Why you should consider learning how to code
Coding skills are in demand, and there are lots of opportunities out there. But even if a job in the tech industry is not your thing, an understanding of coding can be useful in a wide variety of industries, as it helps with computational thinking (explained below) and problem solving skills.
Coding is the process that enables us to create software, apps and websites and each coding language has different functions. Here are some of the most useful for creating and editing pages on the web. They can do anything from putting plain text on a webpage, to accessing and retrieving data from a database.
HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language)
The core language of the web that defines the structure and layout of web pages. The headline above? HTML. Bolded text? Ditto.
XML (Extensible Markup Language)
A language developed which works like HTML but allows the sending of data between applications and organisations.
A language developed to provide dynamic and interactive content on web pages such as animations, calculators and things like surveys and forms.
PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor)
A powerful language used for tasks such as data encryption and database access.
When you’re next looking at job ads, see how many ask for basic coding skills or decide for yourself which of those you feel would benefit from having the knowledge or experience.
Employers are also on the lookout for people who can demonstrate solid problem-solving skills or ‘computational’ thinking.
Computational thinking is the process of understanding and solving problems in the real world. It allows you to tackle a problem and break it down into solvable chunks.
Algorithms are precise methods for figuring out a given problem. They are not just used by computers. A real world example of an algorithm would be something like the steps taken to repair a bike puncture:
- Take off the wheel
- Remove the tyre
- Remove the inner tube
- Find the hole
- Patch it
- Replace the inner tube
- Replace the tyre
- Put the wheel back on
Think about some of the computational thinking or problem solving you undertake daily and give examples of it in your CV or job application. Check out the 6 stages of problem solving module for further inspiration. There are also loads of online tools like the one above that can teach you the basics of coding and increase your skill set.
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