Career Testing
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Career Testing
SKILLS / OCT. 23, 2016
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Why Knowing How to Code Makes You a Better Learner

Female programmer working on laptop
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In the past, computer programming seemed like something reserved for an elite population of tech-savvy individuals who grew up hacking and coding. Nowadays, programming has become recognised as an important learning tool that teaches a number of valuable skills.
Due to the proliferation of technology in almost every aspect of life, understanding computer programming and knowing how to code is becoming a newer form of literacy. In this digital world, coding is a part of everyday life that helps children as well as adults with navigating through technology.
The ability to code is now a skill that can help you with many aspects of achieving goals and living a productive and satisfying life. With many great tutorials, online classes and educational programs, both adults and kids can easily learn how to code and benefit from the following advantages of gaining programming skills.

Better Job Opportunities

Computer programming knowledge and experience adds depth to your CV and can even improve your job performance, even in positions that have no direct relationship with coding. An increased number of job applicants and employees have learned programming basics, making such knowledge an essential skill similar to the use of verbal and written language skills.

If you have demonstrable programming skills, you make yourself relevant and competitive in the job market. Should you decide to pursue a career as a programmer, you can prepare yourself to play a vital role in your employer’s business. You can even use your coding proficiency to help you qualify for traditional IT jobs which often require a familiarity with computer logic.

Develops Problem Solving Skills

Learning to code develops your ability to organise your thoughts in logical ways. Such structured thinking will help you become a better speaker and develop an efficient approach to problem-solving. When you learn computational thinking, you will develop the ability to articulate problems and derive their solutions as an information processor. Both machines and people can easily implement the solutions you create and achieve your desired results.

Thinking like a computer helps you create small building blocks that lead to efficient solutions for big problems. You also learn how to create abstract models that broaden the scope of the solutions that worked in a particular setting so that they apply to general situations. Your systematic approach to thinking will increase your effectiveness in all your personal and professional roles.

A Rewarding and Motivating Skill

Many people find coding to be a motivating experience. You can learn more efficiently and translate the logical thought processes necessary for coding into other subjects. For example, you could start your own enterprise of making a mobile app for exercising or tracking the birds that you see while out for walks in the countryside.

Coding also helps you to develop good learning habits. This is because of the internal reward that you get after solving a complex problem. Doing so motivates you to learn more, develop new skills and tackle increasingly challenging problems with your coding.

For each new bit of code or programming language that you learn, you enhance your life. You may even find that your passion for learning coding makes you more excited about learning in other subjects. For example, you may find that you have a greater interest in developing more advanced graphic design skills.

Instead of putting off that expert-level project that you had your eyes on, you can take your skills and successes at coding and apply them to anything else in your life that you want to accomplish.

Develops Creativity

Only your will and your creativity limit what you can accomplish as a computer programmer. As you make progress with learning to program, you can change and add details and achieve different outcomes, just like you can do while telling a story. Similarly, you can use logic to create new sequences and introduce new characters, making your programs just as exciting or surprising as any story you might create.

As you express yourself artistically, you will expand your creativity in ways that can inspire you to pursue fields such as writing, printing, fashion design and drawing. If you want to create art through coding, you can use Processing as a framework for artistic pursuits such as prints, clothing design or data visualisation.

How and Where Can You Start Learning

Learning how to code can be frustrating, so you will need to have a clear purpose in mind to help you persevere. Quiz yourself to see if you have a clear motivation before you start learning how to code. Set realistic goals and create a plan for achieving them.

Learning how to code might seem like a hard and complex process to some individuals. Luckily, there is a growing number of educators who agree that teaching youngsters the principles of programming at a young age improves their overall ability to learn. As a result, many educational apps and games have been created to teach children the basics of coding in a fun and non-intimidating way.

These kid-friendly apps are a perfect way to start learning programming fundamentals while having fun at the same time. Such elementary environments give you an easy way to develop the mindset of a coder. They use colourful objects and drag-and-drop interfaces to teach the logical thought patterns needed to achieve a particular result. After you become familiar with accomplishing basic tasks without worrying about a programming language, you can move to the next level.

Programming schools, web development training exist in many communities that teach people of every age how to use a particular language. Such schools might use a 'boot camp' approach to give you quick results or they can take an unstructured, flexible approach that lets you attend informal classes as your schedule permits.

Similarly, online courses give you a chance to learn in a variety of formats while guided by either a teacher or an automated curriculum. You can also teach yourself by buying books and training tools that you can use at your convenience.

Use one or more of the following sites to get your coding career off to a fantastic start:

  • Bento: This online hub for coding knowledge gives you links to the best resources for learning various languages for web development. The site covers more than 80 programming languages from which you can choose.
  • Codecademy: You can register at Codecademy to get free online training for mastering Python, HTML and other languages.
  • GitHub: At GitHub, you can choose from more than 500 free programming books to guide yourself into the coding languages that appeal to you.

As you learn, remember that many open-source programs exist, giving you the chance to inspect and learn from working code. Such reverse-engineering (http://www.computerworld.com/article/2585652/app-development/reverse-engineering.html) gives you a chance to understand how other people code and apply their tactics to your own applications.

Learning how to code will uncover the mysteries of the applications and websites that you use every day and train your mind to think in logical ways that make you more valuable as you pursue any career. Acquiring coding skills will develop your creativity and improve your problem-solving skills. The sooner you start learning the basics of programming, the faster you can enjoy all of the benefits it brings.

Do you have anything you'd like to add or perhaps have a few tips and tricks you'd like to share with us? Join the conversation below and tell us what you think!

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