There’s an idea that’s been gaining ground in the public discourse lately: Everyone should learn to code.
Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, Steve Jobs and even Barack Obama have all publically stated that coding is a must have skill for future generations. But… why? If I learn to code, how exactly will it benefit me? Should we learn just because we are being told it's an important skill?
So many people dismiss coding because they have no intention of becoming a software developer. Would you tell someone they don’t need to learn to write unless they plan on becoming a writer? We learn to read and write because it opens up a world of opportunity and learning to code is no different.
Whether you are a child or an adult or whether you have a professional interest or are looking for a new hobby, this blog will tell you exactly why learning to code should be your 2018 New Year's Resolution
(our next blog will be a guide on how to start your coding journey)
Coding is fun
First and foremost, programming is an incredibly fun and engaging activity. What other hobby allows you to make animations, games and even robots? There are tons of example projects out there, suitable for all ages and experience levels.
In our experience, kids are often surprised at how quickly they adopt real coding skills. Typically, they latch onto a project and experience immense satisfaction once they see the end product. Once a project is finished, they are eager to move to the next challenge.
Coding improves academic performance
Logic, problem-solving, and organization are some of the cornerstones of programming, and practising with code helps you develop these skills in all parts of your life. Programming helps students visualise abstract maths problems and teaches them to tackle problems in a systematic way.
Beyond maths, it should come as no surprise that coding also improves language skills. Through programming, students learn the value of concision, structure and planning in their writing. People who code are also taught the importance of accuracy in their work and how crucial it is to define, plan and implement the steps required to solve a problem.
Coding helps brings ideas to life
We all get brilliant ideas now and then. How many times have you thought of a useful website idea? Or an app that could solve an everyday problem? The ability to code separates those who have an idea from those who can make their ideas a reality.
If you want your child to be a thinker and innovator who can bring ideas to life, encourage him or her to learn how to program. For inspiration, check out the Irish billionaires that founded Stripe - what started as a fun side project quickly become a multi-billion dollar company.
We need to be able to communicate with the technology around us
Computers have automated a lot of roles that used to be manual, which causes a problem for people who aren't digi-literate. Software is the modern language and controls so much of our day-to-day life. Having no clue how any of this works is dangerous, and whilst it’s certain that not every job in the future will involve programming, the role of code will continue to become more and more central.
Almost every company out there, from startup to multinational, rely on technology to drive their businesses. Even if you aren’t into software development, your ability to work alongside myriad software solutions is critical to how you are valued in your firm. Being able to understand these processes and integrate them to work for your company will doubtless increase your value in the firm.
It could be as simple as using SQL to manage customer databases, or PHP to design a company website. The most frequent use of coding in the workplace is to automate a repetitive and laborious task. Whatever the reasoning, a foundation knowledge of programming will greatly improve your usefulness in the professional context.
Anyone can learn it
Unlike many other hobbies out there, coding has a relatively cheap buy in. Most of us already have a PC or Mac at home. For those who don’t, you can have a Raspberry Pi up and running for well under €150, using the abundance of free resources online to teach yourself coding. While we’re big proponents of the benefits of classroom education, the reality is that there has never been a better time in history to be an independent learner. Knowledge is free now in a way that it’s never been free before - the only question is if you will learn to harness it.