Learning to code can be a daunting task at any age but entering a Coding Bootcamp where the average age range of the students is 18-25 can make an aspiring web developer who is older feel out of place. I attended a Coding Bootcamp at the age of 31, and while I am still technically considered a millennial (And I am super young at heart), even I have felt like there is a bias in tech/startup culture that leans towards a younger crowd. In 2016 the organizers of a hackathon threatened to disqualify our team after 24+ hours of coding for being “too old to compete” even though the only age requirements at the event were that the participants be 18+.
Although you may face some challenges as an adult coder, learning to code can be one of the most rewarding things you can do as a human being, and there is no reason to let societies biases stop you from following your dreams. In this article, we are going to talk about how you can overcome any potential bias and how you probably have a lot more advantages than you think.
Let your work speak for itself
The beautiful thing about tech is that it is a show and prove industry. You don’t need a license to pimp out your portfolio or create an epic Chrome extension. Showcase your skills by creating a collection of side projects and demo applications. This is how your creativity can set you apart from the pack, regardless of your age. Let your website/portfolio show your personality and your projects on GitHub; showcase your creativity and problem-solving skills.
Don’t wear a suit
Listen, I get it. You want to take your career seriously. But if you walk into an interview wearing a full three-piece suit & meanwhile the person interviewing you is wearing a t-shirt, it is going to get a little bit awkward. I am not saying you have to wear a t-shirt. Do your research and ask the interviewer beforehand what the dress code is when setting up the appointment for an in-person interview.
Leveraging Industry Knowledge
This is a big one. If you have been an investment banker or accountant for the last 20 years and you are just starting a new career in tech at age 45, you might feel as though you have no relevant work experience, but you couldn’t be more wrong.
Today, every company is becoming a tech company in some way shape or form. (And the ones who don’t evolve are going extinct.) Now more than ever, software developers are in high demand at a wide range of organizations, not only Silicon Valley startups.
If you are coming from a career in another field, consider applying to the tech department in that industry or disrupt that industry in a tech startup that focuses on that vertical. Your domain expertise is super valuable and relevant at this point. At a FinTech startup, the fact that you have 20 years experience in finance AND you know how to code is a HUGE asset that can set you apart from your younger less experienced counterparts.
Another advantage to having a wealth of previous job experience is the ability to work with and manage a team of people. If you ever held any managerial role in another industry, I would highly recommend taking a course on SCRUM and learning the fundamental principles of running an Agile Software development team. Your people skills and seniority can be a benefit to an organization looking for a tech team lead where you are skilled at coding but also at managing the timeline and product backlog of a project.
Depending on where you want to apply, there can be varying amounts of age bias. The fact is that Millennials and Gen Z make up for close to 50% of the tech workforce and when you look specifically at Silicon Valley tech startups, that number is even higher. At some companies, the bias might be worse than others, and a lot of it is subliminal and subconscious.
Ageism in the Tech Industry is a real thing, but hopefully, this article provided you with some insights into overcoming age bias and even using your seniority to your advantage.
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.
A Better Instagram Content Strategy Will Ensure More Traffic To Your Site
It is only a carefully designed Instagram content strategy that will help you to grow your business fat and tremendously. Therefore, when you make your plan for marketing your product and brand, focus more on content creation.
Improving your organic Instagram content will include three specific aspects such as:
- Creating and
- Optimizing Instagram content for your business.
To start with, you will need to establish a content theme. This should align with your business goals, your brand objective as well as your Instagram profile. This needs careful planning to give your content that distinctive look and feel of your business profile.
You will need to put income thought and effort while creating a theme for your Instagram content such as:
- The type of content that will be in relevance to your product and the message you want to convey through your post
- The colors to use so that you can make your content more attractive and give it a unique individuality
- The filters to apply to your photos so that it can be made more useful and appealing to the users.
This will impress your followers for Instagram a great deal and you will be able to morph your Instagram grid into an interconnecting and far better collection of photos and videos.
Creating a perfect Instagram content strategy
Next up, you will need to follow the specific steps that will help you to create a perfect Instagram content strategy. It is only a strategically designed content strategy that will ensure that your Instagram account generate more leads, traffic, conversion, and sales and not just bring in a few likes.
In order to create a winning Instagram content plan for your business Instagram account is however not a tedious or a painful process. All you have to do is make sure that you use a handy planning tool for creating an Instagram content plan. These tools are very effective and useful for:
- Designing and uploading your photos and videos
- Editing them to perfection
- Drafting suitable captions
- Scheduling your posts
- Including useful and trustworthy stories
- Researching for the most popular and relevant hashtags as well as
- Reviewing different analytics to know the performance of your posts.
Also, know about the lifestyle that you wish to sell through your grid and clarify it to your followers before you even dive deep into the planning process of your content on Instagram. The golden rule to follow here is to believe that your audience will not buy what you sell. Instead they will buy who they can become when they use your product.
Determining your audience and objectives
In order to create a winning Instagram content marketing strategy that will kick start your business there are two specific things that you should focus on the right at the outset.
First, you will need to identify and understand your audience that you want to reach out to on the social media platforms. Remember there are nearly 4 billion users across all social media networks and Instagram along with accounts to a quarter of it. therefore, this is not an easy task. For this, you will need to know for sure whether or not your audience you are trying to reach is really using the app. You will also need to know:
- The target demographic such as their age, gender, interests, location, and even diets to cater your content fittingly
- Determine their other behavior like the kind of hashtags they use, social sites they hang out at, other brands that they are interested in and the brands they follow on Instagram.
Therefore, thorough audience research is a must to focus better on your Instagram marketing strategy.
Secondly, you must determine your business as well as marketing objectives so that you can align it with the demands and needs of your target audience. Know what you want to achieve and keep it reasonable and tangible. Know the metrics and KPIs to track your Instagram performance to avoid wasting time, efforts and resources.
Establishing the strategy
Once you have your Instagram content strategy in place you must define and establish it properly as well. this will ensure that you achieve your goals and it serves your purpose as well on the platform.
This may seem too easy to you and a no-brainer but you will need to know the answers as to what exactly you want to do on this platform in the first place. Therefore, know whether you are interested in:
- Simply generating more leads or
- Building a larger and more engaged community or
- Creating better and more impactful brand awareness.
Set your social media goals appropriately so that you can determine the amount of time that you need to spend on this platform. In fact, the return on your investment on Instagram will largely depend on the goals that you set.
Improve the strategy
Now that you have created and established your Instagram marketing strategy, you will need to track its performance on a regular basis so that you make necessary adjustments to improve its performance. In order to get a clue of what an improved performance means, you will be better off if you follow a few of your favorite brands and even your competitors.
- When you know what the followers are doing, you will not only be able to increase your following but will also help you to establish your brand in a more authoritative manner.
- When you have a lot of followers it will increase the visibility of your posts and thereby increase the possibility of gaining more clicks on the link in your Instagram profile bio.
- It will increase the number of organic traffic to your site.
Last but not least, if you integrate email with your Instagram marketing strategy you will be able to send more compelling content that will also increase the number of traffic and chances of conversion and sales. In addition to that, you can promote your profile on other social media channels as well as having an Instagram badge on your site helping you to reach your email subscribers more easily.
6 ways to Boost App Engagement and Retaining users in 2019
High download rates, five-star ratings in the play store and increased flow in the capital are every developer’s dream. But they conspicuously miss the all-important aspect of client retention and creating loyal customers out of them. The real catch is not getting new users but retaining them.
Protecting the integrity and security of an app is also equally important thus necessitating the use of the code signing certificate. According to Google this is the process of digitally signing executable scripts to confirm the software author and guarantee the code was not altered and corrupted since it was signed.It uses a cryptographic hash to validate.
In simpler terms, it simply encrypts a code behind the app, so the developer is not defrauded by hackers and fraudsters.
Statistics show that 85% of the market share comprises of Android phones. The play store has a total of 3 million applications, soAndroid developers must have the code signing certificate. Once encrypted, a code signing certificate transforms code into an undecipherable format thus protecting the intellectual property of the developer. Hackers and fraudsters cannot reach the code as the app is fortified from any alterations.
Some benefits of the code signing certificate include:
- Increased revenue- once you have the trust of the clients, more clients tend to Join the application this translating into increased revenue flow.
- Enhanced reputation- digital signatures like the code signing certificate help improve the trust between the client and developer.
- The app is featured in Google play store. – Google doesn’t accept apps that don’t contain a valid code signing certificate. Once featured on the play store, the revenue streams automatically increase.
Also, there’s a business side to marketing an app. Not just getting a code signing certificate but having a solid marketing strategy. Here are some strategies:
Use push notifications.
If used the right way, this feature is a secret ingredient to business growth. Statistics show that push notifications can indeed boost your client retention rate from a whooping56-180%. However, there’s a catch. Getting customers to accept receiving the push notifications. But once that is done there’s an 85% chance that clients will engage the app more according to statistics.
These play some crucial roles like:
- Competing for some valuable real estate in a user’s device- they remind the user they downloaded the app.
- Encourage usage- sending messages founded on behavioral data and preference
- Offers and incentivizing programs
Incentives and offers are a great way to increase an application’s viability in the 2019 market. For instance, offering a one-month free trial period will pull in many users that hopefully pull in more of their friends if satisfied with the service provision. Here are some more incentives you could offer
- Specialized content access
- Special promotions
However, how you incentivize is solely dependent on the apps nature. Take for instance freemium apps can incentivize by giving away free rewards and on the other hand apps that have in-app purchases can reap from time-sensitive discounts
- Easy on boarding
First impressions are imperative in ascertaining an unforgettable customer experience. Easy onboarding is about the startup of the app where the developer seeks to capture the user details. This should be undertaken with utmost precaution because too many steps to sign up and many information fields can indeed prove harmful to the success of an app.
To dodge this, here are some steps to create a seamless onboarding process.
- Offer users will get a simple guide on how to use the app as compared to overloading them with information.
- The guide should be taught through actions.
- Simplify the logins and logouts as much as possible.
- Create a high-quality application.
Don’t just look for the cheapest programmers in the market that will deliver poor application software. It is paramount to ensure the quality of an app so it’s user-friendly and appealing to the eyes. Simply embedding cool features into the app won’t quite cut it, create an app that is appealing to your target audience.
After creating the app, kindly debug it to eliminate any hitch that may pop up. After debugging test it among several people just to receive feedback from which you can source some improvements before launching it.
If you skip these steps, the user may experience crashing of the app, lags and a long time loading of the content. All your metrics will be affected. To create a high-quality application.
- Offer social logins.
In the 21st century, every person has a social side. Social media has taken the millennials like a storm and is not slowing down any time soon. So creating a link to Facebook or twitter connect will go a long way to providing the customer with a social aspect of the application. However, if you don’t enforce a safe and secure connection this can easily turn futile.
Also, ensuring easy login to these social media platforms is also essential but again the security side cannot be overemphasized. Ensure you have at least two social media platforms on your application.
- Keep the excitement going.
You may have a very cool application, but customers can get bored and neglect the app. Change is the only thing that is constant. With this in mind, organize contests in the application, challenges and keep bringing new themes to your application. In 2019 dark themes are especially popular among millennials. If the excitement is ever on then the client is always looking forward to new changes and offers. These, in turn, translating customer retention and satisfaction.
Also, in the play or app store, you could list the benefits of your application, customer comments, and ratings. These provide the client with a sneak preview of what they are installing and what to expect from the app. Customer satisfaction should be at the core of the application and not monetary gain.
Lastly, most developers should actually think like marketers. There’s a business side to applications as making money is indeed the overall objective, this should however not overshadow the customer who is at the core of this objective. The customer needs do indeed come first.
If the above strategies are followed, you will see increased customer engagement and increased retention in clients. Try it out.
WHY #PAY TAMPA BAY
Florida is home to the third-largest cluster of insurance and banking companies in the U.S., making it an ideal location to launch and support a fintech venture.
On my recent trip to Las Vegas for the Money 20/20 event, I received a lot of questions about #PAY TAMPA BAY. I’m writing this blog to share my vision for this unique event.
First and foremost our technology corridor is experiencing tremendous growth with startup incubators and accelerators in all three major cities, Tampa, St. Pete and Clearwater. Huge investments from business leaders and local government cooperation is expediting growth.
Tampa Bay Lightning Owner, Jeff Vinik is collaborating with Bill Gate’s Cascade Partners to revitalize the downtown business district with a new innovation hub as a keystone in the project.
Strategic Property Partner’s $3 Billion dollar Water Street Project will catalyze the city and it’s technology oriented growth for 2020 and beyond. Water Street Project Website
As a native of Tampa Bay this is exciting news to me and it provided an opportunity to showcase this growth to the financial services industry. We want to attract attention and investment to the area to aid in growth and prosperity.
Embarc Collective is a 33,000 square foot, $12 million dollar, state-of-the-art innovation hub opening in 2020. #PAY TAMPA BAY is the first official event following the grand opening. The hub will have private workspaces, a public cafe, outdoor lounge and lending library.
“We’ve created an urban porch for this historic, brick warehouse,” Jan Barna, president of Kreher/Barna Design Studio, said in a release. “And designed an interior that reflects a microcosm of our urban environment.”
To make the massive space a little more close-knit, it will be split up to “mini-neighborhoods” which are intended to have the tenants create close connections with their neighbors.
“You have different companies in private offices that have a small shared area, so it’s a community inside of a community,” she said. “These companies get to know each other, cheer each other on, but in a much smaller community.”
As important as this infrastructure is, it’s the people and their passion that make the difference. We have found that Tampa Bay is full of passionate leaders that are highly involved in fintech.
Two of those people are Rosa Shores and Gabe Higgins, Founders of BlockSpaces. We have partnered with this blockchain innovation studio that is focused on creating value-added solutions to organizations looking to leverage emerging technology to organize and present this upcoming event at this brand new, downtown innovation hub.
There is a number of other local passionate leaders in the fintech realm here in “the other Bay Area”. Numerous financial services giants are opening their doors in the corridor to leverage our burgeoning fintech industry and perks of a warmer climate.
Today, Florida is home to the third-largest cluster of insurance and banking companies in the U.S., making it an ideal location to launch and support a fintech venture. We’re reaching out to the fintech industry in many different ways to attract attention and investment to the area.
Recently a cohort representing St. Pete’s financial services leaders joined the Greater St. Petersburg Area EDC in Times Square on October 25 during the Finovate Fall event to talk to New York-based companies about the business opportunity in the Sunshine City.
Greater St. Pete EDC President, J.P. Dubuque was joined by Intrinio, Presence, Raymond James, Dynasty Financial Partners, and the City of St. Petersburg, who shared their Florida Fintech story with the Finovate Fall delegates and members of the media.
“St. Pete is young and vibrant, it’s a happening place. It’s one of the most up-and-coming cities in the Southeast”
Shirl Penny, President & CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners.
“Financial services companies don’t need to be in New York, they can be in St. Pete, thrive, succeed and be much happier” said St. Pete EDC President.
“I think we need to pump our chest out and be proud of who and what we are, and even more so about what we’re becoming” said Tash Elwyn, President and CEO of Raymond James, Private Clients Group.
“We need to continue to do more of this, we need to tell the story, work together and we need to make sure everybody knows how special St. Pete is”.
I personally find a great challenge in this and am joining the ranks of those already working to attract attention and investment to the area. I have committed my company to organizing this event with the intention of helping to build progress, talent density and take part in the growth and transformation of this thriving technology corridor.
#PAY TAMPA BAY has opportunities for speakers, sponsors and supporters. We want to challenge companies in the financial services space to get involved and participate in this special one day event designed to bring fintech leaders to the Tampa Bay area.
If you want to support innovation and gain insight to what Tampa Bay has to offer please contact us. We’re happy to discuss your organization’s participation in this unique and inspiring event.
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