5 Skills That Boost Every Career If You Learn Programming

Written by Reinder de Vries on February 22 2015 in Careers

5 Skills That Boost Every Career If You Learn Programming

It’s a popular theme these days: teaching kids how to code. Last december, millions of students tried programming in an Hour of Code. Hour of Code is endorsed by tech entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, who where both programmers early in their lives. Code.org has many programming lessons available, from making a Flappy Bird clone to coding with Anna and Elsa from Disney’s movie “Frozen”.

Learning how to program gives children problem solving skills that come in handy later in life, and it primes them for a possible future in engineering or computer science. It helps them to secure better careers and a brighter future. But for those who are already making a career, can the same skill help them too?

Yes!

In this post, we’re going to dive into 5 reasons why learning programming is a great idea (and an asset to your career).

You’ll Get Better At Solving Problems

Programming is repeatedly solving problems, simply put, but it’s not that every programmer fixes bugs every day. Just like an engineer works out a solution to make a bridge over a river, a programmer works out a solution to a technical problem that has the most elegant code in the cleanest fashion possible. Solving problems takes a certain mindset, and if you’ll learn programming you will make that mindset your own. Knowing how to work with the tools available, putting them in the right order, and then evaluating the result is a skill that’s valuable for any career.

Thinking In Systems And Their Unmanaged Results

Thinking in systems means that you understand that unwanted behavior or an unexpected result is not wrong or an error. The system that produced it is just poorly managed. Programmers think like that all day: they don’t get upset over a function that returns A when it should return B. A programmer tries to understand the system that produced the result, accepts that it is ill-performing, finds the line of code that’s at fault, and changes it. It gives peace-of-mind to think like that, because you understand that everything happens as it is supposed to be. And if it’s not what you wanted, you can change it.

Understanding Ecosystems And Their Building Blocks

The world of a programmer is made up by modules, elements, components, not organic blobs of unpredictable whims of the moment. Seeing that the world around you is made up of layers on top of layers, that connect and interchange information, is a great asset to your understanding of the technological world. They’re the basic building blocks of any tech product or machine, and once you can see that they’re interdependent systems it becomes much easier to work with them. It’s an overstatement to call it seeing the Matrix, but it’s a close second. Just look around you: how many components, that produced the components, that produced the components, that … you get the point.

Get Better At Connecting With True Nerds

It’s a bit cheeky to say that learning how to code will help you connect with nerds, but it sure will earn you their respect. Programmers are often those who need to cast in stone what others envision, and that’s not always easy. Sympathizing with a programmers job can make you a great mediator between the visonaries and the coders, and gives you a creative edge over those that only think inside their own box. There’s a true need for people who can do that, who can package, ship and deploy the produce of the programmers mind. It’s the synergy between Jobs and Wozniak; one invented and the other brought it to the masses.

Discovering A New Passion

Are you bored out of your mind with your current job or project? Learn how to code, it’s fun! Do some tinkering on a Sunday afternoon, or ask your boss for a monthly do-your-own-project day. Programming is fun! Learning how to code is a great opportunity to find out whether you’ll actually like it, and you run the fortunate risk of finding out that it’s a new passion that was once hidden from you. Or… maybe you’ll just give it one try and leave it there. Just like learning any new skill, learning programming asks for patience and perseverance. Unquestionably, you’re going to learn something in the process.

Where Do You Go From Here?

Do you want to pick up coding as an addition to your current skillset, or just for fun? There’s plenty of resources available on the net, including tutorial videos, courses for a couple of bucks, even multi-day training programs.

Whether it’s for understanding techie co-workers, seeing the world as an unmanaged system, learning how to solve problems better, understanding the building blocks that make up tech products, or just because you run the risk of actually liking programming – learning programming is a great asset for your career!

Why don’t you give it a go?

Worst-case scenario, you’ll learn a thing or two!

Reinder de Vries

Reinder de Vries

Reinder de Vries is a professional iOS developer. He teaches app developers how to build their own apps at LearnAppMaking.com. Since 2009 he has developed a few dozen apps for iOS, worked for global brands and lead development at several startups. When he’s not coding, he enjoys strong espresso and traveling.