Coding today is like sculpting in the Renaissance, or tossing a discus in Ancient Greece: a really, really badass skill that’s revered by pretty much everyone. If you’re human and have a pulse, you’ve probably been encouraged to learn to code at one point or another. Yet, you’re probably wondering if this ability is really all it’s cracked up to be. The short answer is yes!
There are actually quite a few reasons to learn to code, even if you don’t work as a developer or even in a creative field. Below we’ll take a look at five of the best.
1. Enhance Your Digital Literacy
How would you feel if you were surrounded by books and could look at the pictures, but were unable to read or write? This is how most people are with their devices: able to interact with them on a limited basis, but without the ability to use them to their fullest extent. Whether it’s your laptop, your mobile or even a traditional desktop, if you can’t code, you can only scratch the surface of what these tools can do.
Learning programming enables you to understand how technology works, and therefore how to make it work better for you. Once you learn to code, you’ll become digitally literate in a way you never imagined possible, able to troubleshoot and invent creative solutions to problems that before would have frustrated or defeated you.
2. Pump Up the Jam on Your Website
While anyone can put together a WordPress site and futz with the CSS, not just anyone can create interactive experiences using jQuery, say, or customize that WordPress site using tailored PHP. Programming in various languages allows you to do a lot more with images, videos and even text. If you can move beyond the basics of dabbling in HTML5, you’ll not only reap the benefits in the form of a far more powerful website, you may impress employers or clients enough to hire you to do the same for them.
3. Improve Focus and Problem-Solving Skills
Code is a tempestuous mistress, but truly delightful once you get to know her. Thing is? You’ve got to work for it. There’s no such thing as doing a little programming for 5-10 minutes; you need long stretches in order to get anywhere. If you take the time to master various programming languages, though, you’ll soon find that you have a ready-made opportunity to improve your focus and problem-solving skills. Because programming requires a lot of iterative attempts before you find solutions that work, you have to keep track of tiny changes in the code in pursuit of bigger changes on the front end. This is great training for a sharp brain.
4. Multiply Your Productivity
Coding can also help you become much more productive. Once you have the basic programming skills to manipulate your computer on a deeper level, you can start automating a wide variety of basic tasks that will save you time and make you more effective a worker (or player) overall.
You could, for instance, write basic programs that help you debug your computer and track down inefficiencies. Or you can use code to help modify your email and text message work flow so that it becomes much more efficient, right from your desktop. You can also organize your files so you no longer have to perform a frustrating search whenever you want to find a document (goodbye, Monster Documents Folder You No Longer Recognize … hello, sanity!). And you can even create your own computer games. Be honest: The third grader in you is thrilled about that one.
5. Experience Flow
Flow is an idea popularized by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi that describes how it feels to become totally immersed in our work, so that time loses meaning and we become one with the work itself. This glorious state, if you’ve ever encountered it, is both emotionally fulfilling and highly productive.
Well guess what? Programming is one of the best ways to experience flow. Learning new languages, tinkering with lines of code, finding the little fixes that make your program work beautifully … these are very enjoyable experiences for many programmers, and leave you with a sense of satisfaction that lingers long after your work is done. If you’d like more Zen in your life, learning to code can give it to you.
Of course, we’ve got to admit that coding can also be a hair-tearing experience if you don’t have the backup you need. Learn to code properly by enrolling in one of Coding Dojo’s programs, such as our full-time coding bootcamp or Intro to Coding course. We’ll set you on the right track so that your experience can be blissful, starting today!