In a world driven by technology, there are many new skills anyone can develop to give themselves an advantage. Learning how to code is certainly one of those, and though there are many reasons why it’s a desirable skill right now, I will take a look at 4 of the biggest reasons to learn coding as a new skill to add to your repertoire.
At its core, coding is creating a logical progression of operations for the computer to carry out. This requires the developer into a very logic-oriented mindset - large, complex problems need to be broken down into much smaller steps, and this skill is instrumental in problem-solving.
Steve Jobs once famously said, “Everyone should know how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think”. Any career you want to progress in will need you to demonstrate your critical thinking and problem-solving skills, learning to code can assist you in any career with these skills.
Learning a skill such as coding can help you out with your career in many different ways. It demonstrates to your employer that you are tech-capable, resourceful, and independently looking to widen your skillset. This will give you greater opportunities to carry out tasks beyond the scope of your current role, opening up advancements in many different directions. You could use your new skill set to write simple scripts and programs to increase your productivity, or to solve issues that are difficult or time-consuming to do manually.
Sometimes your role may require you to interact with people who write code - if you work in project delivery, for example, understanding code will allow you to interface with your developers better, you will better understand the issues they face and may also be able to chip in your own help or expertise, especially around crunch periods. If you work in marketing, it would be a great step to help you on your way to becoming a full stack marketer. You can help clients and make your own changes to landing pages yourself without leaning on your developers.
These days, many areas of employment are becoming more and more technical, and many jobs are becoming automated. While some career paths are starting to become harder to find work for, developers are continually in demand. In a tech-oriented world, the automation is written by developers, and an increasing majority of jobs require at least some amount of tech-savviness. Adapting with a changing, increasingly tech heavy world will open many avenues for you.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics records the median pay for US roles. In 2019 Computer Programmers had a median salary of $86,550 (~£69,000), Software Developers of $107,510 (~£86,000), and Web Developers of $73,760 (£59,000). As you can see, the market is crying out for more developers, and they are rewarding them well for their expertise.
We’ve all had an idea for an app that would revolutionise the world at some point. Most of our ideas, of course, are wildly unrealistic, however sometimes it’s a genuinely great idea. With coding skills you can bring your own ideas to life - it could be as small as creating micro-controllers to control the temperature in your home, to the next “Big Thing”. You could make your ideas a reality in ways you never could have previously.
As you can see, although more career paths and jobs are desiring the ability to code, that’s not the only reason you might want to start learning or further developing those coding skills. Whether it’s to progress your career, realise your own ideas, or simply to develop new skills to further round you as a person, there are many reasons to learn code, so what are you waiting for? There are many free services to help you learn for free (eg. https://www.codecademy.com).
The best time to start learning to code was 10 years ago.
The second best time to start is today!