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Why you should learn to code (and how to do it)

Lucy Hattersley | July 6, 2016
Coding is an amazing skill to have. Top 4 reasons to learn coding revealed, and how to learn to code online.

Coding is a great way to make money

It goes without saying that coding is one of the jobs relatively safe from automation. We'll need people to program the robots for a long time yet, and people who can manage and support robotics will be highly sought after in the future.

We're starting to see this right now. Demand for coders is incredibly high, and there aren't enough programmers to keep up with demand. According to Code.org, there are 607,708 open computing jobs in the US alone, but only 42,969 students graduated in computer science.

You don't need to get a degree in computer science to get a job in programming. Laurence Bradford, a web developer, outlines the changes learning to code has made to her life. She gets better pay, works fewer hours and can say no to job offers

Learning to code makes you better at any job

Even if you have no intention of becoming a programmer, or coder, then it's still a good idea to learn how to program a computer. Learning to code teaches you all kinds of skills, that can be applied to all kinds of tasks:

  • If you ever find yourself doing the same thing over and over again, then chances are you can get a computer to do it for you. Learning how to program a computer enables you to automate repetitive tasks. You'll be amazed at how much time you save once you learn to program a computer.
  • The Steve Jobs quote about programming a computer isn't hyperbole. Learning to program a computer does teach you how to think about problems, and how to visualise complex structures. Learning how to parse data is an incredibly valuable skill.
  • Coding requires precision and learning to code boosts your attention to detail. Learning how to focus on the small stuff makes you better at any project or job.
  • Nothing boosts your problem-solving skills like learn to program a computer. There's usually no right, or wrong, way to approach any serious computer problem. Linus Torvalds famously said: "The fact is, there aren't just two sides to any issue, there's almost always a range of responses, and 'it depends' is almost always the right answer in any big question." That wisdom comes from years of solving challenging coding problems.
  • Decomposition is a valuable skill learned by programmers. In decomposition, you break a big problem down (like a program) into several smaller problems. You then solve these one at a time. Decomposition, along with other techniques like "bisection" (splitting an issue in half repeatedly till you end up with many small but simple problems) is an incredible life skill.

 

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