From Creative to Coder: Adapting in the digital age

Writer Rosie Robinson tells us about how learning to code enriched her creative career.

Rosie Robinson's story of a reluctant writer’s coding journey

I’ve never been a particularly tech-savvy person. In fact, I sometimes wonder if I was born in the wrong century. Despite growing up with the internet, I never felt like the digital native that my generation is purported to be.

Hitting the creative block

But no matter how much I repel technology, working with it is unavoidable. As a writer and editor, I’ve had to learn the ins and outs of content management systems, social media, and digital marketing.

So, when I recently found myself looking for work, I stepped into the job market hopeful that with a few years of good experience behind me, I’d quickly find myself a new role in a creative field.

How wrong I was. With the cost-of-living crisis and global uncertainty running rife, the job market had taken a serious hit. Hundreds of people were applying for every job and suddenly the idea that I would stick out from the crowd seemed ridiculous. Job descriptions were more varied and demanding than ever, and I quickly realised that I needed to upskill if I wanted to stand a chance of landing a new role.

One skill that seemed to crop up time and again was coding. There was a clear thirst for digital skills, but I knew that my limited knowledge of HTML wasn’t going to cut it.

So, you think you can’t code

I’d already tried learning to code but was always deterred by the technical jargon. Asking friends or family members to show me the ropes had also proven fruitless. Their excitement to show off their passion project often got in the way of explaining things in the plainest possible terms. It appeared that you either got it or you didn’t. And I certainly didn’t get it.

But now I was at risk of falling behind. I needed a complete crash course that would take me from novice to expert (or close enough) as efficiently as possible.

Can creativity and coding ever co-exist?

This is where guided learning formats like Learning People’s Full Stack Developer course come in handy. The comprehensive overview of all the essential coding languages helps to break down a daunting learning curve into achievable steps.

And before I knew it, the idea of sitting at my computer analysing lines of code wasn’t off-putting at all. Dare I say it, it was actually fun.

The benefits of coding in creative roles

At one time, developers were the only ones who ever laid eyes on code. But as the market becomes increasingly saturated, creatives have had to adapt and diversify their skillsets. And, as it turns out, coding is one such crucial skill that can vastly improve your career prospects. Here’s how…

Coding opens new career doors

Designers, writers, and marketers are adept at creating the resources that will be hosted on websites and socials. But by learning to code, you can also create the websites themselves. This is a highly sought after skill for content creators as organisations look for people who can handle the entire production schedule, from writing and designing through to publishing.

But learning to code also introduces you to new creative job opportunities, including web, game, and app development. As the working landscape continues to change at a rapid pace, the ability to adapt to new roles is crucial.

Coding sets you apart

The working world may be changing but that isn’t to say that creativity is no longer valued. Far from it, in fact: as of 2023, 73% of organisations rank creative thinking as the most in-demand skill. So, with a creative mindset pre-installed, you’re already off to a flying start!

The long-term shortages in technological skills have meant that those with programming know-how are also in increasingly high demand. By combining your creative skillset with the technical skills of a full stack developer, you can position yourself head and shoulders above the rest.

Coding curates confidence

OK, I’ll admit, there’s no real scientific backing for this claim. But coming from a former technophobe, I feel confident that if I can learn several new programming languages – and have fun doing it – then I can do anything that I put my mind to.

Tackling a skill so far out of my comfort zone has not only made me better equipped for the working world but has also given me the confidence to take on more challenges and push myself to learn other skills outside my remit.

If you’re thinking of broadening your skillset or changing career completely, take a look at the wide variety of digital courses available through Learning People.

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