Why You Should Learn To Code

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

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.

What Language Do I Start With?

It's up to you! If you like “making things look pretty” and are interested in enhancing user experiences, I would recommend learning Javascript, HTML, and CSS since they are widely used by everyone for front-end development! However, I would also recommend learning backend development so that you understand how a full-stack application flows between the front and back-end. Some backend languages I recommend are Python and Ruby since they are the easiest to comprehend. These two languages are also more user (human) friendly because their syntax is much simpler compared to languages like C++ or Java. The more “computer-friendly” a language is, the harder it is to comprehend. Another piece of advice I would give is to learn whatever language is currently widely used in the tech industry. I’d say right now Python is a really popular language that companies use for data management and manipulation, so take time to do your research before starting!

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!

My Experience

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.

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