1.1. Why Learn To Code?¶
How many times do you use a computer, tablet, or smartphone each day? How do you use the devices? Maybe you check email and social media, stream videos, listen to music, or set an alarm for the next day. Devices and technology are everywhere in our society.
With the rise of technology and computers, coding has risen as well. At its most basic level, coding is how humans communicate with computers. With code, humans tell computers how to complete specific tasks and store information. Code is how Siri and Alexa know what you want when you say, “Call Mom”. Code is how we teach a self-driving car the difference between a street sign and a person walking their dog.
Because code is how we can communicate with computers, learning to code is vital to living in the 21st century. However, there isn’t any one way to code. We can use different languages for different projects. Coding changes over time as we invent new platforms and devise new purposes for our coding skills.
As our needs change, technology changes to meet them. For example, when we needed a quicker way to talk to each other over long distances, we invented phones. As our communication needs changed, our phones became portable. Eventually, we figured out how to make our phones send quick written messages, control the lights in our house, and pay for groceries.
The skills required to make a phone 30 years ago are NOT the same skills required to make a phone today. Just as technology changes, programmers must adapt and grow. A big part of learning how to code is learning how to learn. We can use the practices we put in place to learn our first programming language to learn another one.
Learning to code is not only valuable and challenging, it is also FUN. Every success keeps us going and encourages us to learn new things. You may find some concepts difficult at first, but these will also be the skills you take the most pride in mastering.
The moment you write your first line of code, you become a programmer. Welcome! Now enjoy the ride.