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Why you should learn about code

09.17
2014
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Why you should learn about code: Even if you don't want to become a developer

by Dennis Turbeville, Senior Designer and Code Lover

Remember back in elementary school when everyone complained about learning math and science? “When will I ever need to know this?” we all fussed. Now that we’re all grown up, we know it’s not true—we use principles of math and science every day no matter what our job description says.

Code is no different. In fact, learning code has gained so much in popularity that 10-year-olds now take private lessons or are sent to camps where they learn to program robots, while adults immerse themselves in coding "bootcamps.”  Everyone from The Wall Street Journal to Forbes and The Huffington Post is writing about why coding has gone mainstream.

Wall Street Journal Article     Forbes Article     Huffington Post Article

Technical skills are a part of just about every profession nowadays. Not everyone needs to be a technical wizard, and therefore not everyone needs to be an expert coder, but we live in a world where the majority of jobs require technical knowledge. The more you know, the more valuable you are to the team.

Understanding what "code" is and knowing what's possible and what's not, when working with an IT team, for example, is now considered table-stakes.

Businesses, such as American Express, send senior executives to programs about data and computational design not so they can build websites, but so they can better manage people who do.

A non-technical field such as marketing, even requires a basic understanding of HTML and CSS to do a decent job, for mandatory tasks such as A/B testing, sorting information, optimizing, and analyzing user habits.

Here’s why you should learn code…

  • Most code languages are built on simple, real-world concepts we already understand (variables, counting, repetition, etc.) Learning how to utilize these concepts helps us in every day problem solving. It forces us to think through a problem and map out a plan to get the job done.
     
  • Learning to code helps us understand how computers work. You probably work with computers and handheld devices all day. Being able to operate them is relatively simple, but understanding why they aren’t behaving as expected isn’t so easyYou'll also understand why things go wrong and be able to identify bugs. Hint: Clicking more than once on a button isn’t going to make a webpage load any faster, in fact its probably doing the opposite.
     
  • Computers, unlike humans, are actually very simple minded and can only respond to a very specific set of instructions. The more you understand this simplicity, the better you will be at using them, which translates to greatly improved communications on multiple platforms, and possessing the capability of solving real-world problems.

So how much code do you need to know?

Well actually not that much, and that’s the best part, it doesn’t take a huge investment in time to learn. Simply understanding the fundamentals is good enough and that’s pretty easy. I recommend visiting www.codeacademy.com for some really great introductory courses. They’re fun and engaging and well written so anyone can understand.

Happy coding!

 

Categories: Code, Learning
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