January 6th, 2012
03:39 AM GMT
New York (CNN) – Wished you had paid a little more attention in computer class? Learned to do more than just surf Facebook? You are not alone.
While companies and governments have been shedding jobs and paring back benefits, tech job openings continue to soar. According to Fortune magazine, software developers who specialize in applications will rise by over 30% by 2018. Jobs for computer system analysts will jump 20%.
And the pay is good – average salaries are around $94,000 a year.
Zach Sims thinks he has the answer. Or at least some much needed help. Anxious to upgrade his own considerable computer skills, the 21-year-old Connecticut native teamed up with a Columbia University friend Ryan Bubinski and started Codecademy, a free website which teaches the basics of writing computer code.
In the first four days of 2012 alone, the site has signed up more than 130,000 new users.
"I think we knew that programming was going to be the new version of literacy but at the same time it's pretty staggering to see the number of people who have signed up," said Sims.
You need to have Google Chrome or Firefox to access the site, but once you are on it, it is completely free and extremely easy to navigate. The site is designed so that people with no experience in coding can use it, but it is also easy enough to jump ahead if you have some background and just want to improve on your skills.
Sims makes no bones about the fact that this site isn't going to suddenly make you a computer expert or guarantee you a job. But it can help you gain the knowledge to build a website to support your small business.
Codecamy has only been up and running since August, but Sims said he is committed to keeping the site free to users and wants to avoid turning to advertising to raise revenue. Instead, he hopes to a team up with corporations who may want to use the site to recruit.
As you can see from the piece we shot, my first attempt was a little rocky, but I am going to try and do the course. It may not get me my next promotion, but I hope it will help me better understand the gadgets which have become indispensible to me.
Are you interested in trying it? Let me know what you think.
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