It’s undeniable that learning to code has been one of the hot topics of the last few years, as our lives become more and more digital. Already, we’re seeing a deficit in computer science and software engineering graduates when compared to the demand for their skills, and as a result these professions attract lucrative salaries.
There’s a lot of talk about establishing a coding curriculum in both primary and secondary schools, in order to drive digital literacy from a young age. Yet while some schools have classes to teach students the basics, in most cases learning to code seriously will be an activity that takes place outside school. That means it needs to be weighed up against other extracurricular activities, such as sports, debating, or music.
So, if you’re a student looking to develop a skill, why learn to code? Here are seven reasons why it might change your life…
Get to grips with the language of the 21st century
At a basic level, all machines speak the same language – so learning to speak this language can truly break down borders, and take you all over the world.
Learn fundamental mathematics skills
Coding and developing software is about being able to describe logical functions, with inputs and outputs. Often, the most challenging part about coding isn’t the language itself – rather, it’s breaking down a concept into a set of commands which a computer with no ‘discretion’ of its own is able to clearly follow.
Thinking in this way, from a young age, has a huge impact on logical and mathematical abilities. From fundamental skills such as addition and multiplication, to more advanced concepts such as set theory and functions, an intuitive understanding of the world of mathematics is much easier to grasp with the context of programming a system. Many students get a great deal of satisfaction out of being able to use the concepts they learn from coding in their maths classes, and vice versa.
Develop a passion that can become a lucrative career
The old adage is, “Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” That’s not quite true: if you find a job you love, you’ll be able to push yourself to work harder than you ever thought possible, but you’ll have a lot of fun doing it!
Coding is a skill that can turn into a deep passion, especially if pursued from an early age. But it’s also been consistently one of the most in-demand jobs over the last few decades, and a need for people who know how to code is only set to increase dramatically over the next few decades as well.
There’s no question that a background in coding will make you hot property in the employment market of the future, and let’s not forget that it’s a lot of fun at the same time!
Understand the world around you
A child’s curiosity is a wonderful thing, as they slowly begin to make sense of the world around them. Coding brings back this sense of wonder, and opens up a new dimension of understanding, as you start to understand how the world of software and digital media operates.
In order to build a website, mobile app, or game, a software developer will need to understand every little detail of how they want the platform to operate. As a result, coding naturally sparks a desire to learn about other aspects of life, in order to reproduce them in a digital environment.
Experience the power of perseverance
One of the most valuable skills young students can learn is perseverance. Much of your life and career success will be defined by what you do when things go wrong: will you give up, or will you pick yourself up and try again?
The process of coding develops perseverance as a core skill. Whatever you’re building, it’s very unlikely that you’ll create it right first time; it might not look right, or when you test it, you might find a few errors in workflow. Or – as every developer knows – your code might just break, forcing you to trawl through everything you’ve written to find the error.
But, throughout the process of fixing your errors, you’ll become a much more resilient and patient person. The longer you spend on it, the greater the reward when you finally figure it out!
An hour to learn, a lifetime to master
A common misconception is that coding is difficult to pick up. In fact, to get started on the most basic aspects of building a website, for example, it only takes a browser and a code editor. You can find everything you need to teach you the basics online, and there are plenty of small projects you can code in under an hour.
But nothing would be exciting if it was easy to master, and coding is no exception. It’s such a rich and broad area that even if you spent a lifetime learning about it, you’d barely be scratching the surface. That’s why, if you’re serious about learning to code, we recommend regular lessons with an expert to ensure you’re using your time in the most valuable way possible.
Become a creator, not just a consumer
Let’s face it: the digital age is here, and technology is taking over our lives whether we like it or not.
Gone are the days when parents could prevent their children from interacting with technology. Digital media in all its forms is a fact of life, from billboards to smartphones to online videos.
But we don’t have to be scared: instead, we should be excited for a generation which has the power to change lives for the better through harnessing the incredible power of technology. And this starts with kids who understand the basic structures of computer science and code.
When technology-literate kids interact with digital media, such as online games or smartphone apps, their brains function differently than people who don’t know how coding or software development works. They apply a much more critical lens to what they’re consuming, and are more likely to think deeply about the inner workings of what they’re engaging with, rather than simply absorbing the content.
Then, once they inevitably notice ways to improve what they’re using, they’ll go away and have a go at creating it themselves. This is how the future is built!
EduExperts is a leading provider in education for tomorrow, with classes in all major curricula, as well as cutting-edge technology learning pathways. Through our partnership with BestCoder, one of the most prominent student coding academies in New Zealand, we’ve developed a leading curriculum for students of all ages and abilities wanting to develop their coding abilities.
Find out more here!