Top 5 Reasons Why You Need to Learn Coding

We are living in the age of information technology. Wherever you may go, it will be hard to flee the constant reminder of that fact. You are probably reading this article on your phone or notebook. This already reveals that you are a person who knows how to use information technology.

Participating in the World Wide Web, checking emails, and using messaging apps on a daily basis has become a normality for many of us. During the last decades, more and more people have started to work for IT companies.

However, I am not going to focus on professional reasons to learn coding.

For me personally, learning how to code was no conscious decision, but rather a natural process that started during childhood. I had access to my father’s computer at home back in the early 2000s, which allowed me to play around with my first programming language, QBasic. I viewed it as a nice game and it soon became fascinating. This already leads me to the first reason for you to learn coding as well:

1. You Will Enjoy It

It’s fun and it can be fascinating. If you ever enjoyed playing games on your computer or phone, you will most likely enjoy creating games yourself. This doubles the fun because you can play your game and adjust it to your needs whenever you like to. You can always extend your game by new features.

While it may be hard at first, finding out how to do things is a wonderful feeling.

Pong

A “Pong” game, created in Python

However, you don’t need to focus on games to make coding an enjoyable experience. If you ever had an interest into topics like optimization, networks, algorithms or artificial intelligence, now you have the chance to start exploring them yourself.

2. It’s Easy and Cheap

It’s a common myth that coding is hard and that you need to have some talent for it. If you go step by step with a good tutorial, you can teach yourself the basics in about a week.

Although you can start with any language, I recommend Python (very easy to learn and a popular language) or Java (a bit more difficult, but more commonly used). There are many tutorials in the web that will help you on your way.

Pong Code

A part of the Python source code of the game shown in the previous picture. You don’t have to understand the meaning of every line. However, the code will reveal its meaning if you take some time to read it. Writing your own code is always easier than reading somebody else’s.

Another great thing about coding is that you don’t need any money to do it. If you want to start building cars, you need lots of material. But to start building your own software, you need nothing more than a computer!

3. It’s Relevant

As already mentioned in the introduction, it is a part of our every day life. The IT sector has become big and is still growing. I am convinced that the cultural impact of information technology will further increase.

I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.

– Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943

You can earn a lot of money with coding obviously, but this isn’t the focus of this blog post. I will keep focusing on personal benefits, such as the next point:

4. Understanding the Digital World

Once you coded your own applications, you will view the Internet, apps and information technology in general in a different way. How does the Internet work? How can hackers get into my computer? Why do websites know so much about me?

If you search for these questions online, you will find answers easily. However, it will still be quite hard to grasp the context if you lack practical knowledge.

Part of the source code of a website.

Part of the source code of a website.

5. Every Day Life

One thing that coding can do for you is that it lets you get better at maths. By coding applications, you will get an intuitive feeling for variables. You often won’t need traditional analytical methods any more, because you can create algorithms to solve problems iteratively.

Let’s say you have a maths problem where you need to calculate how far a ball will fly. You know the wind speed, the speed at which the ball is thrown, the angle and maybe a few more parameters. There might be a formula in a book that can tell you the exact answer.

The more complex the problem gets, the harder it will be to find an analytical solution. But if you create a simulation, the flight curve will be calculated step by step, and the problem will stay simple. Creating simulations is a great way to optimize solutions for your every day life problems.

How to Start Coding

Now you might ask yourself how to get started in the best possible way. I am not going to provide a full tutorial, but I can help you pick a programming language:

  1. For beginners, Python is one of the most commonly used languages. Its simplicity makes it easy to learn and it is used in a lot of fields.
  2. Java is the most commonly used programming language. It might be harder to learn, but it is great for creating all kinds of applications and apps.
  3. If you want to create your own websites, start with HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

You can go step by step and go with Python first, or, depending on your goals, start with an other option as well. Good luck!

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Constantin

Student of computer science and economics. I like coding, AI, literature, philosophy and personal development.

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