WHY EVERY YOUTH SHOULD LEARN TO CODE
Written by: Solomon Ogunbowale
There’s no denying the fact that technology now dominates almost all the industries of our world. Being a graduate and a literate is no longer enough in the world of work. Hear the words of Alvin Toffler; he says, “The illiterates of the 21st century are not those that cannot read or write but those that cannot learn, unlearn and relearn”. As it stands, the word “coding” seems to be the magic word of this age and it is the same word that moves you away from becoming the illiterate of the 21st century because it provides you with the opportunity to learn, unlearn and relearn.
Technology has catapulted people from the farms to the urban sectors, precipitating the fast-paced transition of nation states towards a developed economy with emphasis on the activities of the tertiary sectors. It is therefore clear that a person who is more tech-savvy has an edge over his or her competitors in the market who are less tech-savvy or not tech-savvy at all.
There are quite a few people that are still not sure of what coding is. In this present day and time, coding comes into play in many situations and with many processes. Even if you have never done it before or you have never tried your hands on it, you should consider doing so. Apart from being able to collaborate with others, you will come to find that problem-solving just becomes a lot easier.
Here are some reasons why you should learn to code.
§ Coding can boost your problem-solving and logic skills
Outside the implications of coding which look good on a resume, coding does boost skills which are very useful to all jobs. Problem-solving and logical reasoning are two major skills needed for the job market and learning to code is like an exercise session for the “left” side of the brain that helps you improve these skills.
Programmers don’t just solve problems just by looking at the challenge posed to them. They look at the problem, break it into smaller manageable chunks of sub-problems, solve them and then integrate all this into one functional solution. This in general, is how they approach problems. Even if it seems overwhelming and insurmountable at first, they make it as simple as possible to ensure they can solve each part of it and then find the overall solution.
If you have always thought of yourself as more of an artist (right-brained and creative), then coding can help you gain balance. Logical reasoning, problem-solving, and organization are some of the cornerstones of programming, and practising with code helps you exercise that “left” side of the brain.
§ Coding can lead to software development jobs
Coding is a fundamental skill for jobs such as software development. There is currently a shortage of software developers worldwide, so learning to code can be an easy route into an open field of work. However, this isn’t the only way coding can open up job opportunities. There are several other ways.
§ It opens up other job opportunities
Software development jobs are not the only jobs available to those who know how to code. Having coding as a string to your bow can be key to finding jobs related to other fields like content creation, marketing, PR and more. Adding coding skills to your list of skills will give you an edge in being considered for these types of jobs compared to someone who doesn’t know how to code.
§ Coding can make your job application stand out
Even if you’re applying for a position which has no direct relevance to coding, it is still well known as a useful skill to have. Thus, by having a knowledge of it, you will automatically give yourself a foot up on the competition. To top it all, since it is being a generally worthwhile skill for most jobs, it will show that you are hardworking, dynamic, and a self-starter and that’s a plus for your job application.
§ Coding literacy can help you understand other aspects of tech
Knowledge of coding (or, as some call it, coding literacy) can help in other ways too. It can give the notion that you are quick to learn any other aspects of tech. It also means you are digitally fluent. In today’s ever more digital job market, this can only be of benefit. There are different aspects of tech and you might be required to make a shift from one to another at any point in time. Having knowledge of one aspect will help in the smooth transition to another.
§ It could lead to freelance work
If you have been wanting to go freelance or have the ability to work while travelling, coding may be a great way to get into this. As coding is a highly valued skill at the moment, many companies are willing to outsource their work. This means skilled coders have the ability to create their own work schedule and charge a nice rate for it at the same time. This means you can also earn in foreign currencies because you can work for foreign companies while freelancing with your coding skills. You just need the right knowledge on how to go about this effectively.
§ Coding allows you to pursue passion projects
Coding is a fantastic skill for you if you’re the sort of person who has tons of ideas and wants to get started on everything yesterday. Not having to look elsewhere for a coder saves both time and money, plus it means you can keep changing and redesigning as your idea develops. This gives flexibility to your idea which is something that might not be attainable if it is not your project or if it is not a passion project. Most passion projects are usually geared at solving a societal problem. With codes, you will be contributing to your immediate community and the society in the bigger picture.
§ Coding improves interpersonal skills
Coding for most big projects tends to be a collaborative effort. This means having to work as one cog as you become part of a greater team. Learning how to best interact with bosses and co-workers is an essential work skill, and it can often be developed through coding. Asides interpersonal skills, you also learn how to use technological tools to collaborate with teams all around the world. With coding, your team can be distributed in different parts of the world and you will have to learn how to communicate and collaborate with them. You are not limited in any way.
§ Being a skilled coder can build confidence
Knowing you have a desirable skill in a competitive job market can help you become more confident in your own abilities. It is also quite an addictive process — the more you learn, the more you want to learn. Knowing that any problem which could stump most people is easily solved by you is empowering (really empowering!). Seeing your own inventions and tech products like websites, games, mobile application, all created by you can give you a sense of faith in who you really are and the endless possibilities available at your fingertips. All these become possible just by learning how to code.
§ Anyone can do it
Pretty much, anyone can learn to code. It neither takes several years nor cost thousands. In fact, it can pretty much be done online and from the comfort of your own home and can be learned flexibly around your other commitments. It is practical and you learn by doing. Just be ready to learn, unlearn and relearn as the learning is continuous but you will definitely have something to show for your efforts.
Get ready to meet a lot of people as well. The tech community is rich and robust. You will always find people to help you in the learning process. They will answer your questions and are ever willing to work with you on any project.
So, what stops you from learning how to code? I am yet to find out.