5 Reasons why you should learn to code

Code

Coding education seems to be the idea of the moment schools beginning to add computer science to list of core sciences along with chemistry, biology and physics. There is however good reason for this new enthusiasm for the subject as computers become more and more powerful the abilities of programs are becoming more numerous even in our everyday lives. For example you may want to build a simple website for your new business or customise your personal computer in some way to better fit your needs; with programming you can do these things but first you need to begin the learning process.

1. It teaches you to think logically and efficiently.

One of the the first things you start to notice when you delve into the world of programming is that you begin to think more logically in all aspects of your life. When creating a program, however big or small, you need to first formulate a plan and then execute this plan for the program to manifest itself and actually serve it’s intended purpose. This means thinking ten steps in advance; a useful skill in life.

2. It increases numeracy skills.

Although it all boils down to machine code that is made up of strings of ones and zeros, when creating code you have to deal with sets of larger numbers. When specifically programming audio applications you will most likely be working with ranges of 0 – 127 for midi, -1. – 1. for audio signals and 0. – 1. for parameter control. Notice the last two examples were floating point ranges. When you spend enough time working with these numbers your powers of mental arithmetic rapidly increase. (I am now actually quicker multiplying fractions of numbers under one than i am trying to do the same for numbers over one). You also start to notice patterns in numbers and patterns in the ways numbers work. 10 / 2 = 5 as does 10*0.5. This is a simplistic example but these things start to pop up all over.

3. It increases memory.

Struggle to remember if you have locked the front door each day? As your programming skills develop your ability to remember, usually out of necessity, segments of reusable code increases to the point where you become a walking code dictionary, and remember code languages are languages like any other: they have their own terms, syntax and structures. You can start to refer to yourself as a linguist…which sounds more intellectual and prestigious than ‘computer nerd’.

4. You can streamline other aspects of your life.

With even a basic ability to code you can start to streamline elements of your life. On a mac for example you can apply your knowledge to writing applescripts that let you customise your mac and automate a whole multitude of tasks. On websites such as Instructables people have even used their coding knowledge to automate their houses with voice activated door locks and wireless networking.

5. Help people.

Finally by knowing how to code you can help other people solve problems, sometimes even for money.  If your friend needs to build a website or send an automated newsletter to a whole towns worth of people, you could do that. If you have a new idea for a way to create music or visual art, you can do it. Or even if you like to think bigger you could apply your skills towards solving world hunger by helping to build systems for aid distribution to far flung ends of the world. Whatever problem you need to solve you will most likely be able to solve it or contribute towards solving it all with your trusty laptop or computer.

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