Regular people see us as aliens and clients/bosses see us as wizards. In this post I’m going to try to convince you to learn to speak computer and change the world.
Most of the world is now connected to the internet, and computers are all around taking care of more and more of our needs. There really aren’t many fields where computers haven’t changed the status quo.
This gives us, developers, a huge amount of power at our fingertips. You write the rules that other computers and people will follow. You can have a great impact on the whole world. For example a Googler helped ban the sale of ivory products via the search engine in a 20% project.
The number of available tech jobs is growing faster than the number of developers. There will be an estimated 1 million open positions by 2020. Tech salaries will remain high because of high demand. Until 2050 when we have AI that writes code this trade is a save choice.
Just like computers get two times cheaper every couple of years the number of developers in the world doubles every 5. That means that half of all tech workers have less than 5 years of experience. Most people who join the tech sector learn programming at bootcamp, classes or online. This is one of the few domains where having no experience is not a problem.
Machine Learning is a technique of teaching computers to do stuff by showing examples and letting them figure out the rules. Its the secret sauce behind the top apps/services we use on a day to day basis.
Using these kinds of algorithms has only been possible recently due to a combination of factors like advances in research, availability of cheap computational power and big collections data.
We have barely scratched the surface of what applications it can have. All jobs and activities will be enhanced by AI in the following years.
Big tech companies are doing most of the heavy lifting and offering platforms and general solutions to developer who want to make applications, not research. Here I have to mention a few:
- api.ai (purchased by Google) – this web based platform will help you make really cool chat bots without programming. They can talk with users in the most common chat platforms and extract information from them – there is support for the most common languages and more are coming soon.
- Microsoft Cognitive Services – they offer a complete suite of APIs that handle things like speech recognition, emotion analysis, face detection/recognition, recommendations and much more.
- IBM’s Watson is a special piece of software. It can learn from unstructured documents and can then answer questions using what it learned or discover things from that data. The cool thing about Watson is the way it’s setup – You rent the algorithm and hardware running Watson from IBM and you keep your data. There are a lot of applications powered by Watson that are changing the world in domains ranging from travel, finance to medicine and even retail.
- TensorFlow – is a a state of the art open source machine learning framework made by Google. It’s good for rapid prototyping and learning and also good for hardcore applications that require multiple GPUs or machines or even if you want to export a model and use it on your iPhone. You can find a list of links to help you get started with Tensor Flow here.
We can easily compare software with art. And our world needs artists of all kinds. Software replicates a view of the world, the view of the team that implemented it. But not everyones world is the same, for this reason we need diversity among developers. If you think you are not fit to be a programmer you can’t be more wrong – most people like you thought the same thing and this is why your lookalikes vision of the world (and daily activities) are not represented in software. Imagine it! If more young mothers will learn to code, there will be more apps on AppStore that will make all young mothers lives easier by being there first you will notice what needs to be done to make your life and theirs better.
Employers spend a lot of resources to keep their developers happy. That’s because happy people write more and better code. Many tech companies are famous for perks like awesome food, massages and other good stuff.
New tools and technologies appear all the time. You will spend a bigger part of your time than you would expect learning stuff. Even if you just stick to your tasks you will have to learn a lot to be able to execute them. This is a good thing! Unless you work in a underground secret code factory where people have to do the same ting over and over you will always be able to find new things to get exited about at work. And bonus: learning also keeps you mind healthy.
Freelancing has become more and more common as more people take matters in to their own hands, in the US freelancers make over a third of the workforce. There has been a significant increase in remove work opportunities in recent years. This allows new career paths. For some this means being able to stay at home and not move to a bigger city in order to get a good paying job. For some this means quite the opposite – they identify themselves as digital nomads – people who travel and work online. Nomad List is a good place to find places to travel and work.
There are thousands of tutorials on any topic you want to learn. If you are willing to put in the time nothing can stop you from getting the job of your dreams. With an hour or two of practice each day you can become a developer in less than a year.
The book teaches you the most important programming concepts with the least amount of theory and lots of practice. Each chapter has a few pages that explain new concepts using a simple language and leaving out a lot of technical details. By solving the challenges you will get to write your first 1000 lines of code in about one month.
Women have been in the field since it’s inception. The first programmer was a woman and we got on the moon thanks to one. Please consider computer science as a career path!
Women make up about a quoter of all developers. I’ve worked for a few companies and so far I’ve noticed that there are companies where there are actually a a lot of female employees and companies that barely have any (and usually thats a bad signal). So don’t get discouraged – just keep searching until you find the right company/job for you.
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