Want to get into tech? Want to change your career but don’t know where to start? Well, the good news is, it’s easier than you think – and it needn’t break the bank.

The fact is we’re living longer and we’re having to work longer. Once upon a time, there was a job for life – but in the 21st century, you might change career two or three times. Training and retraining are not unusual, in fact they’re essential in our world that never stops changing.

As the tech industry has exploded into pretty much every area of life, there have been HUGE skills shortages, not least because the jobs available today weren’t even thought about by the school careers advisors of the 1990s. So, it’s time to get creative. Look at all the resources out there and get yourself qualified for a whole new – and hopefully lucrative – career in tech.

Here are a few thoughts to start your tech career:

Choose a Programming Language: Decide which programming language you want to learn first. Popular choices for beginners include Python, JavaScript, and Ruby, as they have extensive learning resources and are widely used.

Online Learning Platforms: Utilise free online learning platforms such as Coursera, Codeop, FreeCodeCamp and Codecademy. These platforms offer a variety of coding courses, tutorials, and interactive exercises to help you grasp the fundamentals of programming.

Structured Learning Pathways: If you’re seriously hooked and need experience/qualifications, visit Code Your Future who work with refugees and the disadvantaged; Code First Girls who offer everything from Bootcamps to a Masters in Coding or Coding Black Females who offer Bootcamps and return programmes – giant pioneers Microsoft also offer their Virtual Academy.

Resources for young people: If you’re looking to change the gender balance in tech by getting your daughters into tech, take a look at Stemettes, TechSheCan, Code.org or In2ScienceUK.

Interactive Coding Websites: Websites like FreeCodeCamp and The Odin Project provide structured curricula and coding challenges to improve your coding skills. They cover a wide range of topics and allow you to work on real-world projects.

YouTube Tutorials: YouTube is an excellent resource for finding free coding tutorials and video lessons. Channels like freeCodeCamp.org, Traversy Media and The Net Ninja offer high-quality programming tutorials for beginners.

Documentation and Online Resources: Programming languages often have extensive documentation available for free. Official documentation, along with online forums like Stack Overflow, can be invaluable for finding answers to specific programming questions.

Open Source Projects: Contribute to open source projects on platforms like GitHub. It allows you to collaborate with experienced developers, learn from their code, and improve your skills by working on real-world projects.

Practice Coding: Regular practice is crucial for improving your coding skills. Solve coding challenges on websites like Codefinity, CodeCombat, and Codewars. These platforms offer a range of coding problems and allow you to compare your solutions with others.

Join Coding Communities: Participate in online coding communities and forums to connect with other learners and professionals. Communities like Reddit’s r/learnprogramming and Stack Overflow provide opportunities to seek guidance and learn from experienced developers. Also keep an eye out on your social media including Twitter and Instagram.

Build Projects: Put your knowledge into practice by building your own projects. Start with small, achievable goals and gradually work your way up. Building projects will help you apply what you’ve learned and strengthen your problem-solving abilities.

Networking: Attend local meetups, coding bootcamps, and hackathons to meet fellow coders and expand your network. Find events through LinkedIn and Eventbrite. These events often offer opportunities to learn, collaborate, and gain insights from experienced professionals.

Remember, learning to code is a continuous process, and it requires patience and dedication. The key is to keep practicing, exploring new concepts, and building projects to strengthen your skills.