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Tired of waiting tables or suffering through a passionless job?

Want to make $$$ and still have plenty of time to ski, bike, watch your children grow, and not be grumpy about cubicle life? While serving pints and pickles is noble, there’s another “server” industry that’s flooded the Animas Valley: computing.

Research shows that within 10 years, the information technology sector of the U.S. economy is expected to grow 12 percent, including a boost from as many as 25 million software developers world-wide. These IT jobs are well-paying (national average annual income = $80K), intellectually stimulating (duh), famously flexible, and no longer just for Mark Zuckerberg prodigies or Bill Gates savants.

Rather, IT gigs are becoming increasingly accessible to the Average Joe, according to the December 2016 issue of WIRED, which touts coding as the next blue-collar job. WIRED writer Clive Thompson asks, “What if we regarded code not as a high-stakes, sexy affair, but the equivalent of skilled work at a Chrysler plant?”

For those of you non-nalytical types who go cross-eyed when a computer task requires more than typing into the search bar, a career in coding might not be pulling on the heartstrings. But I’ve been assured it’s really no different from learning a new language or building a house. It’s a craft.

“Coding is a creative exercise,” Jim Mackay, local entrepreneur and former programmer, says. “Think about it the same way as starting an art piece: begin with a concept, build the framework, and basically hammer through the process of creating. You’ll run up against all sorts of road blocks, but in the end, you’ll stand back and think how next time you’d do this and that differently.”

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