In today’s world, everything uses technology to function. It is no longer constrained to making computers. Architecture, medicine, engineering, teaching, music; every field takes help from technology to bring growth and prosperity. One of the constant debates is between people who claim that coding is essential and those you believe that it isn’t. Some people believe that coding should be made essential in schools and it should be taught in a manner similar to reading and writing. Both of the sides bring compelling arguments to the table which leaves one to sit on the fence about which side is correct. So is it really important enough for its lack to become a hurdle in the growth of your career?
Here are some ideas:
TECHNOLOGY IS EVERYWHERE
There is no denying the fact that technology is widespread in the world and no field of work is left untapped by the use of technology. No matter which field you work in or what your passion is, you will most probably come across technology a lot more than you expect. According to statistics, more than 90 percent of the jobs that were being done by humans in the past have now been taken over by computers. We communicate through technology, we work through technology, and we even order food through technology! There is no denying that we are encircled by technology in our lives, knowing how to control or amend technology can provide us with a sense of control in our lives. We would not be dependent on a third person to fix minor issues for us that are easily fixable if you have the basic understanding of how coding is don’t and how it functions.
CODING IN THE CLASSROOM CAN CLOSE THE TECH KNOWLEDGE GAP
With the increased requirement of tech employees in the work space, there is a gap created between supply and demand of technical workers. There are so many new and innovative technologies that keep launching, updates that become available, and languages that get designed that it is not possible for a small group of coders to be specialized in all of these domains. This creates a lag as new and innovative technology takes longer to get implemented in the real world. Which is why coding in the classroom can close the tech knowledge gap. More people will have a background in technology where they will be learning about more than just Microsoft PowerPoint in their schools. This will give rise to an early interest in the field of computer sciences in early stages of education and students that have the capacity and the inclination towards learning about technology and data sciences will get a stronger foundation in these fields early on in life. Younger children are like sponges; they are more impressionable and it is easier to learn new ideas and concepts in a younger age. The earlier this field is incorporated in the syllabus, the easier it will be for students to understand and excel in this domain.
LEARN TO SOLVE PROBLEMS
Whenever technology is implemented in the world, there are glitches in the system that occur or minor fixes that need to be done to keep the technology or service moving seamlessly. When you start to learn coding, soon you realize that coding has less to do with creating intricate systems and unique designs and more to do with solving problems. Logical thinking, problem solving and organization are some of the basis of programming. Working on coding can help the person practice the logical side of the brain. Learning to code has not only helped people to process the rationale behind their own thinking, but it has also increased the people’s ability to create more well-thought-out decisions through organizing thoughts and intentions. Coding teaches you to think, it helps you to understand things in a way that allows your brain to bring creative ideas to the table by allowing you to think outside the box.
KNOWING JUST A LITTLE CAN HELP YOU GET AHEAD A LOT
Coding is not as complex as it may seem to someone who does not have a background in technology. Although, it is a lot simpler than it may seem, knowing a little about coding could really help you land a lot of other jobs as well. Coding is an added skill that can help you land many other jobs such as sales in a software company. Leaders should have a basic understanding of coding. As a business owner you can benefit from the understanding of coding because it will help you understand the process that the company goes through and stream line the progress of the company. As an employee you might have to work with different teams to get a project moving. Having some basic knowledge about coding and how the process works will help you better understand your technical colleagues and it will make co-working a lot seamless due to a strong understanding of concepts between the two. These added benefits help in providing an edge to the employee as they can collaborate more easily with the rest of their co-workers.
PROFESSIONALS SHOULD CONSTANTLY EVOLVE WITH TECHNOLOGY
Over the period of time the work spaces have evolved and they keep on evolving over time. With this change in workspace, technology has been incorporated into work. With these changes in professions, one should learn to evolve according to the needs of the time. Being up to date with the technology being used and learning to incorporate it in your work makes you a valuable employee who is much appreciated for his/her skills in the office. It is beneficial to develop an awareness of basic coding frameworks. If the company is working with any technology or technical client, this knowledge would be very beneficial for an employee. Employees show they learn and understand how to leverage data to make decisions. Data can be extremely useful in understanding hard facts and statistics of the company and its work, if a person can learn to read data and then use technology to come up with unique solutions, they can benefit themselves by making their work easier and they can benefit the company by utilizing time more efficiently.
KNOWING LOGIC IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN KNOWING A CODING LANGUAGE
It is not essential to know how to code, however, it is important to understand the logic behind it. Everyone does not necessarily need to code but to understand the working behind it usually becomes essential to get a better grasp of the situation. Learning how the code functions gives you a better understanding of how the systems are run and where the work is lagging. This could be a bonus skill to have as an employee. Along with understanding the logic of code, one should know the limits and benefits of coding to maximize an employee’s role. If you are aware of the benefits being offered by coding or the limitations that it faces, only then you can reap the fruits of coding. If you are unaware of the capability of coding, how will you utilize it? Similarly if you are unaware of the limitations of the code, you will not be able to devise a workable plan. An employee can take assistance from coding to do work quickly and more efficiently.
CODING CAN LEAD TO SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT JOBS
Coding opens many doors for you that were previously closed. It opens up new job opportunities for an employee, simply by the addition of one new skill: coding. Coding is viewed as an important skill in this age and time and having coding skills on your resume can provide it a bonus point in the eye of the recruiter. Knowing how to code depicts to recruiters that you are a self-starter. A person who codes learns to think out of the box as coding is centered on out of the box thinking. Having an additional coding skill also makes you seem like a versatile employee to have who is a problem solver and always hands on when a situation arises in the office. This makes your job application stand out of the crowd, which increases your chances of getting employed.
IT COULD LEAD TO FREELANCE WORK
You don’t always have to learn to code to get a job. One of the team members at Solaris Technologies, Lisa, learned how to code even though she was not working in a technical department. She had been working in an IT company and realized that we are surrounded by technology and there is no one who isn’t using software in one form or another. So, she decided to learn to code. By doing so, she started working as a freelancer after her office hours and she does not regret her decision for even a single moment! This allows Lisa to work independently outside of the office and it also allows her to have a backup plan in her life. If she ever goes through a phase of shifting jobs or needs to take an off from office for any reason, she will be able to have a smoother transition from one job to another without any financial concerns. Freelancing in the coding domain also allows a person to understand market trends and requirements. It gives you an insight of the type of technical work being done in the present and what are the demands of the market.
Learning to code helped Lisa understand how work was being conducted in other departments of the office and her work flourished as a floor manager with this new available knowledge of how technical work was flowing in the office.
CODING CAN ALLOW YOU TO PURSUE PASSION PROJECTS
Sometimes a person is not looking to work as a coder full time, rather they just want to explore the domain part time or on the side. Furthermore, outside of the office, a person may have a business or startup in the pipeline. When starting a project of your own it helps to have some know how about coding and how to make small changes in the code. This can help you keep things moving when you face a small glitch in your work. It also allows you to better estimate the pace of the work and create a workable timeline for your project/ No matter what project you start, it will require you to use technology in one way or another. Having some background knowledge about the code will make it easier for you to make changes to it. Coding also helps to improve interpersonal skills for a person. It helps you to converse with techies and understand the topic being discussed, allowing people to find it easier to talk to you without having to breakdown every topic into simpler, plainer, less technical words.
Of all the fields out there, coding is one of those fields that opens doors of creativity. Creativity tends to flow when you are working as a coder because the field requires the person to think in a unique, one of a kind way. Coding may seem like a job where people build sophisticated codes that are super complex to understand, however, it is all about solving problems with a unique, creative and divergent thought process; so you will eventually end up thinking of new ways to solve old problems or find creative solutions to new ones.
Everything has both benefits and drawbacks and coding is no exception. With all of these wonderful reasons to go ahead and start learning about coding, there are a few reasons as to why one should not. One should consider both sides of the issue before making a decision over which side they want to choose. Here are a few reasons why coding is not for everybody:
“Computational thinking primarily benefits people who design computations and…The claims of benefit to non-designers are not substantiated.”
IT’S NOT THE SAME AS READING OR WRITING
Coding may not be as difficult as people make it out to be, however; it is not as simple as reading or writing either. It is a lot more intricate than that. At a stage in life when students need to develop their basic skills that are essential for them in the future, code can become a cumbersome burden upon their shoulders. Learning code requires time and effort. Children need to be treated as children and should not be over-burdened with unnecessary subjects that would better serve the children if they were simply optional and taught in later years. If you do not wish to become a coder, you may be potentially wasting these hours of your life on a skill that you do not wish to use in your life.
CODING IS NOT THE NEW LITERACY
Although the recent trend does suggest that coding should be part of the syllabus and yes, students who have an inclination towards coding and technology may benefit from the subject but it is simply an added burden for those who are not. One thing to keep in mind is that a study conducted by Louisiana State University, in 2017, has suggested a link between children’s screen usage and moderate depression. If we introduce coding to the curriculum of the students, we are consciously putting them at a risk of a mental ailment. It is also important to consider that coding is not a means of judging a child’s literacy. Some students are born with a more creative streak while others are more with a more mathematical mind; forcing students to study a subject that may not do any good for their natural talent is simply a waste of resources and a child’s abilities.
THERE’S NO NEED TO CODE UNLESS YOU LOVE IT
“Education without application is just entertainment.”
— Tim Sanders
There is only a limited time that a person has in this world. With every moment that a person spends learning, they should spend it learning something they have a passion for. There is no denying that code is everywhere and it is a useful skill to learn, however, if we follow this criteria, we would end up wanting to learn a lot more than we can handle; cars break down every day, that does not mean we have to take up a mechanics course, people fall ill every day but that doesn’t mean we all start studying medicine. Not everyone is born to be a coder, just like not everyone can be a doctor, an engineer, an artist or a psychologist. Then why waste valuable time on unproductive routes? Wanting to be good at everything and being an all-rounder makes you a mediocre player in all of the fields.
“The jack-of-all-trades seldom is good at any. Concentrate all of your efforts on one definite chief aim.”
You should opt to learn coding, there is nothing wrong in that. However, only do so if you are passionate about it. Life is too short to waste your time on endeavors that do not personally interest you. Let the coders do the coding and only take a direction in life if it is your desire to align your path in that direction.
THERE ARE MANY JOBS FOR PEOPLE WHO DO NOT KNOW HOW TO CODE
Although technology has spread its wings wide, there are many jobs that do not require you to even have a technical background let alone an understanding of coding. Not all jobs require you to have an idea of code and how it works and this is not going to change anytime soon. With so many people inclined towards learning technology and code, this might even increase the demand of non tech employees in the future. An increase in the use of technology will also give rise to jobs in social sciences such as sociology and psychology.
If you want to learn code simply out of fear that you may not be able to find the right job or a job that does not pay enough, then you would be satisfied to know that there are still plenty of jobs that do not have any such requirements. You could go into management, teaching, nursing, medicine, engineering, law, and so many other fields where you are not required to know how to code. Coding isn’t a formula that one can learn and implement wherever needed. If a person is not passionate about coding, they may never be good at it anyways. This is why, not all the students who study computer sciences opt for coding as a career choice.
After going through both sides of the argument, one can create a better understanding of the topic and reach the more rational decision. It is fair to say that coding is something people need to have a basic understanding of, however, it should not be imposed on any person. It should solely be learned by choice and making it part of the syllabus will produce mediocre coders at best. Instead of having very basic computer classes in the education system that are focused on teaching children how to write a mail or use Microsoft spreadsheet, there should be an introductory class that provides students with a basic foundation of what programming is.
Steve Jobs said that everyone should learn how to program a computer, because it teaches you to think. What most people miss out on is that the focus is not on learning a computer program as that only serves as an avenue of learning. The focus is on teaching people to think. There are many other ways of teaching children and adults to start asking the right questions; forcing programming onto people will strip this field of work with dedicated and ardent employees, which will not produce any fruitful outcome. Creativity should be taught as a subject instead, and children should be given the opportunity to choose their mode of learning; those who find interest in computer studies can opt for it while those who don’t find it intriguing can opt for some other modes of learning.