When the word 'programming' comes up, many imagine a very specific kind of person. For a majority, coders are geeks who rarely see the light of day. Stereotypes paint them as socially-inept guys who learned their trade at an extremely young age. They work at Google or the latest unicorn startup, rarely have friends, and spend their lives speaking in a cryptic language.
Fortunately, such a description couldn't be farther from the truth. In fact, many of those who write code at work do not have a title of Programmer or Software Engineer. More often than not, the basics of programming serve you well in a variety of roles, across industries.
In other words, a good understanding of this field can and will improve your chances to land a better job or to excel at your current one. Want to know more about what coding can do for you? This might be your lucky day, then. All you have to do is keep reading!
Before we move forward and analyze the benefits, it's important to answer a rather common question. Many of those who approach coding for the first time wonder whether all the hassle is actually worth it. After all, at your age and with your resume, why would you ever want to force yourself back to school?
In the age of big data, where data analysis is an integral part of an increasing number of roles, basic knowledge of coding can be a lucrative addition to your resume. Additionally, it can make your life easier at work by making the technical side of your job easier. You’ll be able to manipulate data, read your colleagues’ programs, and even understand what the IT guy is talking about!
Additionally, coding is hardly a niche for tech-savvy men anymore. Schools, as well as companies and organizations everywhere, are making progress helping a wide variety of people approach this fascinating world every year. More and more women are launching and growing their careers using programming, both in development and in other fields. Data analysis, business intelligence, management, and marketing are all reliant on technology. Computer programming is the path to the future and the new generations are already one step ahead of you.
Communities centered around coding also provide ample opportunities for networking. In turn, this could potentially put you in contact with a new employer or let you meet new colleagues. Soon, you could even be embarking on a completely new adventure! A career in tech is often considered one of the best paying and most satisfying that you could land. Would you really want to miss that kind of chance?
Knowing how to code can open many doors, but you don’t need to find a new job to enjoy the perks. Even for those who don't directly deal with informatics, toying with these concepts can be extremely advantageous.
Although you might be a marketer or a PR manager, most of your daily tasks are still taking place on a computer. To some degree, a computer will always be involved. Dedicating some of your time to learning programming is going to:
For a number of people, the idea of learning something new is terrifying. They believe the effort won’t be worth it or it will be too time-consuming. Fortunately, learning to code is definitely worth it, and getting started does not have to take up a lot of time, depending on your goals and on the programming language you choose to start with. Python, for instance, is one the most popular yet newbie-friendly languages in existence. A plethora of major companies use it, and its applications range from analyzing data and automating small tasks to building websites and predictive engines.
Approaching the field might be challenging at first, but things do get easier after a while. A good number of developers learn as they go, gradually applying what they already know to create increasingly more complex projects. Also, you won't have to stagger through huge books nor spend a large amount of time memorizing facts. In fact, students in our Intro to Programming course begin writing Python code in their very first class, and most go on to use it in their jobs by the end of the course.
Additionally, you'll be able to achieve tangible results from the very beginning of your experience. Only a few lines of code let you more easily manage your schedule, automatically respond to emails or add new functionalities to your company's website.
Giving computer programming a go virtually bears no cons. You won't need to become the new Bill Gates nor found a tech startup to reap the rewards of your efforts. Each step you take brings you closer to this fascinating world, greatly increasing your value in the eyes of your current or potential employers and expanding your opportunities in the future.
Want to give programming a shot? Our Intro to Programming with Python course is the same one we teach at Harvard! Read more about it here.
As Duke Economics professor Dan Ariely once famously said, big data is a lot like teenage sex - everyone talks about it, no one really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it.
When it comes to career development, big data has become a bit like the proverbial bear: you either "eat" it by learning to tame and put it to work for you, or it eats you.
Let's take a deep dive into the ABC of building your first Data Science project.