Should all professionals learn to code?

 

What do I mean by coding? Coding can range from building an html email all the way to developing your own app or a fully functional and interactive website. But don’t worry I’m not arguing that everyone needs to learn advanced coding languages but a basic knowledge of HTML and maybe CSS can work wonders for any level of professional in any industry.

Added on 21 February 2013 by Erika Lucas

Should all professionals learn to code?

What do I mean by coding?

Coding can range from building an html email all the way to developing your own app or a fully functional and interactive website. But don’t worry I’m not arguing that everyone needs to learn advanced coding languages but a basic knowledge of HTML and maybe CSS can work wonders for any level of professional in any industry.

 

So why should all professionals learn to code?

  • It’s in demand:
    Whether you are in a technical role a marketer or a manager a basic understanding of coding is becoming a commonplace skill requirement. A knowledge of coding demonstrates your computer literacy a continued focus on self development and the ability to research and solve problems. Think it’s not important? Primary and secondary schools are starting to train children as technology evolves and gives more freedom to those who know how to use it.
  • It’s useful:
    Knowledge of coding lets you communicate better for example if you are trying to build a website with a technical team coding will allow you to communicate more effectively what you want as well as empathise with some of the hurdles the project has. Being able to code also opens up a whole new world where you can create your own html emails websites apps and tools.
  • It can be fun:
    Like learning any language learning to code improves your mind carries a real sense of achievement and is very rewarding as you can test your new skills immediately by building something with your new language and sharing it to the world!

But what are the disadvantages of learning to code?

  • It takes time:
    Like learning any language learning to code takes time and patience and most importantly practice! Luckily there are several online tools which break the process up into manageable slots meaning you can put aside as little as ten minutes a day to learn a new block of code and practice.
  • It’s too difficult?
    Many people argue that they are not computer literate enough to learn to code the answer is that like most skills you wont know until you try. Coding is simple and can be compared to learning how to play a game: you learn the rules and the terminology then make these work to fit your end goal.
  • It can cost money:
    This really depends on how you learn you can buy books pay to attend a class (online or offline) or you can utilise several free tools and tutorials. My advise is to start off with the free materials for the basics and only progress onto the paid options if you need extra help and your sure you want to continue with coding.

A word of warning

Learning to code has become more popular throughout 2012 with a heavy focus from the media and many public figures pledging to learn the skill. It’s important to understand that learning to code wont make you into the next technology millionaire. Instead it will improve your communication and problem solving skills as well as teaching you how to build some interesting things with your new language. (see: Coding Horror Please don’t learn to code)

Learn how to code for free online

As I mentioned above there are several free tools online which will teach you how to code in short blocks some are even quite fun! If you are looking for just a dictionary of coding language then W3-Schools is the best bet and provides step by step lessons on how to implement sections of code.

If you are instead looking for a step by step guide to different coding languages then I recommend CodeAcademy and teamtreehouse.com two websites that will get you coding from zero knowledge within a few hours.