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.
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.
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.
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.
Are Gen Z more fickle in their shopping, or do brands just need to keep up?
(BUSINESS NEWS) As the world keep changing, brands and businesses have to change along with it. Some say Gen Z is fickle, but others say it is the nature of change.
We all know that if you stop adapting to the world around you, you’re going to be left behind. A recently published article decided to point out that the “fickle” Gen Z generation are liable to leave a poor digitally run site and never return. Now of course we’ve got some statistics here… They did do some kind of due diligence.
This generation, whose life has been online from almost day one, puts high stakes on their experiences online. It is how they interact with the world. It’s keyed into their self-worth and their livelihoods, for some. You want to sell online, get your shit together.
They have little to no tolerance for anything untoward. 80% of Gen Zers reported that they are willing to try new brands since the pandemic. Brand loyalty, based on in-person interaction, is almost a thing of the past. When brands are moved from around the world at the touch of your fingertips there’s nothing to stop you. If a company screws up an order, or doesn’t get back to you? Why should you stick with them? When it comes to these issues, 38% of Gen Zers say they only give a brand 1 second chance to fix things. Three-quarters of the surveyed responded saying that they’ll gladly find another retailer if the store is just out of stock.
This study goes even further though and discusses not just those interactions but also the platforms themselves. If a website isn’t easy to navigate, why should I use it? Why should I spend my time when I can flit to another and get exactly what I need instead of getting frustrated? There isn’t a single company in the world that shouldn’t take their webpage development seriously. It’s the new face of their company and brand. How they show that face is what will determine if they are a Rembrandt or a toddlers noodle art.
The new age of online shopping has been blasted into the atmosphere by the pandemic. Online shopping has boosted far and above expected numbers for obvious reasons. When the majority of your populace is told to stay home. What else are they going to do? Brands that have been around for decades have gone out of business because they didn’t change to an online format either. Keep moving forward.
Now as a side note here, as someone who falls only just outside the Gen Z zone the articles description of fickle is pompous. The stories I’ve heard of baby boomers getting waiters fired, or boycotting stores because of a certain shopkeeper are just as fickle and pointed. Nothing has changed in the people, just how they interact with the world. Trying to single out a single generation based on how the world has changed is a shallow view of the world.
Chasing Clubhouse success? How the audio chat room trend affects products
(BUSINESS NEWS) It is inevitable that when a new successful trend comes along, other companies will try to make lightning strike twice. Will the audio chat room catch on?
Businesses are always about the hot new thing. People are the always looking for the easiest dollar with the least amount of effort these days. It tends to lead to products that are shoddy and horribly maintained with the least amount of flexibility in pleasing their customers. However, you also have to look at the customer base for this as well. You follow where the money is because that’s where its being spent. It’s like a merry-go-round, constantly chasing the next thing. And the latest of these is the audio chat room.
During the pandemic the entire world saw an eruption of social audio investments. Silicon Valley has gone crazy with this new endeavor. On the 18th of April this year, Clubhouse said it closed on some new funding, which was valued at $4 billion for a live audio app. This thing is still in beta without a single penny of revenue!
The list of other companies who have pursued new audio suites (either through purchase or creation) include:
This whole new audio fad is still in its infancy. These social media and tech giants are all jumping headlong into it with who knows how much forethought. A number of them have their own issues to deal with, but they’ve put things aside to try and grab these audio chat room coattails that are running by. It’s a mix of feelings about the situation honestly. They are trying to survive and keep their customers.
If a competitor creates this new capability and they stay stagnant then they lose customers. If they do this however without dealing with their current issues then they could also lose people. It’s an interesting catch 22 for people out there. Which group do you fall in? Are you antsy for a new toy or are you waiting for one of these lovely sites to fix a problem? It’s another day in capitalism.
This web platform for cannabis is blowing up online distribution
(BUSINESS NEWS) Dutchie, a website platform for cannabis companies, just octupled in value. Here’s what that means for the online growth of cannabis distribution.
The cannabis industry has, for the most part, blossomed in the past few years, managing to hit only a few major snags along the way. One of those snags is the issue of payment processing, an issue compounded by predominantly cash-only transactions. Dutchie, a Bend, Oregon company, has helped mitigate that issue—and it just raised a ton of money.
Technically, Dutchie is a jack-of-all-trades service that creates and hosts websites for dispensaries, tracks product, processes orders, keeps stock of revenue, and so much more. While it was valued at around $200 million as recently as summer of 2020, a round of series C funding currently puts the company at around $1.7 billion—approximately 8 times its worth a mere 8 months ago.
There are a few reasons behind Dutchie’s newfound momentum. For starters, the pandemic made cannabis products a lot more accessible—and desirable—in states in which the sale of cannabis is legal. The ensuing surge of customers and demand certainly didn’t hurt the platform, especially given that Dutchie is largely responsible for keeping things on track during some of the more chaotic months for dispensaries.
Several states in which the sale of cannabis was illegal also voted to legalize recreational use, giving Dutchie even more stomping ground than they had prior to the lockdown.
Dutchie also recently took on 2 separate companies and their associated employees, effectively doubling their current staff. The companies are Greenbits—a resource planning group—and Leaflogix, which is a point-of-sale platform. With these two additions to their compendium, Dutchie can operate as even more of an all-in-one suite, which absolutely contributes to its value as a company.
Ross Lipson, who is Dutchie’s co-founder and current CEO, is fairly dismissive of investment opportunities for the public at the moment, saying he instead prefers to stay “focused with what’s on our plate” for the time being. However, he also appears open to the possibility of going public via an acquisition company.
“We look at how this decision brings value to the dispensary and the customer,” says Lipson. “If it brings value, we’d embark on that decision.”
For now, Dutchie remains the ipso facto king of cannabis distribution and sales—and they don’t show any plans to slow down any time soon.
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