6 paths to a career in coding for rideshare and delivery drivers

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Rideshare and delivery driving is a great way to make a living, but it has its disadvantages. Many drivers aren’t completely satisfied with the work, the pay… or the volatility. Are you one of them?  

Maybe you’re between jobs right now. Maybe you’ve been driving for a long time, and wish you could do something more. Or, maybe you’ve simply concluded, with the COVID-19 shutdowns, that driving just isn’t going to generate the amount of money you need.

For a variety of reasons, many drivers could feel motivated to seek out a different way to make a living. In this blog post we’ll look at what that might be, and we will share with you how you could change your life for the better. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Why making a career change can be easier for drivers
  • Why coding is a great option for rideshare and delivery drivers
  • Six paths to a career in coding
  • Can you learn coding for free?
  • The “Springboard” to success

Why making a career change can be easier for drivers

When you’re fed up with driving, it can be hard to see what’s good about it. 

You work hard, but you don’t get benefits from your employers. And just when you think you’re getting ahead, a pandemic sweeps through and pulls your business out from under you. 

But when adversity strikes—and it has certainly smacked us upside the head in 2020—we need to look at the advantages we have, and leverage them to make our lives better. So let’s look at why, when you want to do something new, being a driver is an advantage.

The biggest plus for drivers is that you make your own schedule. 

You’re not tied to a desk, a showroom floor, or any other work environment for a set number of hours. You can take time out of your day to get the training you need to prepare for a new and more rewarding career. And, while you’re getting your training, you can continue to earn money with your driving gig.

Also, as a driver you’re certainly no stranger to smartphones and apps. You know how to multitask and use your resourcefulness and ambition to put your skills to work.

Why coding is a great option for rideshare and delivery drivers

You use apps all the time. Have you ever wished you could make the apps you use for driving more efficient and easier to deal with? And if your answer is yes, maybe you’ve wondered how you could get a job that lets you do that. 

If the idea of making apps work better appeals to you, getting into coding could be the best career decision you could make. When you do, you’ll enter a field that’s in incredibly high demand, especially now.

With all the changes that have resulted from the pandemic, none is more obvious than the increased reliance on communication and commerce via apps and websites. Those apps and websites need clever people, like you, to design them and make them work.

Now that everything from grocery shopping to school to work interactions are too risky to be done in person, the need for new ways to conduct business online and/or via the smartphone has become more urgent.

Companies have been scrambling to find enough capable people who can get their systems and services moved to a format that allows business to be conducted online. Many companies advertise widely in a search for coders to fill this urgent need.

Let’s dig a little deeper and explore what coding is. 

What it means to “code”

In general, coding involves communicating with the working parts of electronic devices in a language they can understand. Coding uses an intermediate language to send complex instructions to the gadgets we use, from desktops to laptops to smartphones to smart homes.

Why is this necessary? Because computers only understand instructions in binary code: “on or off,” or “0 or 1.” As digital literacy/coding expert Chris Castiglione explains:

“Think about writing code like this. You don’t speak binary, and the machine can’t come close to understanding human languages. So, for you to tell the computer what to do, you need to design a translator that can act as an intermediary. This is the purpose of code.”

The computer programmers who work with devices at that level write instructions in machine language, also called machine code. They typically need extremely detailed training. And while they are also in high demand, their jobs require lengthy and expensive education.

Fortunately, there are coding jobs that don’t require as much training. It’s not as difficult to learn the intermediate languages that translate instructions into machine code, which makes it possible for those with the willingness to learn to become coders. 

Writing code that can be used to design websites and apps is fairly straightforward. And as a driver, you’ve probably developed some ideas that would make working with an app or website a more pleasant experience for the people who use them. That’s a highly marketable skill, and there are many jobs for people who have it.

6 paths to a career in coding

Because coders are in high demand, and will likely continue to be for some time, any training you get will be a great investment. Also, working as a coder is almost as flexible as driving. 

There are many full-time job opportunities, but if you want to work part-time, or even as an independent contractor, you’ll have that option. It’s also possible to score lucrative work-from-home gigs.

There are numerous types of jobs available to coders; here are six that we thought were especially interesting:

  • Website developer: creates websites, front end or back end
  • App developer: creates apps
  • Product manager: leads a team of system developers
  • Database developer: organizes and designs data retrieval systems
  • Data analyst: designs programs for displaying data used in business
  • Data scientist: develops models for data analysis

A career based on coding opens doors that can lead to success, job satisfaction, and much more money than you could make driving rideshare or delivery. The typical starting salaries for these jobs range from $45,000-$115,000 per year.

Can you learn coding for free?

If you do some web surfing, you’ll find many options for learning coding for free. There are online programs and tutorials that take you through basic design projects, step by step. Some of these include Codewars, Code Academy, Udemy, Coursera, and Code.org

Some of these organizations give you the opportunity to develop live projects. For example, you might develop a website for a nonprofit organization. This is good practice, to be sure, but there are some drawbacks to getting your coding education from free services.

One drawback is the lack of interaction with teachers who are dedicated to you and your career goals. Another is that the programs are often designed to produce only rudimentary projects, such as simple retro video games, or one-page websites. Actually, many of these projects are directed toward children in elementary school and casual hobbyists. 

Also, in many cases the courses you want to take won’t necessarily be free. The sites lure you in, and then you might find the course that teaches the language you need or want to learn will cost you a lot of money, 

In general, while these free services sound attractive, you may not gain enough skills from them for a full and prosperous career in coding.

You’d also have to be extremely self-motivated, and somewhat pre-informed before embarking on the journey of learning code from a free site. Also, there is no one to guide you toward the kind of career, and training, that best suits your needs and goals.

One aspect of the free coding programs can benefit you, however—they give you a taste of coding so you can see if you enjoy it. This website lists many of the free coding programs. You could go through them, sample some of the lessons, and decide if you’re ready to get serious about changing your life with a new career in coding.

The “Springboard” to success

If you happen to decide that coding is for you, and you’re ready to get serious about it, Springboard is your next stop. It’s a boot camp that gets students into the job force right away, so its programs are job-focused. You’ll get an overview of coding and the development field, which will help you choose the subjects you want to study, but your instructors will always be focused on jettisoning you into a new career.

Springboard offers three main paths that provide high-quality education for people who want to stand out in the coding and development field.

In the Software Engineering pathway, you’ll learn front end development fundamentals and how the web works, and you’ll become skilled in languages and techniques such as Intermediate JavaScript, DOM Manipulation, and Event Driven Programming. If you’re geared more toward the world of back-end development, Springboard’s program offers opportunities to learn Python, FLASK, and SQL. Before long, you’ll build an application using Python on the back end and JavaScript on the front end!

The Data path involves designing business-oriented programs for organizing, analyzing, and presenting data. Springboard even has offerings in AI, which allow you to enhance the way you build models for data analysis. You can also go a slightly different direction with Data Engineering. Your Springboard course will teach you how to develop systems designed to collect and extract data so that it can be packaged and presented. You’ll get involved with exciting technologies such as cloud-based design and real-time streaming.

Design puts the focus on making life easier for the people who will use websites and apps. UI design creates the necessary nuts and bolts needed for users to input and extract information, while UX design goes a step further, placing emphasis on the user’s experience of using a website or app.

There’s more, so we suggest you visit the Springboard website to get more details on their curriculum. Meanwhile, we’ll highlight some of the features of studying with Springboard that make its programs ideal for drivers who want to start a new career in coding or data engineering.

  • The program is fully online, and you study at your own pace.
  • Your course can be completed within six to nine months.
  • You get a weekly one-on-one call with a mentor, a student coach, and unlimited calls in between sessions.
  • The tuition is reasonably priced, and you don’t have to pay until you get a job in your field.
  • The program is job-focused and project-based, providing real-world experience, which is the absolute best preparation for a new career.
  • A career coach will help you target your job search and prepare you for the hiring process.
  • A network of graduates working in the field will give you easy access to top companies that are looking for people with your skills.

If you had to rub your eyes to believe what you read about the deferred tuition policy at Springboard, we don’t blame you. For most of its programs, Springboard guarantees you a job, and will not make you pay tuition unless you find a job within six months. Also, unlike other boot camp-style coding schools, Springboard doesn’t take a percentage of your salary once you begin earning.

So… if you’re fed up with the grind of trying to eke out a living with rideshare and delivery driving, spring into action! We think Springboard is a great deal, and that its programs can help drivers find reliable, high-paying jobs so we don’t have to hustle so hard anymore.

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