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International Programmers' Day

Coding their way to a new future through traditional and non-traditional means

We celebrate the hard working coders and programmers who are creating our technological future.
In recognition of International Programmer's Day, WorkingNation highlights the impact and financial benefits of programming boot camps and other non-traditional educational paths to a successful career in programming.

Happy International Programmers’ Day!

Also known as the “Day of the Programmer,” this celebration takes place on the 256th day of the year, otherwise known as September 13 (or September 12 in leap years).

Why 256? According to Business Insider, 256 is the equivalent of one byte of data and the root of a ton of inside jokes for programmers.

If you want to jump into this well-paying career, think about what it will take to land you this job. We have some tips for you to code your way to a new job.

While most computer programmers get their start at traditional 4-year institutions, coding boot camps are also becoming a popular way to get started. As of 2016, there were 91 full-time programming boot camps which turned out 18,000 graduates. While the coding instruction industry has faced a recent adjustment period, it can still provide an education that leads to a well-paying job equivalent to one from a four-year school.

A college graduate starting out will make between $45K to $106K a year whereas a coding boot camp grad will make $60K to $80K. Boot camps also provide a little more bang for the buck when it comes to the cost compared to colleges. An average public university will cost $40K for a bachelor’s degree, but an intensive coding course can cost around $11,500 and takes about 13 weeks.

Though a majority of bootcampers have obtained a Bachelor’s degree, those who start out their education in a coding bootcamp will make five to seven times their investment in one year.

There are also options for do-it-yourself learners who want to code. Codeacademy is an entirely online instructional series that is free and covers many of the basics of programming. They also offer paid courses for advanced programming language instruction.

Another option for non-traditional learners is The Recurse Center, where coders and spend up to three months in a retreat in New York City where they can learn from each other, similar to a writer’s retreat. The program is self-directed and hosted in a project-based environment. Even better, if you are accepted, the program is free.

Employers are catching on to this educational trend. Companies like LinkedIn, Pinterest and Thoughtbot offer transitional apprenticeships to certified coders. These apprenticeships are great for self-taught coders and bootcampers and help companies source a more diverse range of talented individuals.

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