We aren’t the first to touch on this—the world has been talking about the ‘Learn to Code’ movement for a few years now.
Only recently, however, have initiatives really taken off, with organisations like Scratch Jr. teaching kindergartners to code and world leaders like Barack Obama and Boris Johnson encouraging everyone to join the programming movement. With the internet buzzing with arguments regarding the pros and cons of universal coding instruction, learning hubs like Makersacademy are the perfect places to really hone your talent in coding. We’ve collected just five of the many, many reasons learning to code is a great idea.
Scratch all the itches
Everyone has problems. Some of them can be solved with code. Consider this: the hours you spend slaving over your most hated workday and life tasks—dull, repetitive ones like data entry and expenses—can be reduced or eliminated with some simple code. You don’t have to be a professional coder to do it, either. A course in VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), the coding language for Excel, can have you automating your most repetitive tasks in no time, leaving you plenty of extra time to dedicate to other work, hobbies, or taking courses.
Code is like paint or a piano—it’s a canvas for creativity and curiosity. Dispel the image of the nerdy programmer sitting alone in his mum’s basement. Today’s coders are creative thinkers who use coding language to build amazing programs, systems, software, and apps. Though coding is a computer science and tends to be associated with maths, it has as much in common with science and math as it does with art and languages. Learning to program in Java or C++ is just like learning to speak a new language, and the beauty of coding is that there are hundreds of possible solutions to any given problem, which allows the coder to be creative with how he or she comes to an answer. The best code is usually elegant and efficient, using as few bytes as possible and running quickly and accurately, but sometimes a situation will call for more inventive solutions, giving you reason to find more creative approaches.
Encourage innovative thinking
Coding requires breaking a problem down into its most basic processes. This style of thinking leads to new styles of problem solving, which results in fresh solutions. Because this thought process is so different from the types we tend to use in daily life, coding can be difficult to grasp at first, just like when you first start to run or lift weights. Just like any exercise, though, the longer you keep at it the stronger you become. Coding can make you a better problem solver and theorist, teaching you to be quicker on your feet and abler to express complex ideas in a comprehensible way.
Open up new opportunities
Careers in coding are so highly sought-after that coders and developers have almost no problem working freelance and pursuing their passions. Web developer and coder Laurence Bradford learned to build websites after launching a successful travel blog—since then she has been an advocate for learning to code and taking control of your career. Laurence loves the flexibility and high demand for her skillset, and we agree: the perks of coding for a living are many. According to Laurence, many freelance programmers find their skills are so highly sought-after that they ask not to be contacted on LinkedIn. Not only can coders work professionally and freelance, but many coders choose to teach as well and find their knowledge and expertise are just as valuable as their coding skills.
Yes, coding is useful, stimulating, and lucrative, but above all, it’s fun. Coders get instant feedback and gratification from the work they do, and one of the best ways to learn coding is playing games. Many of the best coders say that while they’re in programming for all the other benefits, at the end of the day it’s their love for computer science that keeps them going—coding is a difficult, frustrating job, but when the code runs and you get it right, it’s all worth it. Another perk? If you’re just starting out, gaming is a great way to get your head wrapped around the coding thought process. Mini-games like Tomorrow Corporation’s Human Resource Game teach coding in an interactive game format, and the sandbox world of Minecraft is actually simple coding hidden in survival storylines and a freeplay world.
Feeling inspired? You could learn how to code in 12 weeks with Makersacademy. Browse their courses today and become a coding connoisseur.