By now, most of you may have already seen the following video titled “What most schools don’t teach you.” If you haven’t, I ask you to take the 6 minutes out of your life to watch it.
During the video, you will see direct comments from Bill Gates (Microsoft), Jack Dorsey (Twitter), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Drew Houston (Dropbox), Tony Hsieh (Zappos), Elena Silenok (Clothia), Gabe Newell (Valve) among many others. They describe how and when they first began to program.
What most schools don’t teach you
Their mission is simple – to encourage you to embrace your inner developer. The video ends with the following:
1 million of the best jobs in America may go unfilled… because only 1 in 10 schools teach students how to code
The beauty of this story is that you don’t need to be college educated, live in an affluent neighborhood, or feel that you are too old and may have missed your opportunity. Today, thanks to many great people and the power of the internet, there are many resources that are freely available for you (I will provide quite a few at the end of this post).
One of my favorites stories comes from my home state of Kentucky. There are many places in Kentucky that are extremely impoverished and were hit drastically with the on-going recession. I am thankful for a company that looks for ways to extend our passion and technology to assist those that may not have an opportunity to shine. Watch Jeremy’s story to see how one vision can change a person, a town.
I will be the first to admit that I’m not a developer. But, I try and spend a few hours every week to tinker and learn new languages and new patterns. I find the developers around the world have the greatest gift because their potential is truly unlimited. Being able to think of an idea and code it into a working program is just inspirational.
I try to encourage all of the youth that I encounter to take up programming.
Develop for Windows 8
With the introduction of Windows 8, this is a perfect opportunity to embrace the new platform and begin to develop applications for the new Windows Store. You may ask – why not start with iOS or Android development. You could. But, I would encourage you to look at the totality of the Microsoft ecosystem.
It is estimated that Windows 7 and Windows XP account for nearly 83.5% of the global desktop operating system market share. This means that 44.5% of the PCs/Laptops are capable of running Windows 8 and 38.9% of the desktops (ones that are running Windows XP) have less than 13 months to upgrade or they are subjected to not receive any more security updates from Microsoft. The logical choice for those that have Windows XP machines is to purchase a new Windows 8 device (Desktops, Laptops, or Tablets).
Tami Reller, Windows Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer, shared with the public in early January that Windows 8 has sold 60 million licenses to date (as of January 8, 2013).
Since the Windows Store is just beginning (October 2012), you can develop and submit an application early in the evolution of the Windows Store and will have a greater opportunity for your application to be seen (and purchased). With the Apple store (and possibly Google’s store), it is possible that your application will get lost in the complexity. There is an Apple Insider’s article that details 2/3rds of Apple’s iOS App Store is populated by “zombie” apps – meaning, 2/3rds of these apps never get purchased, downloaded, or installed.
Don’t just listen to me. There is a great success story on this already. Kevin Ashley (a Microsoft architect and technical evangelist) has written about his own experiences with his applications in the Windows Store – Making $30,000 a month on Windows 8 Apps.
In summary, I encourage you to consider developing an application. If you have children in the middle school or high school, maybe they will be inspired by these stories… stories that can be life changing.
Until later, take a look at these resources available for you.
Tips on getting started
FREE Development Environment – Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8
C# Fundamentals: Development for Absolute Beginners
Windows Store Apps for Absolute Beginners with C#
HTML5 and CSS3 Fundamentals: Development for Absolute Beginners
Building Apps for Windows Phone 8 Jump Start: Introducing Windows Phone 8 Development