Why Learn How to Code?

Why Learn How to Code?

The calls for Americans to learn how to code have been wide ranging in the past few years. It is common for tech giants to speak about the need to learn programming. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have spoken about it in the past.

Even then-President Barack Obama got involved, encouraging kids to take up computer science in the next few years.

But why are so many people focused on coding as a “must have” skill?

Learning How to Code

Programming is not as challenging as many people explain it to be. While there are many complex layers, steps and facets to coding, it is also the type of skill that almost anyone is able to pick up. It just requires the right tools, access and mindset.

When someone is committed to learning coding, they will be able to master various computer languages in no time at all. But the question many Americans ask is why it makes sense for them to learn coding.

Job Preparation

Probably the biggest reason why people are encouraged to learn coding is because it is a skill that can provide access to good jobs. Not only are computers the present, but they are most definitely the future.

The world is moving into an era when lightning fast wireless internet speeds will become the norm. Computers are more powerful than ever, with current-generation smartphones more powerful than computers from a decade ago.

And factors such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation of common tasks have not even been factored into the conversation. When such factors impact the American and worldwide economies, the need to write and understand code may be a lot more relevant than it is today.

Computer Literacy

In the past, computer literacy focused on knowing how to use a computer. Could someone turn on a computer, login, open a web browser, search for something or use word processing software?

The level of computer skills needed have certainly gone up since those days. Most people are assumed to have basic computer skills. It no longer makes sense to write “knows how to use Microsoft Office” on a resume, as any HR person would assume prospective hires know how to do use Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

Coding is fast becoming the benchmark for computer literacy, especially in jobs where websites, mobile apps and social media play a key role. If someone does not even know how to read and write basic code, they are at a disadvantage. Children who do not learn how to code are illiterate at languages that could soon shape the world.

Learning to Code is Easy

There are arguments for and against learning how to code. Some say that if a kid learns a computer language today, it will be irrelevant ten years later. While it is true that computer languages evolve, someone who knows a few computer languages has a much easier time picking up another one.

Coding will play a huge role in the job environment, even five to ten years from now. Kids who are entering middle school should be devoting significant hours to coding.

Even adults who want to enhance their skill set should learn how to code. It is easy and can be done for free. There is no excuse for being illiterate at computer languages these days.