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6 Surprising Celebrities Who Know How To Code & Why You Should Too

General Assembly
November 19, 2022

Are you thinking about a career in tech? If so, consider learning how to code. With the mass adoption of the digital era across all industries, businesses big and small are on the lookout for tech-savvy talent. 

According to Forrester’s recent report, the global tech market will experience robust 6% growth in 2023 (significantly faster than pre-pandemic levels). With the tech industry thriving and companies hiring, consider learning in-demand hard skills like coding. 

Coding is the building block of the digital world. It’s the set of instructions designed to make computers perform tasks. Although it may seem daunting initially, coding is much easier to learn than you might think. When learning to code, you have the option to learn many different languages like HTML, JavaScript, Ruby, Python, C++, SQL and many more. After all, celebrities like the ones we’ve listed below have all learned how to code without a dedicated tech career background. 

6 celebrities who know how to code and what they’re up to with their tech knowledge

  1. Lyndsey Scott 

Lyndsey is an Actress/model/coder superwoman promoting diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. Lyndsey is the first Black woman to model for @calvinklein exclusive and a former @victoriassecret supermodel.

Lyndsey has a degree in computer science from Amherst College. She first found her love for programming when she discovered and started using the TI-89 graphing calculator. Lyndsey likes to utilize her coding skills to build apps in between acting and modeling. 

In 2014, Lyndsey built an app called iPort, originally built to create professional portfolios for models, which also ended up being used by actors, writers, directors and even architects. 

In a 2019 Newsette interview, Lyndsey explained why learning code and programming basics is something everyone should try. “Understanding the inner workings of the technology others create for your business can be a huge advantage. Being able to communicate better with developers and monitor their progress can save you and your company a lot of time and money. As a developer, I’m always impressed and grateful for clients who know what they’re talking about.” 

Lyndsey continues to grow her coding career today. You can find her most recent programming and coding work and tutorials in her online portfolio. 

 

  1. Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon was a computer science major who studied C++ and other coding languages at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York. However, Jimmy decided to pursue his comedic career and dropped out of college with just 15 credits away from his computer science degree. 

Jimmy is a strong advocate for coding and programming. In 2019, Jimmy brought Karlie Kloss onto his show to talk about coding and all the work that Karlie is doing with her Kode With Klossy bootcamps. Coding and programming have stuck with Fallon. He once said, “If there’s a computer-programming sketch, I will somehow make that happen.” 

  1. Will.i.am

Given that music and coding have a similar rhythm, it is not unexpected that many of today’s musicians and record producers have a working knowledge of the software. William Adams, however, made the transition from being an interested bystander to a serious developer.

William has always had a keen interest in tech and considers programming and coding one of the most creative spaces ever. Today, William is a strong advocate for the nonprofit code.org and has served as Intel’s director of creative innovation. 

Additionally, William often visits MIT, where he stays up to date with the latest tech trends and often can be found in the school’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) lab. 

  1. Chris Bosh 

Chris had a robust science-focused education because his mother worked for Texas Instruments while he was growing up. His mom used to bring home new IT gadgets for Chris and his siblings to play around with. Chri’s dad also has a tech background working with AutoCAD to design various engineering projects for companies. 

His parents always made sure that Chris held a high standard when it came to education. He participated in the Wizkids club for computer graphics while still in school. During his senior year at school, Chris joined the Association of Minority Engineers and NSBE (the National Society of Black Engineers). 

Even though Chris never graduated college and doesn’t have a computer science or other programming-related degree, he never stopped learning to code. Basketball is definitely Chris’s passion. Teaching children computer science and coding would have been his second choice if basketball did not work out. 

To this day, Chris is a strong advocate for coding and believes everyone should learn programming. “I began to notice the world around me was spinning on an axis powered by varying patterns of 1s and 0s. We’d be fools to ignore the power of mastering the designing and coding of those patterns.” 

  1. Ashton Kutcher 

In addition to his cinematic performances, Ashton is a great tech aficionado and venture capitalist. In his twenties, Ashton studied biochemical engineering at the University of Iowa. Although Ashton never finished his degree and dropped out to pursue his acting career, the tech and coding skills he learned seem to have had an impact on him throughout his life. 

Ashton is a strong advocate of the tech community. He has backed Code.org and Hour of Code. Both initiatives aim to help children learn to code and challenge teachers all over the U.S. to dedicate one hour of class time to educate students about programming. In addition, Ashton has always had a passion for tech. He’s an early investor in companies like Uber and Airbnb. 

  1. Serena Williams 

Considered one of the greatest Tennis players of all time. She’s not only an athlete and mom but a learner of code. Williams stated in an interview with InStyle that she had “always been tech-savvy.”

One of the main reasons Serena believes learning how to code is an invaluable skill is because of her online business. Serena recently launched an online fashion business, and she wants to be as involved and understand the tech side as much as she does with the fashion side of the company. 

In a Teen Vogue interview, Serena said, “Coding is really important to me, especially because my fashion business is all online. It’s never too late to start.” Today, Serena is also an avid investor in several technology companies through her venture capital firm, Serena Ventures. 

Top 3 reasons why everyone should learn to code

With solid coding skills, you are diversifying your tech portfolio by learning one of the most in-demand skill sets employers are looking for. In addition, with coding skills, you are differentiating yourself from the crowd. As a result, you can apply to some of the hottest jobs in tech right now, such as software engineering, data analysis, data science, web development, and UI/UX design.

According to Hired, coding careers like software engineers have received twice the average amount of interview requests in 2022 than in 2021. Apart from great job prospects, here are the top three reasons why you should learn to code. 

  1. It can lead to one of the highest-paying jobs right now

Coding is one of those skills that can help you earn top dollar. The U.S. continues to offer the most competitive salaries on average, with Canada and the UK slowly catching up. Here are the average salaries offered in the U.S. and UK for tech careers utilizing coding skills, according to Glassdoor. 

  • Software engineer
    USA: $114,000 – $170,000/annum
    UK: £49,000 – £80,000/annum
    Canada: CA$90,000 – CA$133,000/annum
  • Data scientist 
    USA: $105,000 – $183,000/annum
    UK: £50,000 – £79,000/annum
    Canada: CA$75,000 – CA$116,000/annum
  • Data analyst
    USA: $72,000 – $111,000/annum
    UK: £35,000 – £53,000/annum
    Canada: CA$65,000 – CA$92,000/annum
  • Web developer
    USA: $74,000 – $116,000/annum
    UK: £23,000 – £56,000/annum
    Canada: CA$64,000 – CA$93,000/annum
  • UI (user interface) designer
    USA: $104,000 – $168,000/annum
    UK: £52,000 – £77,000/annum
    Canada: CA$81,000 – CA$118,000/annum
  • UX (user experience) designer
    USA: $110,000 – $151,000/annum
    UK: £53,000 – £69,000/annum
    Canada: CA$81,000 – CA$118,000/annum

2. It can improve your problem-solving and critical-thinking skills

Coding is a skill set that conditions your mind to treat problems in a methodical way — taking on one challenge at a time and applying your critical thinking skills to solve the issue. Coding helps you to build a mindset of patience, trial and error to arrive at the best solution. 

Problem-solving and critical thinking skills are also in-demand soft skills you can bring forward in other tech careers. People who code learn to break down significant challenges into more minor obstacles to achieve the end goal efficiently and accurately. As you can see, learning how to code has an overarching positive impact on your tech career. It’s a skill that will undeniably benefit your personal and professional life. 

3. More and more tech careers require coding skills

Whether it’s a beginner or intermediate understanding of coding, more and more tech careers look for this skill on resumes. If you are thinking of switching to a career in tech, consider taking a coding bootcamp. There you can learn the in-demand skills behind coding. 

Across tech, we’re starting to see companies look for basic coding skills for jobs like Technical Content Writers, Graphic Designers, Business Analysts, and Product Managers. If you’re working at a tech company, especially a start-up, cross-functional projects often require that all members have basic programming language knowledge in HTML, JavaScript, Ruby, Python etc. 

How long does it take to learn a coding language?

Most coders agree that, on average, it can take anywhere from three to six months to become comfortable with the fundamentals of coding. However, it really depends on how fast you pick up this skill. 

How long it takes you to learn also depends on the programming language you start with. The easiest programming languages are JavaScript and Python. Programming languages like C and C++ are much more complicated. 

Coding bootcamps are one of the better ways to pick up coding within a space of three to four months. These types of online and offline courses are action orientated to make sure when you graduate, you are job ready. 

Bootcamps and are environments where you will be learning with your class cohorts and taking on group projects so that you can learn from each other. Your mentors are experienced coders who can teach you actionable tips and tricks to pick up coding faster. 

How to get started in learning how to code

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a career changer breaking into tech, coding can be an invaluable and empowering skill. However, getting started is probably the hardest part when it comes to picking up a programming language. 

One of the easiest ways to get into coding is to build something fun that you really want to make and use. Why not attend some of our free upcoming workshops and classes to pick up fundamental coding skills, network with people in tech, and find the coding course you will love.

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