The demand for programmers is skyrocketing worldwide, as industry reports reveal that an estimated one million unfulfilled coding jobs will flood the United States market alone by next year. This presents a world of opportunity not just for IT graduates and in-house software developers, but also for freelancers and part-timers making the most of the gig economy. Yoss even points out how freelance java developers are in particularly high demand among companies today, with many freelancers from the top 1% of tech talent able to meet the programming requirements of businesses all over the world. The opportunities opening up for these programmers and developers aren’t just in big tech companies either, as there is an increasing demand from smaller niche markets for those looking to build applications, indie games, and websites.
These markets can involve the most complex codes and algorithms required for platforms like Facebook and Twitter, as well as encompassing simpler applications. Unassuming apps have talented programmers behind the scenes — from the highly addictive and straightforward Flappy Bird, to more practical apps for helping people with their health like MedOClock. It’s not surprising given all this that the founders of Enki, a learning app for programmers, thought of entering this exact space. Being developers themselves, founders Kirill Makharinsky and Bruno Marnett know very well the high demand for programmers right now, as well as how effective learning apps are.
Enter Enki: Similar to brain-training apps like Lumosity or Duolingo, this beautifully designed app rewards users for doing daily mental workouts through the app’s exercises. It takes the best features of existing daily learning apps and keeps complex software topics brief and understandable, using techniques like daily streaks to keep users invested in their progress. Enki’s goal is to keep developers updated on the latest information in their field, as well as refresh things they should already know. It does this through exercises in the form of familiar and enjoyable games like Tetris, except with coding terms and concepts instead of colored blocks.
The alternative to Enki is reading full textbooks and long articles from websites, which just isn’t possible in a busy programmer’s life. Co-founder Makharinsky told Forbes that the company embraces this new way of learning, saying, “Nobody has time for that anymore. Our attention spans are falling. No one has enough time at work to think, ‘What can I learn next?’ because they are firefighting various problems in the workplace. And we’re switching jobs every couple of years.”
Aside from being able to quickly learn things through Enki, the content it serves up can also be personalized. Users can bookmark interesting lessons, and have the option to comment and ask questions on topics they want to learn more about. This type of educational endeavor, which the Association for Psychological Science describes as self-directed learning, allows people to focus their efforts on useful information that they don’t know yet. By placing the learning plan in the hands of the learners themselves, self-directed learning can improve retention and understanding.
Makharinsky claims that Enki has gathered enough funding for his small team to keep running for years. And with positive feedback, the kind of learning with Enki can be expanded to other fields in the future. Only time will tell if Enki will be as successful as the big names in the world of learning apps, but for now, the developers are happy to report that 70% of programmers who tried it once have ended up using it regularly.