Every month, Udacity and Google host Intro to Programming workshops in Germany. Every month, we learn something new about what motivates people to learn.
Since September, Udacity has worked with Google’s Zukunftswerkstatt to offer free Intro to Programming workshops across Germany. This month, we welcomed a new group of dedicated learners to workshops in Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich.
Of the 85 total participants, 73 are working professionals. The remaining 12 are university students. I was curious to learn more about commonalities and differences between the different participants, and eager to understand what motivates them to pursue new learning opportunities like this one. Here’s what I learned.
“What fascinates me most is how much I created in such a short amount of time,” says Annelie, a business student who came to the workshop with VBA in Excel. “I now want to learn HTML to expand my knowledge portfolio,” she explains. When she graduates from HTW, Berlin’s University of Applied Sciences, Annelie plans on becoming a strategic consultant for digital transformation.
Angela, originally from Colombia, moved to Germany to study for her Masters of Public Policy. “Through the years I’ve always been really curious about making things with computers,” says Angela. “But with my background in social sciences I had absolutely no clue.” By the end of the workshop, her mindset was already shifting. “The way HTML was taught today was amazing: I now feel that I’m able to program and that there’s no need to be afraid of computers! I’m definitely motivated to continue learning and to do more.”
Sophia, originally from Hamburg, studies marketing and is also gaining practical experience as an intern at a Marketing agency in Berlin. She attended the workshop in hopes of understanding what it takes to build a website. “I now know the basics of HTML and understand that every feature on a website requires input from a programmer.” Knowing this will definitely help me in my marketing career!”
Each of these workshop participants is pursuing their own unique career goal, but together they share an understanding of the role technical knowledge can play in their advancement. As they embark on their career journeys, these learners take with them newfound skills that will enable them to pursue their goals with confidence. None of them plan to be programmers, but each knows how critical it is to count foundational coding skills as part of one’s skillset. Career success in the modern economy virtually requires it, and these learners have given themselves a significant advantage.
This article is part of a series that will highlight monthly lessons learned at Udacity’s in-person coding workshops in Germany.