Earn While You Learn: 5 Tech Jobs for New Coders

Still learning to code but need a job now? Here are five tech roles you can apply for today and build your dev skills while earning a living. By Jenn Bailey.

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If you’ve taken on the challenge to become a professional software developer, you know how difficult and time-consuming this path is. The rewards and opportunities are innumerable but, in the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “Nothing worth having comes easy”.

What do you do if you need to make money right now, before you have enough skills to ace a coding interview? Consider applying to one of the five programming-adjacent jobs detailed here, each of which you can land now while you continue to learn.

What You’ll Learn

  • Which tech positions you can apply for now, before you’re a fully-fledged software developer.
  • What characteristics make you the right fit for each job.
  • Which tools you’ll use on the job and how they’ll help your future career.
  • How to tailor your application for each role.
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Read Hack Your Job Search Today!

Easiest Tech Jobs to Get Without Coding Experience

Not every career in technology needs coding experience. Even if your end goal is to be a developer eventually, these jobs can give you valuable experience that will help you stand out from other hopeful junior devs, while bringing in money to live on as you hone your skills. Here are some of the easiest tech jobs to target while you learn to code.

1. Data Analyst

A data analyst extrapolates meaningful patterns, correlations and insights from large sets of data. Modern organizations collect an astounding amount of data, and that data is often too complex to analyze without expert help.

Just about every industry needs to make data-driven business decisions, and that need is growing, so data analysts are in huge demand. Organizations use data analysts’ discoveries to make better decisions about business processes.

Tools Used by Data Analysts

Data analysis tools range from simple ones that you probably already use to more complicated, industry-specific aids. Some tools data analysts should be familiar with are:

  • Microsoft Excel/Google Sheets: These common spreadsheet programs are widely available. Both offer quick analysis features that provide an overview of your data and help you visualize it.
  • Structured Query Language (SQL): SQL lets you access data stored in databases and manipulate it with common operations. If you can code even a little, SQL is easy to pick up. Despite its simplicity, SQL is a powerful tool for querying datasets based on chosen parameters.
  • Tableau: This popular tool allows you to analyze and visualize data easily. It includes the capability to drag and drop, and to share your data as workbooks and dashboards. Plus, it’s user-friendly.
  • R or Python: Both R and Python are free, open-source languages that run on macOS, Windows and Linux. They’re easy to learn and extremely helpful in accomplishing routine data analysis tasks. Python is a broader, more high-level language, while R is specifically designed for statistical analysis and data visualization.
  • Microsoft Power BI: A leader in the field, Power BI is a user-friendly business intelligence tool that allows you to create reports, dashboards and interactive visualizations with a simple-to-learn interface.

Being a data analyst is a challenging and exciting way to enter the tech industry as you build your developer skills. Many of these skills apply to learning to code as well.

How Working as a Data Analyst Makes You a Better Developer

The skills you’ve learned while becoming a developer will prove very helpful for working as a data analyst.

In your new role, you’ll gain valuable insights into one of the key aspects of software, data collection. This will help you improve the software you create by gathering and making meaning out of data. This background will help you make better design decisions as a developer.

Analyzing data sets also challenges your math skills, keeping them fresh and ready to apply in the future programs you create.

Characteristics of a Data Analyst

Data analysis is a good position if you have a passion for math and enjoy solving problems. Critical thinking and a detail-oriented nature will also give you an edge. Proficiency in any coding language is also an important skill to have.

2. IT Technician

Working as an IT technician or IT support specialist is a wonderful way to start your career in tech, providing experience and networking that will prove helpful in your future career.

An IT technician manages hardware and software installation, supports users and fixes problems. You’ll get to know many people in the organization — and you’ll be the friendly face who helps them when they’re struggling with their hardware or software.

Tools Used by IT Technicians

  • Ticketing Software: Help desk ticketing software keeps track of issues as they arise. Some common examples include Help Scout and Zoho Desk.
  • Remote Support Software: An IT technician commonly uses remote access software such as TeamViewer to provide support to remote employees or when away from the office.
  • General Networking Tools: Often, an IT technician will need to troubleshoot the network. This requires tools such as Speedtest and a Telnet client like Putty. There are also handy open source apps like Angry IP Scanner.
  • Virus Scan Software: A myriad of virus-scanning software exists to help keep the network safe. A common example is Avast.
  • Desktop Imaging Software: Desktop imaging software helps IT technicians by letting them quickly deploy a base image of a machine to multiple computers. Some of these packages include the capability to install software through the network and control security. An increasingly popular example is Endpoint Central.
  • Physical Tools: As an IT technician, you’ll find you get to carry all sorts of fun tools, from cable strippers and voltage testers to screwdrivers. Don’t forget your Leatherman!

How Working as an IT Technician Makes You a Better Developer

Landing a job as an IT technician is a great step in your tech career. You’ll be able to practice your developer skills by writing scripts and challenging your problem-solving skills in new ways.

This is a wonderful position to build your network because you’ll be helping many people organization-wide with their issues. You’ll learn to build better software and provide a better end-user experience because you’ll understand the day-to-day problems that users encounter.

You’ll also have the opportunity to build your soft skills, giving you an edge in that future job interview to be a developer.

If you like working with your hands, consider becoming an IT technician. Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash.

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