Programming skills give you the ability to create software, applications and databases, and much more. Once you’ve learned a programming language (and how to use it!), you can issue instructions to a computer and develop your own custom software.
As you can imagine, the options are limitless once you know how to code using a programming language. Our increased reliance on technology means that it is creative software developers who are developing groundbreaking solutions in the healthcare, tech and logistics field.
While programming can certainly be a great career choice, it’s also a fun hobby to have. When you learn to code, you can use your creativity to develop innovative solutions to problems and build your own informative, educational, or entertaining programs.
No matter what age you are, there are tons of gadgets and toys that can help you to develop your skills. To learn more, take a look at these four fun tech gadgets that can encourage a love of programming:
1. Raspberry Pi
If you want to learn how to code, Raspberry Pi will certainly give you the start you need. This super-small ‘computer’ can be inserted into a TV or laptop and used with a standard keyboard and mouse. With impressive capabilities, you can use it to practice your programming skills in a variety of languages.
Not only is this a low-cost way to learn more about programming, but it also gives you access to a whole community of aspiring programmers. With projects and challenges to take part in, Raspberry Pi is ideal for kids and grown-ups who want to learn a little more about programming and computer science in general.
2. Code Gamer
Gamification is now widely used to boost engagement via marketing or to increase sales in business, but it can also be a great way to encourage learning. With Code Gamer, users are required to learn and apply the Arduino programming language in order to get to the next level of the game. Once you’ve worked your way through the levels, you’ll have enough knowledge to create your own and share them with other players, which means you’ll never run out of challenges.
Designed for anyone over the age of 10 years, Code Gamer undoubtedly adds a fun element to programming. As the difficulty increases, you’ll find yourself eager to unleash your creativity in order to implement solutions and proceed to the next level. Before you know it, you’ll be proficient in Arduino and be building your own software!
3. Mechanical Keyboard
When you’re developing software or learning a programming language, you’ll spend a lot of time typing. In fact, writing code is down solely via a keyboard, so it’s important to choose one that suits your needs.
To the uninitiated, a mechanical keyboard certainly doesn’t look like something a programmer would use. Picture a heavy, wired keyboard from a couple of decades ago and you’ve got a pretty good idea what a mechanical keyboard looks like. However, ask any typist or programmer what the best keyboard is and, chances are, they’ll prefer a mechanical keyboard to more streamlined alternatives.
The reasons for this are simple: mechanical keyboards have individual switches under each key, which provide a more comfortable user experience. In addition to this, they’re more responsive, which means fewer mistakes and more efficiency. If you’re looking for a gadget that will enhance your enjoyment of programming, a mechanical keyboard should definitely be on your list!
4. Lego Mindstorms Kits
Whether you’re a big fan of Lego or you’ve never built anything with Lego bricks, there’s no doubt that a Mindstorms kit will kick-start your love of coding. Combining the physical and digital worlds, you can build and code to create a custom robot that can move, shoot missiles, play ball and a whole lot more.
With more than 1,000 pieces and a range of coding challenges, you’ll never get bored of customizing your creations and coming up with new and inventive tasks. As well as being a great way to inspire a love of coding, Lego Mindstorms kits also feature more advanced challenges for experienced coders, which means they’re a great option for everyone!
Becoming a Professional Programmer
Even if your interest in programming begins as a purely recreational pursuit, you might be compelled to make it your future career. After all, choosing a role that you genuinely enjoy can ensure that you maximize your job satisfaction.
Fortunately, there are plenty of lucrative opportunities for talented programmers. By formalizing your knowledge via an undergraduate degree or an online computer science masters, you can get the qualifications you need to succeed in the industry. Similarly, gaining professional experience and learning what professional programmers do on a day-to-day basis will give you the opportunity to find out if programming is the right career choice for you.
What Job Opportunities Are There for Programmers?
Every industry is being transformed by technology, which means there are unlimited opportunities for professional programmers. Depending on your interests, you may want to specialize in a particular area and focus solely on creating software solutions for the healthcare industry or for manufacturing companies, for example. Alternatively, you may want to use your expertise in computer science to create cutting-edge machine learning algorithms or develop programs that facilitate better data insights.
As you might expect, companies and organizations across all sectors are actively hiring programmers and software developers. From car manufacturers and aviation companies to retailers and healthcare providers, programming skills are in high demand everywhere.
Of course, talented programmers also have the option to work on a freelance basis or to start their own companies and consultancies. By doing so, you can choose exactly which projects you want to work on, become your own boss, and maximize your income in the process.
With so many opportunities out there, it’s not surprising that so many people are pursuing careers in the computer science arena. With these fun gadgets to get you started with programming, it won’t be long before you’re joining the ranks of professional programmers too.