Why you should learn how to code

by Guest Contributor

8 June, 2018

By Sukh Ryatt
Managing Director at intranet software solutions provider Oak

With the digital revolution in full swing, programming is perhaps one of the most valuable skills to hold. Whether you are looking to expand your career prospects, or even if you just fancy a new hobby, coding has the potential to open endless opportunities.

There are tonnes of reasons why learning to code is a good idea. Due to the skills shortage, there is a constant demand for Programmers and Developers in professional environments, as well as a high volume of freelance roles. Whilst freelancing isn’t for everyone, it does offer the unique opportunity to work to your own time scale, which can do wonders for your work/ life balance. As technology is so prominent nowadays, it will remain a valued profession, and so being computer-literate is essential!

Learning to code will influence your approach to work, as you’ll become a real stickler for detail. Proofreading will become second nature; you will gain detective-worthy problem solving skills; and you’ll be determined to get it right the first time – especially when one misplaced comma has the power to wreck an entire project!

Even if you’re not interested to pursue development as a career, there are very few modern job roles that don’t involve some form of tech element. Being savvy to key concepts and knowing very basic code can improve your communication and collaboration skills with others, as you’ll have a better sense of what to expect in terms of quality and timescale.

If you’re a total novice, it’s advisable to teach yourself code before splashing out on an expensive course. You can think of this as a trial period, to discover whether it’s something you’d like to do professionally, or simply something to occupy your spare time. There are tonnes of free online resources and tutorials you can follow, regardless of your skill level, or expertise.

For first-time programmers, Codeacademy offers a selection of interactive projects that are great to get some guided, hands-on experience. The courses are accompanied by straight-forward articles, allowing you to really get a grasp on the various concepts covered, such as ‘user centred design’ and ‘back-end web architecture’.

Another great option is Free Code Camp. Here aspiring programmers can gain valuable work experience by completing projects for non-profiting organisations – a great way to get your foot in the door!

For those who are slightly more experienced, Hacker Rank lets developers compete in challenges and competitions to expand their skill set. The community element is a great platform to share ideas, and make problem solving a real group effort.

If you decide development is the career path for you, there are tonnes of relevant degree subjects, such as Computer Science and Web Development, that can help you to truly hone your skills, ready for a professional environment. If you are seeking a career change, and don’t want to commit to 3 years of university, there are some legitimate online courses that can help you embark on your new career path. For example, Makers Academy, which is Europe’s leading Web Development boot camp, offering practical experience and job seeking assistance.