Why learn coding?

We are living in an era where technologies dominate almost everything. Regardless of where you live, or what you do, you may have to learn to use computers, smartphones, and smart devices as they are being used in many places (i.e., Internet of Things, Smart home, Smart cars, Smart cities etc.) These devices connect things to the Internet and exchanging data with others and open opportunities for better applications in communication, banking, healthcare, online transactions etc. As more people are using technology devices, coding is becoming important, similar to reading and writing and knowing how to code is a needed skill that students must learn because most future jobs will require it.

Thirty years ago, Steve Jobs predicted that soon everybody will learn to program a computer because it teaches them how to think in the technology world. Bill Gates also said; “Learning to write program stretches your mind, and helps you think better, creates a new way of thinking about things that are helpful in all domains.” And it is proven true because today, programming skills are becoming a must-have skill to get a job in the market driven by technology.

Basically, coding is a computer language used to process information on our computer. All smart devices; mobile apps, websites and every software that we use are processed with codes. Coding is essential because computers cannot understand human language. The only thing that computers understand is the computer language or binary code as it contains infinite combinations of zero (0) and one (1) that represent letters, characters or digits. Computer languages such as Java, C++, JavaScript, Python, etc., are high-level languages that translate our commands and instructions into binary code for computers to understand and perform specific tasks. Through writing instructions using programming languages, we tell computers what to do.

As more companies, industries, businesses are using technologies, coding is becoming an important skill, and the requirement of coding is rapidly growing; not just for tech jobs, but for all jobs. According to the U.S. government report, currently 75% of the job on the market require coding skills, and 62% of the highest-paying skills are in Artificial intelligence, machine learning, Big data analytics, Robotics, and computing security, all of them are computer-science related work. But only 18% of these positions require a computer science degree. That means people who have good coding skills, can still get a very good job in this technology-driven market.

I believe learning to code is a good decision regardless of what you study or where you live. Soon most jobs in the future will require some level of computer knowledge and coding skills. I believe all students in high school must know how to code as computer science education is vital to their future. If you study business, and finance you also need to learn at least one programming language because most of the jobs in the business area such as Business Analysts, Financial Analyst and Data Analyst require programming skills to analyze data and solve problems in business and finance. A senior manager at the largest Finance company told me that all future financial jobs are computer jobs. Of course, all engineering jobs such as Electronic, Civil, Mechanical as well as Technicians also need programming skills to conduct research, to solve problem or to design new products. Even Artist & Architects, and Designers also need programming skills as they are working with computer technologies such as 3D modeling, design buildings, cities, and graphics etc.

I believe coding is a “Must-Have Skill for the Future.” If your school does not teach it, you need to learn from other places. (i.e. YouTube, Online tutorials, MOOCs etc.) regardless of what type of job that you do.

Sources

  • Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University

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