This is a viewpoint from Bailey Mathias, Project Management and Communication Specialist, Talent Acquisition at Sabre.

New learning is one way that companies can keep employees updated and current on modern digital tools. Not everyone working in technology is a developer; expanding these digital skills makes it easier to communicate across disciplines, especially with those speaking a different (digital) language.

Learning is especially compelling when taught by fellow teammates. UX specialists Ken Tabor and John Samuel recently taught a Khan Academy CSS/HTML course, with 20 Sabre employees stepping up to take on a new skill. Some are hoping to better understand their customers, others are hoping to create their own templates and all are fearlessly up for a new challenge!

Ken decided to start this class because he believes coding is modern day literacy and is extremely passionate about it.

“I want to share my passion for programming with anyone who is willing to try…it’s mission work. I really believe in it. For me it’s something that I love and I’m pretty good at and it’s something that I think that I can offer and help build community.”

After hosting a successful and rewarding trial run course in the fall with ten students, Ken and John decided to give it a go again this spring, doubling the number of students from ten to twenty.

Ken explains that you cannot “continue to hire rock star after ninja after purple squirrel” – you have to grow your talent. He compares the class to starting a minor league farm club or apprenticeship and explains that part of his job is to apprentice new team members and to teach people. “I wanted to reinvest in the company, be a good citizen and love on my community.”

Those enrolled in the course are all there for different reasons. Some are recruiters, others are entertaining the idea of learning to code and better comprehend what projects their teammates are working on.

Personally, I started the course because I wanted to seek to understand candidates and various skill sets. As time has gone on, I have other reasons for continuing besides just my initial drive. Coding excites me. It’s challenging, but I can do it. I think that’s the most important lesson of this entire class. Whatever challenge there may be, I can methodically tackle them one by one.

There are challenges out there that you think you’ll never tackle because it’s just not who you are or it’s not necessarily what you’re passionate about. The beauty of something like this being offered in the workplace is the ability to find new passions and new challenges to tackle. Kudos to Ken and John for starting this – and here’s to taking the challenge of learning the unexpected every day!

This was a viewpoint from Bailey Mathias, Project Management and Communication Specialist, Talent Acquisition at Sabre.