Recently, Adam Duvander wrote a blog post asking “should everyone learn how to program?” As part of the recruiting team at SendGrid, we never expected to enter the world of coding, hacking, or take part in all of the other cool technical aspects of our awesome company. But with this new “learning to code” movement- the question stood: should we?
A couple of weeks ago my teammate Margho (pictured left) and I were lucky enough to attend a Girl Develop It Boulder course. The class, “How to Build a Website: HTML & CSS for Beginners,” was a 2-day, 8-hour intensive, which we left with a fully functional and stylized website. Both of us went into the class thinking that it would be a good opportunity to get a small glimpse into what our programmers do on a daily basis. We hoped we could then, in return, use that to our advantage in our endeavor of finding new rock star employees.
A Little Background
We are the Recruiting Coordinators at SendGrid. We didn’t know how to code anything and we aren’t that creative…but we both sit with all the engineers in the company, so naturally we shared a secret interest in learning how to program.
Neither of us could have predicted the excitement we felt when we put in our few lines of code, and “It works” showed up in our web browsers.
We were both absolutely giddy that we had created something tangible using just a small amount of code. Suddenly, we could see why our software engineers get such enjoyment and a sense of accomplishment after committing their code each day.
We learned the basics of HTML and CSS over the course of two days, and ended up with a couple of fully-formed websites. It turns out killer whales and your neighbor’s cat with a stink-eye are excellent subjects. We took the code pretty seriously and were really excited with the outcomes (see http://troberts8.github.io/crookypoodle/).
In the end, keeping track of the whole padding, border, float, list style, line height, and margin for each body, paragraph, table, and header all got a little overwhelming, so we were content making everything the exact same. However, we did get pretty ambitious with our killer whale and cat pictures and created some transparent text boxes–a proud moment for us.
We were stoked to show everyone our new “skills.” After getting a congrats from our own UI/UX Engineer at SendGrid, we knew we had hit it big with our HTML & CSS skills. He even noted that our code was “pretty.”
So should everyone learn how to program? Maybe. We learned a lot, have a new skill to use, and truly had fun. Nothing beats the feeling of having a finished product at the end of the day. Especially when the buttons on your webpage have rounded corners.
We are pleased to support and contribute to events that encourage technological innovation and that embrace gender diversity. Feel free to check out SendGrid’s relationship with Girl Develop It and NCWIT detailed in one of our previous posts.