Throughout the years, there are people that have established a quintessential coder stereotype, which consists of being like an over exaggerated Emily Dickinson type of introvert that wears Jeffrey Dahmer glasses and camps out in their mother’s dark basement guzzling Mountain Dew while speaking in tongues of ones and zeroes.
Other than the comedic collection of far-fetched mental images we can conjure up about what we think a programmer is, a host of misconceptions also exist when it comes to programming, such as these according to TwoNonTechies.com:
- Programming is boring.
- Programming isn’t creative.
- Programming is too difficult.
- Programming requires a full college education.
Currently, though, our world is composed vastly of the fruit of coding, and by a simple analysis of our surroundings, the debunking of these myths commences.
Anything but boring with these endless possibilities, coding embodies creativity in terms of both problem solving and design.
“Coding provides an outlet for creative activities that were relatively unheard of 20 years ago,” says Otto Borchert, a faculty member of the North Dakota State computer science department. “I can’t draw or paint or sculpt, but the computer programs I can build are equally impressive to me.”
Despite these enticing attributes of coding, the assumed difficulty of programming is often a deterrent for individuals. However, the emergence of welcoming how-to sites like Code Academy, Treehouse and Codewars can alleviate any daunting thoughts, especially if paired with free online coding community resources.
Zach O’Brien, a senior computer engineering major, claimed, “Learning how is 100 percent jumping in. It’s important because computers are now an integral part of our lives.”
Knowing how to code is becoming increasingly important for everyone in the era of technology and is a skill that is accompanied by a milieu of benefits.
The Muse career site states a few skills:
- Increased self-sufficiency
- Improved communication and collaboration skills
- Better problem-solving strategies
- More career potential
NDSU students, Sam Ingersoll, senior majoring in computer science, and Jordyn Brainard, junior majoring in computer science, agree with the Muse career site.
“Having computers skills, like being able to code, makes you a hot commodity in today’s world,” Ingersoll said.
“Coding increases your problem-solving skills while giving you real-world experience,” Brainard added.
Computer science (CS) is indeed a spectacular field to pursue with its top-notch job outlook and diverse experiences offered.
“Even if you don’t decide to be a computer science major, having a little background knowledge can go a long way,” Borchert said. “In today’s world, combining CS with any other major is a strength many employers are looking for.”
Learning how to code is for everyone; it is a career-booster, creative outlet and weaver of dreams. If you want to get started, these are five quick tips to kick-start your tech trek:
1. Learn by doing — practice makes perfect.
2. Be patient — it won’t be a “Eureka” moment overnight.
3. Ask for help when needed — the web, peers or experts.
4. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes — you’ll learn the most from these.
5.Continuously explore new possibilities — find what you love.