Are These the Hands of a Code Geek?

YOU: Come on, you’re joking, right?

ME: No! Seriously–I wouldn’t kid you. This guy is a Javascript genius, zeroes and ones run in his veins.

YOU: Look, it’s obvious he’s a blue collar wrench-twister, I wouldn’t let him anywhere near my nice, clean keyboard.

ME: Wow. That’s sounds elitist to me, dude.

The truth?

You’re looking at the hands of a genuine code geek, the kind of code geek who sports a hipster beard, drinks craft brew and happens to find great joy and relaxation in his garage workshop, wrenching on his classic 70s Triumph motorcycle. In fact, the wrench-twisting is quite complementary to the mental gymnastics required to write software code, as fixing engines and such involves logic, procedure and precision. Same as code.

The Information Age may be 20+ years old, but it continues to disrupt industries — and our lives as working folk — in ways that we scarcely could have imagined in the early days of the internet when the number of websites in the world numbered in the thousands, not the hundreds of millions like today.

So, do you need to go back to school for another four, or six years to get a bachelors or a masters degree in computer science?

The answer is NO. There’s a better way!

Welcome to the world of the “blue collar code geek.”

A piece by Clive Thompson (link) in the December 2016 issue of Wired magazine makes the case that you don’t have to become the next internet startup that goes public for billions of dollars in order to enjoy what used to be known as a “comfortable middle class lifestyle.”

Across the country, writes Thompson, people like Rusty Justice — who co-founded the Kentucky group Bit Source (link) — are re-training coal miners to become programmers. In Tennessee, the non-profit CodeTN (link) is doing the same, helping local companies find coders who can keep a log-in page or a simple database and mailing list tweaked and running smoothly.

So, getting your “hands dirty” has a double meaning. And the lesson is that old dogs can indeed learn new tricks. Remember, when the horse and buggy gave way to the “horseless carriage,” aka the automobile, jobs for bridles and tack disappeared as those for tool and die makers surged.

It’s the same today, and it needn’t be scary. You’ve just got to get a mental “tune up” to compete. Coding isn’t going away, it’s expanding. Get ahead of the curve rather than lurk behind it. And you can still get greasy with hardware on the weekends.

Nobody cares (link) if you allow yourself to become obsolete — except you! Get on with it. (link) is the definitive self-help book that is designed to protect you from all the evils of the world while showing you how to profit and thrive with mental and action tools that are good for a lifetime. At once a slap in the face and a hopeful how-to guide to the business of life and life beyond business, you’ll find yourself turning to Nobody Cares again and again whenever life kicks you in the ribs. Also available on Amazon (link) and coming soon as an audiobook.

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