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4 Reasons Why You Should Start Learning How to Code Today

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at McMaster chapter.

In response to COVID-19, the world has moved virtual and it’s been easy to feel like time is wasting away. Searching for something to keep me busy and entertained, I was led to a hidden gem in the realm of productive hobbies, that even competes with baking bread and knitting: computer coding. 

Computer coding is the use of various computer programming languages such as JavaScript, Python, and C++, in order to instruct a computer on what to do, an essential method of communication in today’s age. 

I’m here to get you on the path of finding a productive hobby! Here are four reasons why you should start learning how to code today:

Coding skills are in demand

A 2015 report by Burning Glass found that 7,000,000 job openings in the United States were seeking candidates that had coding skills. More surprisingly, these jobs were available within various job categories such as STEM, art and design, IT, engineering, and data analysis. The report found that all current coding jobs, regardless of the industry, are projected to grow by 7.2% across the next 10 years. Even if you don’t have a career in computer programming in mind, gaining coding skills may launch you into the next adventure in your career.

Coding skills pay

Online platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork can connect you with clients looking to hire freelance workers to code custom websites, desktop applications, databases and more. Moreover, not only can coding skills be used to develop a lucrative side-hustle, but compared to other jobs, those requiring coding skills pay $22,000 more per year on average

There are infinite resources available online

Platforms such as Codecademy, edX and Khan Academy offer courses and resources for free to learn coding at your own pace, that you can follow along with using a free code editor of your choice. If you prefer a more structured approach (although not free), check to see if your post-secondary institution offers an introductory programming course that you can take as an elective. Best of all, if you ever get stuck while coding, you’ll be able to find thousands of videos on YouTube that can walk you through the process.

Most importantly, coding can be fun!

By learning how to code, you get the opportunity to problem solve, think critically, and be creative. You can code by yourself or with friends to develop a video game, generate questionnaires, or do something as simple as changing the colours of text using code. Regardless of why you choose to code, there are always new ways to make it more fun and a never-ending list of exciting new projects to try out! 

Learning how to code is similar to learning a new language; there are different conventions, unfamiliar terms, and often it feels like nothing you’re doing is making any sense. However, like learning a new language, learning how to code teaches you how to problem solve, be creative, and communicate ideas in new ways. Whether you want to learn how to code to help build your career, make more money, or just have fun, it’s definitely a skill worth learning.

Chloe Rexdiemer

McMaster '23

Chloe is a second year McMaster student in the Honours Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour program, and passionate about making scientific research more mainstream.