Our world is ever-changing, and computers are used for everything. Most jobs require at least basic computer skills, but if you are able to program computers, you will be a step or two ahead of other candidates.
The art of computer programming is called coding. It is what makes computers do what we need them to, and how games, apps, and every other software are developed.
Learning how to code will give you a significant advantage in life and provide you with access to high paying jobs. Here is a brief overview of what coding is and why it is important to learn from an early age.
What is Coding?
Coding is simply translating human language into a language the computer will understand. The computer knows a few different languages, made up of numbers and symbols it can interpret. Once you learn a language and give the computer a list of instructions, then it is called a program.
What is Coding Used For?
If a computer is carrying out a task, it has been programmed to do so by thousands or even millions of line code, for instance:
Designing web pages. Everything you see on a web page has been put there on purpose from the visualizations, animations, dropdowns, chats, and more to give the viewer a unique experience.
Apps. All the apps on your phones, tablets, and computers have teams of designers to bring them to life.
Modern factory production. Almost everything that is mass-produced in our modern world is made in a factory full of computers that have been programmed to build the things we need.
Cars. All modern cars with fancy safety and comfort features have been programmed that way, and all function based off of the car’s electronic programming.
Microwaves. They are programmed to heat our food when we press the buttons, which tell the microwave how long and how hot to hear our food.
Video Games. Teams of developers design video games--all the animations, layouts, and objectives are put there by a series of code languages.
This list could probably go on for a while, but you get the idea. People have figured out how to program computers to do all kinds of helpful things that has helped make life easier for us and change the way the world works.
Types of Coding Languages
Java: This is a great beginner language that is easy to learn and is used to develop browser-based mobile and desktop apps.
Python: This is another excellent beginner language because it uses plain English instead of numbers and symbols. It is used to develop desktop and web applications.
PHP: This is a scripting language used in the server-side of web development, meaning it communicates from the server to the browser. Many prefer this language because it is easy to learn, free and open-source, and has become popular in recent years.
HTML: Standing for Hypertext Markup Language, this language is commonly used for documents meant to be displayed in a web browser.
CSS: Cascading Style Sheets enhances web designs and layouts, essentially making them visually appealing. It allows you to define font styles, colors, sizes, and other design features to draw people into your page.
These are just a few to get you started, but there are several languages you may want to learn depending on your needs. Coding is actually pretty fun and rewarding, and once you see all the things you can create and choose a project, you will have a better idea of what language or languages you will want to know.
Why Coding is Important to Learn
Now that you know what coding is and what it is used for, you may wonder why you should learn it. These are just a few ways that learning to code can play a vital role in your life--here are a few!
Earning potential. Money drives people to do a lot of things, and this is no exception. The Bureau of Labor Statistics showed people with a job coding and developing computers earned $70,000 annually compared to the national average of all occupations, which fell at approximately $39,810 annually.
Coding jobs are in high demand. The national average of growth in most careers is 5%, but in computer programming jobs, the average growth ranges from 5% to 21%. Hybrid jobs are on the rise, where companies are not necessarily looking for programmers but people who have these skills to enhance other job titles.
Develops problem-solving skills. Coding is all about problem-solving and persistence, even if you get stuck. Learning how to break complex problems down into small achievable parts is a valuable lesson for any problem you might face.
Career flexibility. As we mentioned before, many companies are looking for people with coding skills to add to their teams. If you are more interested in another field of work outside of computer programming, this is good news for you. You will likely have a higher salary and be able to incorporate coding skills into almost any line of work you are most passionate about.
Self-sufficiency. Most people would have to wait for a web designer or engineer to build the webpage they need or have them answer questions, but this could really slow down your work pace. Instead, you can go ahead and design anything you may need and have a more in-depth knowledge to answer a variety of questions.
Improve your communication and collaborative skills. Huge projects are usually a combination of ideas from people with various backgrounds and ideas. Broadening your basic knowledge and understanding will give you headway in showing your coworkers you are ready to be put on the next big project.
Take your career to the next level. If you are already committed and love your current career, this could be precisely what you are looking for to expand your horizons.
Get the family involved. If you think coding is an important skill and have children, you can teach children as young as three coding concepts. This will give them a head start in life and give them over a decade of experience before they even get to college. UCode offers online programming courses for kids of all ages. Teaching your children to code may also help you learn and practice as well.
Here are just a few reasons geared towards how coding may benefit you in a professional sense, but coding can be a fun way to create personal projects if you enjoy web design, as well as creating games or even apps. You could also do some freelance work or start an afterschool club to teach kids how to code. The options are really endless!
Now that you have learned what coding is, what it is used for, and all the ways it can benefit your life, it is time to get started!
Learning how to code does not have to be painful or tedious thanks to tons of online courses, games, apps, and resources, to help you become proficient in no time. You are probably busy, and there are many courses that are self-taught and perfect for a busy schedule. Go at your own pace, quickly go over simple concepts, and move on to more complex ones. When you are moving up in your company, making more money, and working on super fun projects, you will be so glad you took the next steps in being proficient in code. Have fun with, get creative, and get excited about where this skill can take you!