Coding is an amazing thing. It allows us to explore the world from our living rooms, from the homes we live in. We can create wonderful things, be it as a team or by ourselves. But here is the kicker; In the last ten years the languages used have evolved into entirely different things. The way a website is made now is different from before, the way a program is created is so incredibly varied, and it has changed from processing code to create a program into talking to the computer to tell it how to do what we’d want it to do.
The question is: Is it easier to program these days than before? Well yes. And no. Like all things, it isn’t simply one or the other. It depends on what you want to do. But learning how to do it is the same as learning any skill – from languages to art – in that it takes time and dedication. You can’t wake up one day and go “I’m a programmer!” and expect it to be true. You have to put the effort in to learn and develop your skills. Learning these things is not the hardest, however. The tools that have been made to help people educate themselves are a lot easier to access than ever before. The only thing that’s stayed the same, or perhaps become easier to access, is that of the internet. Nowadays, excellent centurylink internet plans and fibre optic broadband is the norm, making it incredibly easy to access the web and begin coding.
So, where to begin?
Walk Before You Run
First thing: Don’t choose something complicated as your first coding language. HTML is a wonderful starting point, one that is still relevant after all of these years. Learning all these little things in one language can help build your skills and prepare you for the next. Every skill can build onto the next. But let’s say you’re not feeling confident in going all in on a language. That’s fine. Try to do something smaller instead. For example, say that you want to automate some spreadsheets on Microsoft Excel. Learning how to set that macro can be the start of basic programming. You may become confident with that, and grow from there.
Many people start building their skills from this foundation, going into the world of databases naturally as their Excel skills increase, and then building on from there. Some find that they need formal education to help them from the start. Everyone is different, and everyone needs different help with such things.
Understand The Scale
The way people code has changed a lot, but so has the sheer scale of data that the information that people have to process. Programs that are developed these days have a much wider scale of datasets that they are dealing with, in part due to the ever increasing numbers of people accessing said programs, in part due to pre-existing databases that are vastly populated. Because of this people who are programming have to understand that their software could be used for a large scale application.
Keeping this in mind as you learn helps temper your expectations in what you will and won’t be doing when you’ve learned more of your skill and are improving. You may have to work on a project that involves growth of more than 100-fold, a scale that has become near standard in the last ten years.
Demand Is Everywhere
Finally, know that learning coding is not a “dead” skill. It is not something that will fade with time. If anything, it will become more and more necessary within pre-existing work environments. After all, nearly every single company that offers a specific service wants to have a specific app made for their needs. At the very least they will want a website that will draw in customers. More and more firms are labeling themselves as tech firms, even if they aren’t necessarily focused primarily on those needs.
Coding is tricky. There’s no doubt about that. But is it rewarding? Absolutely. Everything that you can learn about coding will help you in other areas, be it in your career, in keeping your mind sharp, or in simply discovering a new ability that you have. Give it a try and stick with it. You never know where you may end up.