Why everyone should learn to code

Computers and smartphones are part of everyday life. Learning the basics behind this technology could be a life changing decision. Photo: hackNY

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 26, 2012 – For the older generation, keeping up with technology can be a full time job. The latest gadgets come out daily and to understand them is challenging. For younger generations, it seems as if they were born with a cell phone in their hands. When something new comes out, they know exactly what to touch and where to touch it even with their eyes closed.

But learning what’s behind this technology can benefit people of all ages as well. Understanding the source code that goes along with software, websites, and games can lead to a new outlook on technology and enriching new experiences in life.


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Teaches You to Think

When a person starts to learn code, there are many coding languages to consider such as HTML and CSS. Even learning just one of these codes can take a considerable amount of time. The first step is to figure out which language would be most beneficial for the time being. This includes what can be done with it, the keywords associated it, and the training required to either learn the rudiments of the language or become fluent in it. This could take some work for those who are new to the field.

The next step is to develop problem-solving techniques. In order to code, a programmer (or an educated user) has to have the ability to think about the problem in small steps, and then quantify it into larger, more complex problems. This “escalates” the code and makes the computer seem really smart, when in fact the coder is the smart one. It’s this expansion of coding that teaches a person to think.

Build a Game


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For the young (and the old) kids out there, the computer games that power imagination and relieve daily stresses aren’t that far away from coding. Many games require code-thinking skills. Also when individuals learn to code, they can create their own games. It’s a great motivation to learn to code and it makes it a fun and rewarding experience

Make Money

Not only does coding expand a person’s thinking skills, it also can be a great source of income. A person can list his or her game or app on one of the many app stores for free or a low price. It is now easier than ever to create a website and sell advertising space or other products knowing only the basics of coding.

Some of the most rich and powerful men and women in the world today have arisen from the tech community. Think of Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Google’s Larry Page, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. It all starts with knowing source code.


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Understand Software

Back in the 1980’s, when computers were first becoming more known to laymen, the distance between programming techniques and users was almost non-existent. As computer became more and more user friendly, the average user didn’t show as much interest in how the machines worked and just followed the instructions on the screen.

That’s a problem. If users understand how the background of the computer works, they will be able to maximize the usage and power the Internet has to offer. People can learn this material by themselves or they can attend one of the few online schools that teach it.

Taking small steps and learning to code can make a big difference in computer usefulness for the average user. As technology continues to increase, people can benefit in many ways by learning this new way of thinking.


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Katie Elizabeth

Katie Elizabeth is a freelance blogger, content coordinator and communications grad student. She’s always on the lookout for the latest and greatest social media and tech tactics and thinking about the creative ways in which professionals can actually USE them. 

She’s worked in several different industries, including real estate, sustainability and career development. When she’s not writing or studying, she’s probably on her way to a concert or exploring flea markets and antique stores.

 

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