Why would anyone want to learn to code? (Surprising Reasons)
Year or year, ever more folks are learning to code.
Some are students and some are trying to make a career change. Many more are simply curious.
According to the 20th edition of the State of the Developer Nation report, there were 26.8 million active software developers in the world at the end of 2021.
Experts predict that the number of developers will continue to grow into the future.
Here are some stats:
But why is there an ever-increasing number of budding software developers?
In short, learning to code can be a fulfilling and inspiring experience and there is no shortage of well-paying jobs.
Full disclosure: Studying computer programming some years ago was one of the best decisions of my life, and now I make my living teaching coding at a world leading bootcamp.
Are you on the cusp of taking a leap into the world of tech, or just want to know what this code game is all about? This article will explain why anyone would want to make this change.
You might even just find that some of the following points resonate with you.
Make a positive impact on your career
The world is changing.
Digital products now impact on almost every aspect of our lives, from how we work and travel to how we socialize.
The 2020 pandemic further catapulted many organizations into the future, rapidly accelerating digital transformation.
By the end of 2022, worldwide IT spending is poised to reach an estimated $4.4 trillion according to technological research and consulting firm, Gartner.
Consequently, the demand for skilled programmers has skyrocketed in the last years and it doesn't show any sign of slowing down. Practically every industry needs its own type of software and developers who can make it a reality.
The World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs Report 2020 predicts that by 2025, around 40% of the current workforce will need to upskill in some way in order to continue providing the same value to their respective employers.
The report also predicts that up to 85 million jobs could be displaced as a result of the AI advancement, but that it is offset by the emergence of 97 million new technical roles.
Therefore, learning to code to pursue a career in the tech industry is a no-brainer for enhancing your career prospects.
Even if working as a software developer is not your jazz, having knowledge of coding will give you an employment advantages against the competition in your current industry.
Be at the Forefront of change
Technology has dramatically altered the course of humanity.
It has changed the way we connect to each other, achieve daily tasks, enjoy entertainment or manage our finances.
By working in IT, you will be directly involved in contributing to society's progress.
You also have the ability to work in a wide range of industries from helping to code your favorite video game series, vital health-care software, to developing the software that launches NASA rovers into space.
What's really cool is that you can switch work environments or the type of software you produce using the same skills.
In my career, I've personally worked on everything from programming agricultural drones to medicinal stock management systems in health care! Name your industry, and there'll be a demand for coders with domain expertise.
Realize Your Ideas
Beyond the fact it's a solid career path, I think that being a developer constitutes much more than that.
You can take an idea and make it an actual reality.
If you're an entrepreneur at heart, coding is an absolute top-tier skill to possess. It could be solving a practical, real-world problem you've identified in your local community to building your own next generation VR games.
You're able to directly take charge of your own product development and wield a control outsourcing can't beat.
Time to market is often critical to a start up success and there's no quicker prototyping than being the first to code.
Even if starting the next Google is not your thing, you can start by writing simple programs that increase your personal productivity or solve an issue at your current workplace.
Realizing you have the superpower to turn an idea into reality is one of the best feelings in the world.
Solve problems all day
The essence of programming is solving problems.
It's no accident that the first computer programs were written for the purpose of cracking encrypted messages during WW2.
A contemporary photo of the "Bombe", an early computer used by British cryptologists to help decipher German machine-encrypted secret messages during World War II.
New software projects are often launched to take on some kind of problem not solvable by conventional means.
Whenever you start working on a program you will encounter a whole "stack" of problems. These problems are like puzzles that need you to think creatively to overcome.
And once you have solved one problem, there is almost always another problem waiting just behind it.
Our day to day challenges range from making sense of customer requirements to navigating existing codebases and solving bugs.
It can frustrating but it's what we sign up for and but I love it.
My job is a perpetual test of my abilities and nothing beats spending the day racking my brain trying to find that one perfect algorithm or framework that solves the problem and saves the day.
Whenever you solve a problem that you've struggled with, no matter how small, coders take pride in their wins.
The neat thing is that we get to experience that feeling of success multiple times a day!
You Are Constantly Learning
When I first started working, I was disappointed to find that no matter what type of job I did, the luster would be lost in the months after I'd learned how to do it well.
I despaired at the thought that I might never find a job that would stay as interesting and exciting to me over the course of a career.
Working in tech was a total breath of fresh air.
Every problem you face often requires you learn something new and there is something deeply gratifying about constantly improving and then suddenly recognizing you can competently do something you never thought you could.
I live for those moments where you feel as smart as Einstein mixed with a healthy dosage of "I can't believe that worked!".
I can't think of many other industries where you can continuously develop your abilities day in day out. Where research and on-the-job learning are as much a part of the role as typing code.
The industry is moving fast and doing exciting things.
There isn't a day where you're not kept on your toes and every day presents a different problem. No two days in software development are ever the same.
And as it's a large and growing sector of the economy, there are infinite number of potential career trajectories. From AI to VR and some that don't even exist yet!
Striving to grow and change into better versions of ourselves is something we should all be doing throughout our entire lives.
Working in tech helps us constantly move forward and adapt, and I think that's important.
Make Good Money
There's no shame in wanting to make bank and get ahead in life.
As you're probably tired of hearing me repeat; learning to code means plenty of employment options.
Knowing how to capitalize on this vast playing field of opportunity and innovation can be seriously lucrative.
I've seen successful students double their salaries in their new role.
I also have friends that have launched very successful freelance careers in coding.
Others have employed their talents to find prosperity launching their own businesses.
Flexible Working (Even Before it Was Cool)
The nature of the work lends itself to flexibility and many coding roles can be done remotely. The only requirement is that you have a good internet connection.
You get to avoid the morning commuter's rush and put aside more time for chores and hobbies.
I personally like a hybrid approach and have even had the opportunity to spend some weeks working from abroad!
Be part of a burgeoning community
Most people's assumption is that coding an insular activity but the reality is quite different!
There are a tonne of outside work activities for you to get involved with.
There are likely large and active communities for all sort of technologies in your local area and online for you to network and even expand your friendship base.
Attending these events doesn't depend on skill ability and you may even meet a study partner on the same level. Meetup.com, Facebook and Reddit are great places to start.
Many of these groups also collaborate on open source coding projects.
That's going to look great on your CV and may even help you build up a portfolio of projects.
By the time you're ready to leap into that new role, you could potentially have much more to show than someone who has been coasting in the industry for far longer.
Me hanging out with fellow developers in London, UK.
Understand How Things Work in Today's Digital World
If you're not yet convince, this surprising reason might be the one to swing it.
Learning to code helps you become more knowledgeable on how the modern world works.
You'll have a better understanding of how apps, games, and websites are made. But, through that you'll brush sides with the much more broader, technological sphere.
You will understand how giants like Facebook and Amazon use personalised data and algorithms to tailor your experience. You might delve into how global communication across the internet works.
Simply put, you will understand how to more effectively use a computer - ie. your tool in this craft.
This knowledge can help you better navigate the new world, as well as provide you with a valuable skill set useful in both career and daily life.
It's Easy to Start!
People have traditionally viewed coding as the domain of math and scientific whizzes.
But these days, that couldn't be further from the truth.
Although strong math and analytical skills will help, anyone can start learning to code. The only catch is that if you must be prepared to put in the time and effort,
In the past, a college degree was often a hard requirement, but it is now possible to learn to code without going to college.
That's thanks to the wealth of free online resources which are sometimes as good, if not superior, than what you can find in the classroom.
Coding is easy to start even if you don't have the financial means. Many companies are perfectly willing to hire programmers from a variety of background, as long as you can prove your worth.
You also have the option on enrolling in a full time intensive bootcamp or even a similar part time course.
If you'd like to know more about how you can learn programming without going to college, you can check out this article here: Can you really become a good programmer on your own without going to college?
The technology sector offers sense of vitality and optimism seldom found in other industries.
And it doesn't matter who you are and how you've got to this point. Aged 20 or 50, college degree or not. Every day, I am blown away by the success I see in individuals from all walks of lives.
With an abundance of resources at your finger tips, there's nothing stopping you from getting started today.
So if you're thinking about learning to code, this article has hopefully provided plenty of good reasons to do so!