Advice For Future Programmers & Tech Workers

As our research (released last week with Oracle Academy) highlights, CS for All is more inclusive when students understand computing careers. What better way to understand CS careers than to hear firsthand from those currently in the tech workforce? So as we all reflect (and recover) from the work and excitement surrounding CS Education Week, I felt that it was perfect timing to share career advice from Couragion’s CS/tech role models.

A key question we ask each of our role models is ‘what advice would they give to their younger self if they had known they were going to have a career in software development and technology’. Here are highlights from the Couragion role models…

  • “If I had the option, I probably would have taken a programming class in either middle school or high school. Also get an internship while in school and look for professional mentors to help with school projects.” – Aileen, Game Developer

  • “Definitely getting involved in any of the computer science courses and learning how development works. Even if specifically doing the coding and developing and sitting in front of computer all day is not for you. It's good to have that knowledge.” – Allyson, Software Product Manager

  • “If you are interested in IT, you can go online with companies like Couragion that allow kids to kind of explore and that would have been great for me because I think I would have loved to have gotten started a lot earlier. It'd make me so much further in the workplace if I could have gone back when I was 15, 16, 14 years old. That would've been great to have that opportunity to see that - hey, these are fun jobs.” – Christiaan, IT Support Engineer

  • “I think any computer classes you can get. Typing is a great skill to have because you're always at your keyboard, you're filling out tickets. It's a great time saver. It's a great skill to have for computers.” – Anthony, Help Desk Manager

  • “I would have told my teen self to be interested in technology and to not be afraid to really delve into and ask questions about how things work.” – Kaati, IT Manager

  • “Don't worry too much about what people think about you – such as being a nerd and stuff like that - just go out and enjoy what you do.” – Jeremy, Cyber Security Manager

  • “You can take college courses while in high school. I would have taken advantage of that but I didn't because I didn't know. I will say if I redo the past, I would take my courses that way. I would get my degree faster.” – Jose, Web Developer

  • “You should always be open to learn new things. When some language goes down, you should be able to learn your new software, new technologies.” – Madhuri, Software Developer – Business Applications

  • “I would've taken more computer science classes. And, I would have probably gone to community college for two years so that I wouldn't have as much student loan debt.” – Devin, Software Quality Assurance Automation Engineer

  • “I've mentioned earlier that I do some coding and so I think it would have been very beneficial for me to learn some of those languages or programs earlier on.” – Hayley, Data Analyst

  • “In high school, I would have to say I probably would have paid attention a little bit more. Studied a little bit harder.” – Whitney, Customer Service Representative

  • “There's a plethora of resources available online where you can learn how to code and just give it a shot. Teach yourself, you know, cuz you're gonna need that anyway. Part of it is teaching yourself how to do things because it's not laid out already. Especially if you're going to do a start-up.” – Temitope, Chief Technology Officer – Start-Up

What incredible words of wisdom! Reviewing this advice with your students is an excellent way to expand on their learnings from CSEdWeek and Hour of Code.

Are you a software developer or tech worker? If so, what advice would you add? Are you a parent or teacher? If so, what recommendations do you think will resonate most with your children/students? And don’t forget to check out the research report for more insight into CS careers.

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Laura FarrellyComment