In a nutshell, programming is the art of making the devices around us – of all shapes, sizes and performance levels – react and operate in the way we want them to. Now think of the learning possibilities this gives us and the awesomeness of being part of an ever-changing technological landscape. Anyone can learn how to program and maybe this will finally get you closer to that cool app idea you had or the website you wanted to make for your company. It doesn’t have to get hardcore unless you want it to :) We can talk about artificial intelligence and processing big data algorithms later. You might be working in a completely unrelated domain and still be able to reap the benefits. If you think of it, it’s quite rare nowadays for anyone to work without interacting with a system of some sort.
Let’s first have a look at why you should definitely get the basics:
- We live in a techie world. We’re getting more and more digital – mobiles, tablets, computers, smart watches, monitors, drones and what not. We are all using at least one if not a subset of these. The Internet of Things is placing smart chips everywhere and is making our lives easier and more efficient with every gadget being released. Now give me one good reason why you wouldn’t follow up with the trends, become a bit tech-savy and get to influence some of these devices yourself?
- You get a better head start when promoting your business/services. One aspect is key in the current economy and that is that you need to be able to become digital, be present on multiple communication channels and connect to your target audience. We cannot get too far without a prime-user experience website or a cool app. Basic web programming knowledge will help you get there faster. Combine it with hybrid app development and you have covered two of the most popular ways to get to your customers.
- Everything is out there for you to start learning. There is so much material available to help you get going even as a beginner it would be a shame not to – Code Academy, Code School, Udacity, Udemy – these are some of the best communities/portals to get you going. Learning to program can nowadays be cheap and straightforward. Make use of the variety of open source options, books and materials out there.
- Troubleshooting has become super easy. You have plenty of support once you get going as well – countless communities like Stackoverflow, Google groups, Quora, Code Project, Dev Shed, etc are ready for your questions and helping you in your geeky troubles.
- There is more and more demand on the IT job market. programming jobs demand is still increasing – to be more specific, it is expected to rise up to about 25 million domain experts by 2020. Looking at the facts, programming is at the top of the most wanted skill sets today and will stay the same at least in the near future.
- A technical mindset helps a lot in day to day life. Actually, I’ve come to notice that it helps in the most unexpected circumstances. It brings value through a more systematic way of thinking. We might sometimes perform tasks more efficiently and make better decisions. Whether it is about organizing our homes or schedules, doing errands or interacting with others, at some point you will notice the difference.
- Gets you in the growth loop. It requires you to never stop learning which is, in my opinion, one of the healthiest principles to live by – technology around us evolves continuously and so should our techniques and skills. Programming is one area where you cannot afford to get comfortable, skills become old-school before you know it :)
- Satisfaction guaranteed. You’ll get to experience some pure joy and pride when you get to see your code performing as you thought it would. To be honest, this might come after pulling some hairs out first but the moment of triumph is still priceless.
To put some structure into how to move forward, have a look a bit more at programming in general terms. Do you already have some idea of what you would like to build? Look that up further and find out what kind of technology/ languages would be needed for that. Don’t forget about all those blogs and books out there and the huge community of experts that has also started from scratch once upon a time. Make use of others’ experience.
Now for some off-the-record sharing before wrapping up – programming in my case has had a rough start. I joined a Computer Science Bachelor class where most colleagues were already very skilled and knowledgeable, I had a lot of catching up to do. Me and programming have had our rough spots but over the years I’ve come to love it and appreciate its power. If I could choose again, I would not go for a different study for anything in the world. Plus, for all the ladies interested in the topic, note that you’ll get double appreciation as this is mostly a man’s domain hehe. Wishing you loads of luck and hope this will trigger a bit of curiosity to at least try it out. Shoot any questions you might have at our mailbox firstname.lastname@example.org or on the FB page :D Happy learning!