We live in the era where data management of almost everything is done digitally in fields such as; communication, healthcare, banking, travel and transportation, business transactions, and a lot more. Making life and work less laborious and less time-consuming with the help of computers, smartphones, and other smart devices, the Internet of Things proves to be an essential network for a more comfortable life.
The Internet of Things(IoT) that is rapidly increasing its popularity both in topic and usage is the concept of connecting devices and sharing or exchanging data—with the analogy of talking to each other—through connecting to the internet, making communication, healthcare, banking and other tasks a lot easier and effortless. All these things are made possible through coding and programming.
Coding and Its Undeniable Value
As this generation becomes more tech-focused and data-driven, coding is becoming the new standard of literacy, and the importance of learning how to code is also increasing. Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple even said, “Everybody in this country should learn to program a computer,” and he added, “because it teaches us how to think.”
Bill Gates also said something that supports that thought, he stated; “Learning to write program stretches your mind, and helps you think better, creates a way of thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains.”
And it’s proven true because today, coding and programming skills are becoming a must-have skill that increases job security considering the fast evolution of different industries through technology.
C.J. Windisch, lead engineer and co-founder of location-based app GonnaBe believes that the value of coding is to learn how to use information or data to “drive” decision, he once said; “We see it everywhere from statistical analysis in baseball to politics with Barack Obama’s data-driven election team. Understanding data at that scale requires a computer to run numbers, not a calculator. In today’s big data world, that means coding.”
What is Coding?
Basically, coding is a computer language used to develop and process every information we see on our smart devices; every app on our phone, every website we visit on our chosen browser and every software we use, are all processed and made with codes and through coding. Coding is essential because computers can’t talk human language or understand words, the only thing that computers understand is the mathematical language known as the binary code. The binary code contains infinite and complex combinations of zero (0) and one (1) that represent letters, characters or digits. That, however, creates a huge language barrier between most of us and computers.
Coding Skills Are Not Just For Tech Positions
“Whether you want to uncover the secrets of the universe, or you just want to pursue a career in the 21st century, basic computer programming is an essential skill to learn,” said the famed physicist, Stephen Hawking. And as coding is becoming a valuable skill to this data-driven generation, so are people with coding skills. In fact, a report was given by Burning Glassdoor Technologies stated that seven million job openings between 2014 to 2016 are already valuing coding skills, and the requirement of coding or computer programming skills is rapidly growing; not just for tech jobs, but even for, traditionally, non-tech job positions—and that’s not surprising.
- 65% of the fastest-growing skills, and 62% of the highest-paying skills in fields such as machine learning, Apache Hadoop, Python, and data visualization, are all computer-science related. Yet only 18% of these positions ask for a computer science degree.
- Coding and programming jobs are growing 12% faster than the market average and 50% faster than the market overall.
- Half of the jobs in the top income quartile (more than $57,000 per year) are in occupations which commonly require coding skills from job applicants
- Jobs and positions requiring computer programming or coding skills pay $22,000 more per year than jobs that don’t; $84,000 vs. $62,000 per year.
According to Alison Derbenwick Miller, vice president of Oracle Academy, taking CS courses and learning to code is a wise decision regardless of the career interest, he said; “Living wage jobs in the future will require some level of computer science knowledge. This shows that computer science education is vital to future earnings, and an important equity issue.” And although coding skills may not be specifically required in all cases, job seekers who know how to code will typically have the advantage over those that don’t. Some of the job categories that value coding skills include;
Business Analysts, Financial Analyst and Data Analyst use computer programming to analyze data and solve problems in business and finance. Common coding tasks include estimating how much money a company will earn or determining how many of a particular item a store should put on the shelves.
Civil Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, and Engineering Technicians use programming to conduct research to solve practical technology problem and to design and test new products.
Medical Researchers, Chemist and Environmental Scientist, use programming to analyze experiment results and create simulations of physical events.
Artist & Designers
Graphic designers, User Experience Designer, and Web Designers use 3D modeling software or designing and digital tools such as AutoCAD, to create and design websites and physical products. 51% of visual designers require at least one web development skill.
This isn’t the end of the list, other non-tech jobs and businesses that work with data are also valuing coding. Marketing is also increasingly relying on “big data” analytics and use programming to understand how their website function and manage campaigns.
And although coding skills may not be specifically required in all cases, job seekers who know how to code will typically have the advantage over those that don’t.
Popular Coding Skills and Languages:
- iOS Family
- Ruby on Rails
Coding: A Desireable Skill for the Future
The awareness of the importance of coding skills is rapidly increasing that it didn’t even escape the eyes of the former US President, Barack Obama’s administration. In 2016, the Obama administration launched Computer Science for All, a $4 billion initiative to expand computer science education—in recognition of the opportunities associated with coding skills.
Even Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO highly values codes and coding skills. In an interview that’s broadcasted last April 6, 2018, with MSNBC and Recode for the “Revolution: Apple Changing the World” special, Cook said, “I want America to be strong, first and foremost, and I think to do that, we need to code. It is a language, and it is everywhere in our life. It is problem-solving.” In that same interview, Cook also said that we don’t need a four-year college education to learn to code, but he added that widening the focus on coding is required to add creativity.
Coding may not be easy to learn, but it’s definitely possible with online programs and coding boot camps that are making it less difficult and a lot easier for people who want to learn how to code or to develop coding skills even without prior coding experience or formal schooling. It’s also important to know that coding isn’t just about writing codes, building things and earning big; it is also about enjoying what you do. Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux and Git, said; “Most good programmers do programming not because they expect to get paid or get adulation by the public, but because it is fun to program.”
In these modern times and even in the future, computer programming or coding skills are expected to be one of the most valuable and a must-have skill both for IT jobs and non-tech positions; to help the nows, and improve the tomorrows. As Edward Teller, the father of hydrogen bomb, once said, “the science of today is the technology of tomorrow.” And with coding, what was easily done yesterday, is easier today, and what is easily done today can be easier tomorrow. Thus, coding was, is and will always be behind all technologies and the future of a more effortless and comfortable way of living.