In recent years computing has become a significant part of our lives, nowadays instead of writing a letter we send emails and instead of going to the library we use sites such as Wikipedia. The vast majority of us have in some way used a computing device at one point in ours lives.
Many young adults or as I rather say, teenagers, are becoming slaves of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, according to the social networking statistics, over 90% of young adults use social media. I wonder how many of these young adults can use or even know about the wonderful skill of coding.
First of all, what is coding? Coding is the act of writing a program in a programming language, coding is what makes it possible for us to create computer software, games, apps and websites. Your browser, search engine, Facebook and this website were all made by coding.
Coding is the way in which we speak to computers, the way in which we tell the computer what to do, coding has become a widely used language and as Mark Surman, Executive Director of Mozilla, says, "The web is becoming the world's second language and a vital 21st century skill, as important as reading, writing and arithmetics".
It puzzles me as to how so many of us young people our age can be able to open a browser and log on to social networks such as Facebook, use it, and not have a clue of the process involved in making the social network. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you should go out and start learning complex languages such as C++ or Binary (I'm sure we all know that from the movie Matrix) but having a basic understanding of programming can help fix simple computer problems which really does save a lot of time.
Actually, learning how to code isn't a difficult task, all you need is an interest in coding and internet connection, you don't need to be in college and you certainly don't need to enroll in a university or programming course. In fact, thanks to many programming resources such as Codecademy or W3Schools basically anyone can learn how to code and unlike some of the scary myths going around, a mathematical ability is not needed, even though it can help.
Let's look at some of the benefits of learning code:
Make your own website
Become a programmer
Ever wanted to design your own game? This is the no.1 reason why many kids such as Jordan Casey get into programming, by learning code you can attain the knowledge needed to know how to make your own iOS games, apps, web services or even console games! Also let's not forget that the demand of programmers in the technology industry is rapidly growing, the world as the video below shows, is practically crying out for programmers:
Understand how technology works
This is probably the biggest benefit of all, after all we are in the 21st century, you probably use a phone, touchscreen device or some sort of computer, isn't it strange that you don't fully understand how any of these devices work? As Douglas Rushkoff says, "Program or be Programmed"
I believe that the times when we could simply afford to switch on a computer is over, technology is evolving and we as a people should evolve with it too by constantly improving our skills. Of course coding is not for everyone, there are many more skills that we should all learn and coding is simply one of these skills.
Everyone has a talent and everyone should express this talent and be able to build on it. Just remember that you have no right to complain about your parents not being able to use a computer unless you know how to operate it yourself!