good Coders
We all know that Mathematicians make for good coders. It is the logical-thinking approach that maths forces. There is a definite link between maths and music. It is found, over and over, that musicians make for good coders. the two disciplines seem to be very complementary.
Do you Love Technology?
OK, so you do not have to be a geek, but it helps. There are very few carpenters who don’t like wood and working with woods. IN the same vein, if you do not like technology – touching it, appreciating great UX, fiddling – then the likelihood is that you might not like coding. It is a kind of hand and glove type of thing!
You love a discussion
Why do people discuss things? Why is that sometimes you go into a room and people are engrossed in challenging each other? People love to discover and discuss. We find that coders are not satisfied with the first response to a question – they will often ask again and again, in different ways, structuring and restructuring the question, until they are happy with the resulting answers. If you are to make in coding, you might have spent some time in school or college in the debating society!
Do you love making (and breaking) things?
Years back, my dad used to to take apart the lawnmower only to put it back together an hour later. just to see how it works! Do you have that type of interest? Do you want to find out how things work? Did you play with Lego and Meccano when you were younger? If you love taking things apart just to see what they comprise, then a life of coding might just work for you.