“Learning to write programs stretches your mind and helps you think better — creates a way of thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains,” Bill Gates once said.
Wondering why you should learn how to code in the new year? Here are five reasons.
1. You’ll have a more versatile skillset
Coding is the magic behind websites, blogs, apps, many programs, and more. Learning a programming language will allow you to understand how the tools you use regularly work and iron out any kinks that happen behind the scenes.
You’ll also be able to augment your current skill set and use your new toolkit in a number of ways. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, you can build an online portfolio to showcase your work, as well as be able to do more with the programs you use regularly, such as Adobe Suite.
2. You can become a more effective problem-solver
People who know how to program think differently from those who don’t. That’s because coders must learn how to deal with obstacles, such as a program not behaving as it should, and find a different approach for rectifying the issue.
When you approach a given scenario, you’ll need to break it down into manageable components, search for potential problems, and create a plan for solving them. These are all key steps in problem-solving in general, too, so learning a programming language will provide you with a different view on things that can help you with non-programming issues.
3. You’ll be more efficient
Let’s say you’re using Excel, as most of us do regularly. If you have no knowledge of the technical end, recording and tabulating data can be tedious and time-consuming. But if you have knowledge of programming, you can create macros, formulas, and functions to better manage, summarize, and format your data.
Many other apps can be customized to perform more efficiently and help you work more quickly. You can even create your own if you know how to code or take advantage of the available advanced tools that can enhance any software’s basic capabilities.
4. You’ll work better with your colleagues
Most businesses interact with or perform software development to some extent these days, no matter what the industry. Learning how to code will enable you to work better with your team members and others.
You can even perform simple tasks that require some knowledge of programming yourself without bothering your software developers. A marketing professional could edit or add elements to a webpage, for example, and a content manager might alter the interface of a company blog all on their own.
5. It will open up doors for you
If you’re a software developer, you’ll need to have a wide array of programming languages on your resume. But even if you’re not, your knowledge of programming and different languages will make you a more marketable candidate in the job market and could lead to higher earning potential and promotions.
For instance, if a hiring manager is deciding between two candidates for a sales representative position, and one knows a programming language while the other doesn’t, they’re more likely to choose the former candidate. After all, the person with programming knowledge can speak knowledgeably to customers about technical issues and even create programs to generate or modify sales reports, along with other skills.
In an increasingly digital world, those who take the initiative to learn fundamental tech skills like coding will rise to the top, finding more opportunities in their professional lives and beyond, while those who don’t risk falling behind. Not only will you be able to do more in your current job and have more positions available to you, but you’ll also improve and gain seemingly unrelated skills like problem-solving.
You should always take a look at what’s available for you to make the right decision. Yet, at the end of the day, any programming language you learn will improve your life tenfold.