Learning how to code, even at the basic level may sound intimating to many people. Programming is a career path. How are you supposed to learn how to do it while keeping up with your typical obligations?
While coding certainly can be very complex, the basics are accessible to those willing to log time trying to learn them. And, in a world that is increasingly digital, the reasons to do this are many.
In this article, we discuss why everyone can benefit from at least a little bit of coding knowledge.
What Is Coding?
Coding is, essentially the language of computers. Actually, there are many different coding languages, ranging both in complexity and purpose. All of them, however, are designed to ensure that computer programs perform predictably and as intended.
Complex coding can take many years to master, which is exactly why professionals in coding-related fields command high salaries.
Coding basics, on the other hand, can be quite basic indeed. Simple coding has even found its way into middle schools. In other words, if your goal is to learn more about programming languages, it’s something you can accomplish, either on your own or even through classes that are sure to be offered in your community.
Understanding the basics of coding does not necessarily mean you are several steps away from becoming a computer programmer. It might mean that you can perform basic website maintenance on your own.
It will certainly mean that you can have a relatively articulate conversation with tech specialists to ensure that you can clearly and effectively communicate your coding needs.
So much business happens in the digital space now that coding touches nearly every aspect of modern human life. Being able to understand it at a basic level will help you survive and thrive in the modern business world.
Below we highlight specific situations where understanding the basics of coding can come in handy.
Your Responsibilities Change
Let’s say you are in marketing. Your job is to write sales copy, possibly analyze data, and, in short, produce high sales conversions. Though the industry has changed significantly over the years, your responsibilities are, and have always been, to help your clients effectively articulate a message to the general public.
That’s right. While you probably won’t be asked to build a website for your clients, you may be expected to update it from time to time. Sometimes basic coding is required to get the job done.
Many scenarios require light coding. While it’s possible to bring in the pros, doing so costs time and money. A future in which average people can do basic web maintenance on their own may one day become a practical necessity. For now, it’s a clear advantage.
If you’ve ever had a handyperson over to your house and been forced to explain “You know, it made a sort of buzzing sound like…err grr rrrr,” as they look on with patient politeness you know what it’s like to be unable to articulate your needs.
Tech specialists are, of course, quite familiar with this: situations where the person who needs something done doesn’t quite have the vocabulary to communicate it.
While these situations can be navigated, playing charades every time you talk to the tech team is wasteful and inefficient. By understanding the basics of coding, you can articulate what you want clearly, and effectively.
You Want to Get Promoted
Who doesn’t want to get promoted? Depending on your current line of work, the ability to understand coding basics might be highly desirable within senior positions. You might not be transitioning toward a tech team, but simply by being knowledgeable about digital technology, your expertise could give you an edge over the competition.
It’s all about standing out. These days, tech fluency is a valuable feather in your cap for nearly every line of work.
You Want to Keep Your Options Open
People don’t marry their careers the same way they used to. Where once an eighteen-year-old could walk into a factory, and come out fifty years later with a comfortable retirement account, many employees move around, either in search of competitive salaries or in the hopes of finding work that will be more fulfilling.
Understanding the basics of coding can potentially help you segue into a career in the lucrative tech industry. Naturally, you will need to improve your knowledge well beyond what most would consider “basic.”
However, having at least an early understanding of code can serve as an excellent stepping stone.
You Are Interested in Thinking from a Different Perspective
Coding is a logic-based language. As any dystopian, computers take over the world story will tell you, emotions have no place in programming language.
Perhaps it’s because of this that many people self-report that learning code improved their problem-solving abilities.
The basic premise of code is to teach a computer how to perform a task. To do this, you have to break the task down into clear, well-defined steps. Even tasks that have the appearance of being very difficult or complex can usually be simplified into a collection of simple steps.
In learning how to communicate this way, even if it is just to a computer, you develop skills that have the potential to retrain your brain, optimizing it toward linear, logic-based problem-solving.
How can you learn the basics of code?
There are many ways to learn the basics of code that don’t involve enrolling in a four-year college program. You may even be able to teach yourself, with the help of some high-quality online resources. If you are interested in a more guided approach, consider seeing what opportunities your community can offer.
Most likely, there will be a basic course at your local community college. Many public libraries also offer instructional resources or even classes on coding basics that can help you get started.
There are, of course, also many remote classes that you can sign up for online. In short, wherever you find yourself in the world, there is a resource available to help you get started with code.