Why You Should Learn To Code
Whether or not you’re an engineer.
Now that we’re about to head into 2022, we know by now how important technology is for us. Due to the advancements in technology, it is a part of our everyday life both at home and in the workplace. Along with the pandemic still here, “virtual reality” is our new way of life which some have a hard time adapting to. Being technologically savvy doesn’t necessarily mean that you know how to code. However, learning how to code at an early age teaches great skills that you can take with you in any career! Let’s get into it.
What’s So Special About Coding?
First, to name the obvious, coding is special because it powers the digital world that we live in. Almost every aspect of technology that we use from your favorite app to even your household appliances runs on code.
Coding is also special because of how unique it is. It not only combines the skillset of problem-solving but also promotes creativity. If we really think back to our childhood, at least mine, I grew up playing video games. I grew up in a place where technology was already blooming and it taught me how to quickly solve problems as well as develop the endurance to keep going even in the face of failure. Okay but back to what I was saying about video games, specifically, Minecraft.
Minecraft is a game where you are able to build anything you want given the resources that you have in your inventory and geographical area. However, in order to teleport to different areas or homes, you have to type in a command to send you home which varies depending on the server you’re on. This command to send you home or to teleport to other players gives kids simple command-line interface skills that they could use to navigate through their own computer. Using redstone in Minecraft is another concept that is similar to one of the computer science fundamentals. Say you use redstone to power an “automatic” door. You will first need to collect redstone dust and then connect it to the door and a pressure plate. So with the conditional, if the pressure plate is stepped on, then the door stays open. If there is no pressure on the plate, then the door stays closed. This concept of conditionals is a big topic in computer science and is heavily used in coding. If this condition is met or true, then do this, else the condition is false, and do something else or nothing. So kids who play Minecraft are already being exposed to coding without even realizing it (this game is also really fun so I definitely recommend playing if you get the chance)!
What Language Do I Start With?
Do I need To Be An Expert?
Nope! No need to be an expert or discontinue your current profession (if it is not engineering) to learn to code. All you need to do is start! Learning how to code is like learning any other language. It takes time to learn and a language is so complex that you’ll be learning something new every day! Practice truly makes perfect and in order for you to remember how to code and get better every day, you need to use the muscles every day. If you are learning Japanese, you aren’t just going to learn one thing and stop for a month. So practice, practice, practice!
Where To Learn?
Anywhere (mostly)! Resources to learn code are available to you anywhere as long as you have access to the internet or even books! There are free resources on Codecademy and freeCodecCamp. Another great resource that is quite affordable when they have sales (which they usually do) is Udemy. I used this platform to learn both R and Python. Udemy has taught me basic coding fundamentals and it even offers a certificate at the end of the course to add to your resume!
Although technology is a big part of my life, it wasn’t always the case. I was the last generation that grew up going outside to have fun and hanging out with friends rather than staying inside on social media all day. I think the closest we really had to be tech-savvy was practicing typing on a keyboard to make sure we don’t take 1000 years to type up a paragraph. Going into high school, technology became more apparent and I saw myself becoming more reliant on my phone and my computer to complete homework or check grades. I truly wish that a coding course was offered or even required because of the skills that I’ve learned now much later in life. Nowadays, students in all levels from elementary to college rely HEAVILY on their computers to learn the content in schools. Now, after going through college and a coding bootcamp, I wish that I could’ve started coding earlier even when I was pursuing medicine. Coding teaches you how to think about different ways to solve problems that can be applied to multiple aspects of your professional career, engineer or not.
If you are thinking about learning to code, just do it! I assure you, you won’t regret it! Happy coding everyone and if you have any questions about where to start coding, feel free to message me!