Not knowing how to code today is like living in another country (without Google Translate) and knowing not a word of the language. We learn a smattering of French before we head to Paris; we give German a shot before going to Berlin. How can you work with a machine all day and not speak its simple lingo? The earlier you start, the better; but it is also never too late — as anyone who has placed an order in a Paris café will attest to. As with any new skill, even a little knowhow means you can proceed with confidence, identify your focus or interest areas, and finally be able to see behind the screen.
So your web world isn’t such a mystery to you
Not knowing how to code today is like living in another country (without Google Translate) and knowing not a word of the language. We learn a smattering of French before we head to Paris; we give German a shot before going to Berlin. How can you work with a machine all day and not speak its simple lingo? The earlier you start, the better; but it is also never too late — as anyone who has placed an order in a Paris café will attest to. As with any new skill, even a little know-how means you can proceed with confidence, identify your focus or interest areas, and finally be able to see behind the screen.
To improve problem- solving ability
When you start thinking like a programmer, it changes your perspective on the world. You start to see challenges in terms of a problem and a solution. In coding, your goal is to identify the problem, and come up with a possible solution. If that solution doesn’t work, you think of another. If the second fails too, you try and find a workaround. Still nothing? Then you go back to the first and second tries and see if there’s something you missed. Of course, this kind of approach has multiple applications — including people-management and how to deal with your annoying cousin who won’t stop asking questions.
Sharpen logical thinking
“Even if you don’t plan to do any programming, the process of learning how to code will train your brain to think in a structured way and will sharpen your capacity for logical thinking,” says Akhil Shahani, managing director of the Shahani group of institutes. “When you learn to code, you learn to take a complex problem and break it down into smaller components. The analytical skills you acquire in the process will help you in the long term, whatever your field.”
Add a technical skill to your primary bouquet of abilities
From agriculture to retail, medicine, commerce, finance and science, there is no field that tech doesn’t touch. In fact, as software takes education silos and forces them to merge, learning to code could be the thing that helps you — whether you’re 4 or 40 — ready yourself for a future world. “Automation has already taken over and artificial intelligence is the future. Everyone is going to be either a creator of software or a user, and it’s a good idea to be equipped to do the basics of both,” says Ashish Chawla, a web developer at Reportcard Technologies, an online student management platform for teachers and educational institutions.
It’s an exercise in persistence
“Coding will make you more focussed on details because one wrong line will cause the entire programme to fail,” says Dr Shahani. You need to start with a good plan, then look out for potential problem areas and finally work towards your goal step by step, trying to be as error-free as possible at each stage. Kids may get impatient, some adults may too. Which is why coding can act as an exercise in persistence and concentration, with highly satisfying results.
Nothing says team-work like building something virtual together
Coding is often a collaboration. It’s a job that yields better outcomes if a gang of programmers are working on a problem or programme together. Working or building something new with a bunch of people you can bounce ideas off is a great way to achieve and improve on collaborative and team-building skills. “Coding does not work in isolation. If I’m developing a game for example, there are many perspectives you have to consider — you will need someone to design the graphics, an experience developer to build the user interface. It’s invariably a team effort,” says Chawla.
To secure your future
“Technology has pervaded in every industry, not only the core ones but also retail, hospitality, everywhere. Knowing how to build a programme or at least how the programme works will be a necessity in no time,” says Shahani. So anyone who knows at least the basics of coding will have an edge over anyone who doesn’t.
So you can build your own online presence / enterprise from the ground up
A knowledge of coding can make you truly atmanirbhar! Want to start a blog? Build a website for yourself or launch a business that operates out of an app? Learning to code is a necessary first step.
It’s an educational building block you can use to access entirely new and vital avenues of skill development
A mere 20 years ago, coding was considered a highly technical thing that was the domain of geeks, software engineers and computer scientists. Think about those words — engineers, scientists. The technology itself has evolved so seamlessly and so fast that coding involves less expertise and more experimentation; AI is working to help you at every step; collaboration is a click away. Even the smallest understanding of this world, then, can act as a gateway, a portal into a world of building blocks waiting to be tinkered with, shaped, moulded into architecture.
And it’s fun
You can create your own video game, make your own app. Channel your creativity to create something entirely unique — whether it’s a musical beat or a software solution. Once you start, it is irresistible and fun.
Sandip Patel, MD, IBM India/South Asia: “Coding is fast emerging as a critical next-generation skill. There is a significant gap between demand and availability of skilled talent in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, machine learning and cybersecurity. In addition to demystifying these emerging technologies, introducing students to coding early on places a focus on innovation, agility and resilience — essential skills for managing change successfully.”
Manan Khurma, CEO, Cuemath: “We are at a stage when we must embrace an AI-driven future. With coding and mathematics already at the forefront in a data-driven world, these skills will be essential. Mathematics forms the base of both coding and artificial intelligence. We ensure that children learn mathematics and coding just like they would learn a language. Our vision is to build an intuitive problem- solving mindset among children.”
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