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What is International Programmers’ Day?

It seems like everything and everyone has their own special day now, and programmers are no exception. In 2002, the Day of the Programmer became an official holiday and the idea caught on worldwide. It is celebrated every year on the 256th day for two reasons:

  1. There are 256 different values that can be represented in an 8-bit byte, and
  2. The number 256 is the highest power of 2 that is less than 365 (the number of days in a year).

International Programmers’ Day is a day meant to celebrate all of the good that programmers do and reflect on all the positive aspects of being a developer. So let’s do that!

The Benefits of Being a Programmer

Programming is fun!

Knowing how to code is a powerful skill. Once you’ve mastered the basics, it’s easy to build a whole range of applications, from custom websites to scripts that automate boring tasks, and even games! If you have the patience to learn new tools and coding languages, then the limit is your imagination!

Hackathons are a great way to have fun coding and often are done for a good cause. At a hackathon, groups of tech workers code intensely for a short amount of time (often a weekend) to finish a project based around a cause, tool, or language. It’s a great way to meet others with similar interests and add fun side projects to your resume. 

The jobs are great

It’s no secret that programmers are in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’, job outlook for software engineers is expected to rise by 21% between 2018-2028, which is much higher than most other jobs. Not to mention the median reported salary is over $105k! 

Many of the open jobs are located in the Bay Area and have offices known for special perks, like daily catered meals, on-site gyms, massages, pet-friendly offices, and sometimes even free beer on tap!

Programming makes the world a better place

The world wouldn’t be the place it is today without programmers. Everything uses technology. From how we connect with loved ones who are far away to the way we get directions when traveling, programmers have helped to make everyday life easier. 

Technology also has positively impacted the health industry. Everything from insulin pumps to health data gathered by the CDC has helped keep people healthier and living longer. And this is just the beginning. 

How to Become a Programmer

Not a programmer? Don’t worry! Becoming one has never been easier.

These days, you don’t need a college degree to become a software developer. What companies really care about is that you know your stuff and have projects to prove it. 

To get a job as a programmer, take an online course to learn how to code and use popular tools and frameworks. Many classes even offer certifications, which are great additions to your resume. Once you’ve finished your class, don’t stop coding! The key to a job in the industry is side projects. Get together with a group of classmates or join a local hackathon and build something. Be sure to host your code somewhere like GitHub and add links to your projects on your resume. 

On this International Programmers’ Day, spend a little time learning a new skill. On Udacity, you can do it anywhere, anytime. Take a look at Udacity’s School of Programming and Development and celebrate being a programmer!

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Jennifer Shalamanov
Jennifer Shalamanov
Jennifer is a content writer at Udacity with over 10 years of content creation and marketing communications experience in the tech, e-commerce and online learning spaces. When she’s not working to inform, engage and inspire readers, she’s probably drinking too many lattes and scouring fashion blogs.