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Just how big is the “learn to code” movement?

“Coding Camps” provide not only an opportunity to learn computer languages but also open the door to opportunity. A massive survey sheds some light on the how’s and why’s.

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Big data for a big undertaking

FreeCodeCamp’s 2016 New Coder Survey is providing an unprecedented glimpse into how adults are learning to code. There is so much data from over 15,000 coders who took the survey (raw results are here). I’ll touch on some of the demographics in a bit but allow me to map out a scenario that hopefully will allow you to connect the dots in a much broader fashion.

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Consider: Coding isn’t just for the cybergeeks anymore. Understanding even a little bit about coding can pay off in a big way. Coding is a valuable skill for marketers and any other members of a business team. Forget about sustainable algae farms, I would posit that learning to code has evolved into a global movement and is fast becoming one of the biggest phenomena of our time as there are literally millions of adults around the world who are learning to code.

Why code?

So what does coding allow you to bring to the table? Let’s break it down for you:

  • Use HTML to fine-tune some wonky text paragraphs. Even the smallest bit of HTML knowledge can be helpful when dealing with finicky content management systems.
  • Communicate better with your company’s programmers. Maybe you don’t need to be a programming pro yourself, but having basic code literacy will help you relate to the coders in your workplace and better understand how and why bugs occur.
  • Optimize and test landing pages. Basic HTML and CSS are crucial if you want to optimize and test your landing pages. And trust me–you definitely want to be doing those things!
  • Cut down on IT managers. While you’ll likely still need some head IT honchos, more coders means less workout for the IT team.
  • Empower creators. Understanding code opens up huge opportunities to create original, unique content, whether in the form of websites or through app development.

And not only that, there are plenty of sources where you can learn coding for free or pretty close to it (we’ll get to that shortly).

Learning to code: Just a school thing?

So we’ve established that learning to code can open all sorts of doors for you. It’s a career path that is age and gender neutral. But here’s the dilemma: Do you go to school and get into debt trying to maneuver through the coding jungle or so you try to just “pick it up” and learn by doing?

I’m glad you asked, and here’s where it get’s interesting. A recent study about the New York tech industry found that half of New York City’s technical work force doesn’t have a traditional college education (I’m using New York as a template because I happen to live in New York). That’s where a coding conduit like FreeCodeCamp comes in: FreeCodeCamp (and similar “institutions”) is an open source community that helps individuals learn to code. Students work through self-paced coding challenges, build projects, and earn certifications. As you learn you can get connected with people in your respective city so you can code together.

Take it one step further and you’ve got schools like Flatiron in NYC, General Assembly and Galvanize with locations across the nation, or Austin Coding Academy that are all trying to keep tuition to a minimum while teaching students how to code. Faster than you can say HTML, you can see that coding IS becoming a phenomenon and really is opening all sorts of doorways for young and old alike.

The survey

And now I can take the discussion back to the 2016 New Coder Survey. FreeCodeCamp’s Quincy Larson, who led the survey project, explains his goals quite simply when he states, “The more data we all have to learn from, the better we can understand why and how individuals are learning to code.”

With the trove of demographic and socio-economic data that is surfacing, researchers can better understand a coder’s employment goals, and their strategies for getting there.

Like I said earlier, the amount of demographic data is staggering and I encourage you to check it out here. Or follow me in Part II of this report and dig deeper together and see what we come up with.

#LearningToCode

Nearly three decades living and working all over the world as a radio and television broadcast journalist in the United States Air Force, Staff Writer, Gary Picariello is now retired from the military and is focused on his writing career.

Business News

Supreme Court okays trademarking for ‘generic’ name URLs

(BUSINESS NEWS) Generic name trademarks have helped to stave off monopolies of broad products and services, but the Supreme Court just ruled that generic company names like Booking.com, can now be trademarked.

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For years, The United States Patent and Trademark Office has denied rights to names termed as “generic.” This was previously used to prevent generic terms from monopolizing a section of the market. It has prevented many companies from doing that as well.

However, as we move into the 21st century we begin to see things that may not be so cut and dry. As usual life gets messy and things are far more grey than they previously have been.

Recently, the US Supreme Court ruled that website names are eligible for a change to the previous trademark rules. The website that pushed for this privilege first, Booking.com that is owned by Booking Holdings Inc., argued that they needed this ruling to stop consumers from following copycats down a rabbit hole and away from their business.

The decision, heavily weighted at 8-1, gives Booking.com, nationwide legal protection against competing companies trademarks.

A remark released later by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Supreme Court states, “We have no cause to deny Booking.com the same benefits Congress accorded other marks qualifying as nongeneric.” An argument quoted from the decision continues as since, “‘Booking.com’ is not a generic name to consumers, it is not generic.”

This stance, taken by the majority, exemplifies a firm position on the rights of the individual companies’ abilities to identify themselves as they see fit.

The lone dissenting vote coming from Justice Stephen Breyer who argued that he fears that this decision “will lead to a proliferation of ‘generic.com’ marks, granting their owners a monopoly over a zone of useful, easy-to-remember domains.”

Honestly, if you can’t come up with your own domain that either incorporates, but doesn’t copy, or gets your point across without being too generic, you may need to hire a PR person.

This move forward from the Supreme Court opens up a lot of possibilities for people to be creative with their businesses. If generic and simple names will be the norm, then people will have to think outside the box in the future. Bring on the challenges.

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Business News

New company beats Amazon with next morning delivery?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Amazon has a new competitor in South Korea: Coupang, with faster shipping than Prime.

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What if I told you Amazon Prime’s, 1-3 day guaranteed delivery time isn’t the fastest e-commerce service the world has to offer? You would think I’m lying right?

Coupang, one of the world’s fastest delivery services located in South Korea, allows you to order any item, anytime before midnight, promising that it will be at your doorstep by 7am! (I wasn’t lying!) With 70% of its employees living within a 10 minute radius of a Coupang center, 80% of residents residing in populated cities and 95% of it’s population owning a smartphone, South Korea has become the perfect e-commerce epicenter. Coupang employees over 10,000 people who together deliver 99.3% of all orders within 24 hours. Imagine it’s Tuesday night, you’re falling asleep and suddenly remember you forgot to get your wife a present for her 50th birthday tomorrow. You have two options: accept your fate of being put in the dog house for three long weeks, or quickly order a few great items off Coupang’s website that’ll be delivered BEFORE she even wakes up!

Like Amazon, Coupang allows its customers to create a profile, store desired products in a list, and check out using your saved payment method. Half of South Korea’s total population of 51.6 million has installed Coupang’s app with a surge of people trying Coupang for the first time during stay at home orders due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The company struggled to meet fulfillment demands, especially those including PPE, household cleaning products, and children’s necessities. While many companies are struggling to stay afloat, Coupang is quickly adapting to meet consumer demands. In March, the company opened a new logistics center to expand its overnight/same day delivery services and is currently working to reach an even broader population.

Believe it or not, right before Coupang received a $2 Billion investment from SoftBanks, its founder, Kim Bom debated walking away from it all. Bom founded the company in 2010, receiving the investment in 2018 and is expected to pursue an IPO by the end of 2020. So for all of you entrepreneurs wondering if you should give up on that decade long dream…DON’T. Coupang went from selling a few hundred items each day to 3.3 million. Now that’s what you call entrepreneurism!

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Business News

Google plans to pay publishers for content (a little too late)?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Google will finally pay publishers for news, but only a few, and they have to meet Google standards.

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I mean…could you get any greedier Google? (Chandler Bings voice).

After years and years of pressure and complaints from publishers that Google’s search feed doesn’t properly recognize them or the news they work so hard to report, Google has finally announced that they will begin to pay publishers for content. But only some.

WHAT A LOAD OF BS.

According to the News Media Alliance, Google profited 4.7 BILLION in 2019 as a search engine for the news industry. So now, not only is Google fleecing its content providers and the writers who are working to create material for them, but it’s quite likely that Google’s algorithm is pushing paid news to the top of its search feed. What does this mean for users? It means that for one, you will see what they want you to see, but most importantly, it means that Google HAS the money to pay its publishers but chooses not too!

Google’s announcement to start paying publishers excludes all publishers outside Brazil, Germany, and Australia. Even within the countries that Google closed a deal with, there are many that do not meet its “high quality content” requirement for a paid position. The problem with all this nonsense is that we stopped letting the news come from others like us, and instead, according to the U.S News Media Alliance, the news is entirely owned by a handful of companies. You may have 635 channels on your TV, but if you google…or maybe you should duck duck go it, you’ll find that all those channels lead back to one huge organization.

SO WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?

Google has definitely been pressured to make some big changes, and while paying publishers is a good first step in the right direction, is it enough to make up for years of damage?

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