What is Programming? Why Should You Learn It? 💻

4 min read

2021-12-25


What? Programming?#

If you search Google for "What is Programming," you're going to get a very boring answer: "the process or activity of writing computer programs." But coding is so much more fun that writing text on a screen all day. By writing code, you're giving your computer a manual on what to do. This means that programming allows computers to perform tasks such as adding 2 numbers, calculating simple interest, and even predict where the next wildfire will be! In the modern world, code is all around us: in self-driving cars, in your text messages, in the stock market, and more.

Okay, but why should I care?#

Even though humans are great at doing some intelligent tasks, such as reading a book or writing a novel, we are always prone to making mistakes. If you think the chance of making a mistake is quite small, consider that there are over 7 billion people on this world, each doing something each day, the numbers stack up. Also, having a computer do some of that work for you sounds very nice, doesn't it. After all, I haven't heard a single person complain about having work done automatically for them.

Computers are REALLY good at doing repetitive tasks over and over again. After all, a computer will always do what it is told to do: nothing more, nothing less. Things such as putting the same part on a car, calculating complex math problems, and even learning the habits of you, the human, are activities that computers excel at.

Hmm, good point. But is programming for me?#

Of Course! Below are just a couple of reasons why you should learn coding.

You don't need a top-tier computer#

Computers are much cheaper than ever before, with average prices starting from $300 to $500. These days, many people who previously couldn't afford a computer have one right in their houses! In constrast to the common myth of needing an expensive, top spec computer to write code, almost all modern computers have the capability for users to program comfortably. The widespread use of computers makes it easy for anyone eager to learn programming to start.

Programming can be self taught#

In contrast to heavy lectures and large homework assignments, coding is an activity that can be learnt in one's free time. Whether it be after work or waiting for a taxi, there are many FREE resources out there to teach you. Next time you're waiting for your next flight, or have some free time on your hands, play around with the following apps and websites!

Coding fosters creativity and problem solving#

Given a coding problem, coding encourages individuals to break down complex problems into simpler ones and helps people approach the problem from different angles. Additionally, if you're stumped, don't worry! There are many online resources out there, such as the infamous Stack Overflow where you can post a question and an expert will answer it for you within minutes for FREE.

Coding is the future#

As the world becomes more automated, technology and robots are bound to dominate tomorrow's society. More and more businesses are turning to software solutions for their current problems. Self driving cars from Tesla and Uber are starting to enter the our roadways. Some restaurants use robot waiters instead of human ones. And in everyday life, buying items online requires a code to be written, and programs to be run.

The pay is awesome#

In 2019, the median salary for a software developer was $107,510. In contrast, the median salary of all jobs within the United States was $40,000. To do the math, programming jobs pay an average of 63% more than the rest of the job market. Moreover, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that computer and information technology employment will grow 13% between 2020 and 2030.

Conclusion#

Like it or not, coding will play a larger and larger role within our lives in the future. However, now is the prime time to learn how to code: computers aren't overly expensive, programming helps problem solving, and coding can easily be self-taught.

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~ Ganning Xu © 2024