1: BECOMING MORE EFFICIENT AND PRODUCTIVE
So obviously the #1 reason for using computers in the first place is to take advantage of their computing power.
You know, the first computers were ridiculously slow in terms of performance. But luckily for us, that changed pretty quickly.
The smartphone in your pocket has more computing power than anyone imagined possible 20 years ago.
And what’s so great about computers is that they are great at doing tedious and repetitive tasks for us. They never get tired, they never complain about how boring their jobs are, and they never make mistakes.
Therefore, harnessing the power of a computer by writing your own programs allows you to spend your time on more productive and sensible tasks.
If you’re anything like me, you spend a lot of time at work at your computer.
How could your computer help you out, you wonder?
Here’s the deal: Most often at least some of your tasks at work are repetitive. You do them every day. You sort through your emails, submit a few reports, and manage your files and documents.
Now, the good news is that all of these tasks can be automated. Yep!
Think about never having to rename 20 files manually again. Or finding your emails in the right folders when you come to work every morning.
And all it takes is a few lines of code!
In short: with some basic programming skills, you will do a better job in less time. And with less errors.
You can increase your productivity infinitely, just by using your creativity to come up with solving your problems with code. Just make sure your skills and solutions are appreciated by sharing your knowledge with others – especially with your managers!
2: IMPROVING YOUR COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION SKILLS
Think about managing a project at your current company.
It will most likely involve an entire team of colleagues from different departments. They all have different ways of doing things. People who work in different fields also have different backgrounds and different levels of understanding what the others are saying.
Most of us have probably listened to the IT department at work explain a cool, new tool or software to us, having absolutely no idea about what they were talking about.
Technology simply comes with a good bunch of jargon and cryptic terms – it’s the language of tech.
Again: how can learning programming help you, then?
Knowing how to code will help you understand your technical colleagues at work much better. If you know how computers work and how software is built, you can also ask better questions. Let alone understand the answers.
You will be more confident and secure when discussing technical topics like:
- implementing new software,
- updating the company website, or
- optimising your sales reports.
Knowing how to code will also make you more valuable as an employee. You can take on a role as an intermediary between the IT department and your own team, for instance.
3: UNDERSTANDING HOW SOFTWARE WORKS
Ok so this one’s pretty straightforward.
Whenever you use your computer, you interact with the program running in the background by using your mouse and keyboard, for instance.
If you know even just the basics of coding and the logic behind programs, you can learn how to use new tools with much less effort in the future.
All in all, being familiar with a range of different devices, software, websites, and apps helps you understand and adopt new technical tools more easily.
It’s no wonder the kids these days know more about how my laptop works than I do – even though I work with it every day.
They simply grew up with a smartphone in their hands!
Now, I don’t know if that’s a totally good thing, but they sure can learn their way around new devices much more quickly than you and me can.
4: IMPROVING YOUR PROBLEM SOLVING AND THINKING SKILLS
If you’ve already started learning programming, you’ve probably heard this one already.
Coding is about solving problems. That’s the essence of writing computer programs: they should solve problems for us.
Therefore, learning coding will make you a better problem solver in general!
Aaaand how could this help you in life?
Just think about your work, for example. You probably have plenty or questions to answer and problems to solve at the office. (Now, of course not all problems are yours to solve!)
My point is: learning how to solve problems with coding also helps you tackle the challenges at work!
Learning programming will not just give you technical skills. It will teach you a whole new way of approaching your work.
Knowing how to solve problems in a structured way is the very core of coding:
- First, you will be forced to start out with a solid plan,
- Secondly, you’ll identify key potential areas for errors, and
- Thirdly, you will work towards your goal step by step.
Moreover, you will pay more attention to detail, simply delivering better results. Every time.
Not a bad point to consider when thinking about why learn coding!
5: COMBINING TECHNICAL SKILLS WITH CREATIVITY
There aren’t too many fields or industries where you can put your technical and creative skills together so seamlessly as in programming.
If you enjoy and do a good job at both, learning how to code will definitely open some doors for you in the future.
Since coding is all about identifying problems and solving them in new ways, you will find yourself developing new solutions on a daily basis.
And what’s even better: Each day is different from the other, so it never gets boring.
6: BECOMING AWARE OF WHAT IT TAKES
How does a website work? Is it difficult to write a computer program? Can anyone create a web application?
Now, I don’t know about you but when I started learning how to code, I had no idea about the answers to these questions!
o, one great benefit from learning coding is that you will automatically become more aware of how websites work, for example. Also, you’ll understand how applications are built.
You will learn the fundamentals of how they work and how much work goes into creating them.
How does this help you with your career then?
Again, let’s think about work. Let’s say your employer want a new feature for the company website. Regardless of whether you could develop it yourself or not, you would understand what it takes for someone to build it.
You would be able to find the best possible candidate for the job with the right skills. On top of that, you could manage the project better. Let alone avoid overpaying the developer!
7: CREATING A WEBSITE OF YOUR OWN
If you wish to start a career in tech, having a website is simply a must.
It’s your business card for the whole world to see. Literally, billions of people can find you that way.
Also, having a portfolio website the best way to showcase your skills to potential employers in the future.
8: ESTABLISHING AN ONLINE PRESENCE
Have you ever googled yourself? Awesome!
Did you see what you wanted to see?
Most likely, your potential employers have done the same thing.
Especially in tech-driven industries, having an online presence is a great tool to manage what people find out about you when they look up your name on Google.
And here’s the good news: Starting a website of your own is easier than you might think!
So, why not create a blog about a topic that’s relevant to your career? Or put up an online portfolio, presenting projects you’ve been working on?
Whatever you do, keep in mind that having a website will be the easiest tool to stand out from other job applicants!
Keep it professional and relevant, update it regularly, and make sure people find it when they type your name in Google.
Also, don’t forget to add a little personal touch to make it more interesting and to reflect who you are!
9: BECOMING SELF-EMPLOYED AND STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS
This is a point I could go on about for hours, since it’s simply the path I chose.
And I’ve never looked back!
I already mentioned coding is like a superpower. And here’s why: Knowing how to code gives you so many opportunities to start your own business based on your new tech skills, such as:
- Creating an online publication
- Establishing an online shop
- Starting your own web design agency
- Building mobile applications
- Offering coding courses and tutoring online
- Reviewing products on your website and earning ad income
- Selling licences for media, e.g. as a professional photographer
The options are almost endless. And what’s even better is that there’s a lot of demand for all of these areas online.
All you need is a good plan. Know what you want to achieve, figure out the tools you need to learn, and get started!
10: ENJOYING MORE FREEDOM AND FLEXIBILITY IN LIFE
I just got back from a trip to Finland a few days ago. I stayed by a beautiful lake surrounded by practically untouched nature.
nd let me tell you: the air there was so clean that I actually felt how the oxygen was flowing into my body through my lungs. I’m not exaggerating. (In fact, according to the WHO, they have the cleanest air in the world!)
And yet, there in the middle of nowhere I still had my laptop open, connected to the Internet, working as usual! I was literally sitting by the lake and on a call to Switzerland with a client of mine!
Needless to say, I thought that was pretty cool.
I assume you want to learn how to code to start a new career? If that’s the case, becoming a developer gives you absolute freedom and flexibility. You can decide when and where you work.
As a freelancing or self-employed developer, you’re not bound to your employer’s office hours anymore. Hooray!
What’s even better is that you can get new inspiration from working remotely. Sometimes when I’m walking through a foreign city I might come up with a new color concept for a website project. Or when I look at the stars in the sky while walking through the woods, it looks just like the biggest parallax background in the world!
11: ACHIEVING A HIGHER INCOME
Learning programming to start a career as a developer? Take my advice: the right time to start learning coding is NOW.
The demand for professional developers has been on the rise for years now. Not meaning to be an economist here or anything, but whenever the demand for employees is high, they usually have the upper hand.
So, if you know how to deliver value to a potential employer, you’re most likely to get hired (right away). That’s all you need to do.
Learning coding can therefore open up an entire world of new opportunities for your career-wise. Whether it’s moving up the career ladder or taking on new projects, investing a few bucks in learning programming skills will pay itself back in no time.
Knowing even the very basics of front-end development, for example, will give you a competitive edge in the job market, making you a more interesting candidate for a variety of positions these days.
What I mean by diverse job opportunities is that you can not only work for a company as an employee, but you can also do freelancing, start your own business, or work part-time as a developer while keeping your day job.
This might sound a bit exaggerated, but learning web development is almost like an insurance against unemployment in the future.
The whole world is online and companies need to have a solid online presence, no matter how big or small they are.
So, if you’re interested in creating awesome web experiences, I’d recommend starting with the basics of web development right away. As long as you have a clear goal in your mind (“I want to become a professional web developer!”), you can start making money quicker than you think.
12: HAVING THE SELF-LEARNER’S ADVANTAGE
You’re still thinking about learning coding?
What’s keeping you from starting already??
I’m glad you’re still with me! If you’re genuinely motivated and coding seems like it could become your passion, you’re definitely on the right track.
Learning coding because you’re really interested in it gives you a full-on competitive advantage against fellow job applicants. Even if they have a college degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering. I’m not kidding!
What makes you so awesome then?
Let me put it this way: Everyone at college needs to follow the exact same curriculum – they all go through the same courses, do the same exercises, and have the same exams.
So, apart from being creative while building their own projects, there’s not much room for being individual at college.
And no matter how technical coding may seem, it’s also a lot about being creative. As a professional developer, you need to find new ways and ideas for solving problems all the time.
Now, as a self-learner, you don’t have to follow any curriculum whatsoever. In fact, you’re more likely to follow your heart and passion.
All in all, you’re learning coding not because someone put together a curriculum for you! But rather because your motivation is coming from deep within.
Therefore, you probably understand the topics more thoroughly, grasping the bigger picture. Not to mention all the hands-on experience you get by building practical projects of your own.
FINAL THOUGHTS: WHY LEARN CODING?
Programming really is a gift for those who learn it. It’s a powerful skill that will make you a more valuable employee for years to come. It’s going to open you doors to amazing opportunities if you stay focused on achieving your goals.
Learning how to code is so much more than learning how to write code. It’s more about learning how to think in new ways, solving complex problems with your technical and your creative skills.
What’s also cool about learning coding is that it automatically makes you a part of a global community. You’ll find answers, help others, connect with fellow developers, share your ideas, and understand the perspectives of other like-minded professionals.
Last but not least, one of the best benefits from learning programming is the sheer variety of projects you can work on. You’re not limited to writing code for software, but you can also:
- Specialize in web development,
- Build mobile apps,
- Create computer games, or
- Focus on data mining, AI, or machine learning
In short: knowing how to code simply means knowing how to create.
Emma_da_Computerguy. Business Name
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ICT Instructor Dream Africa School – Seeta