The Most Important Thing You Haven’t (and maybe won’t) Learn

ImageI like to think that I know how to use a computer. I understand how to open and use applications. I can successfully navigate a web browser. I even know a few shortcuts to quickly tell the computer to complete the task I need. Despite all of this, I actually know next to nothing about computer science. There is a whole level behind everything that I can do with a computer that looks like a foreign language to me. The fact of the matter is, unless you know how to code, it is hard to understand much about how modern technology works.

Merriam Webster defines coding as “a set of directions for a computer.” At the base level, that is exactly what coding is. Every application we use is simply responding to the data we input according to design of who ever wrote its code. Coding, however, has a couple of more complicated terms that better explain individual aspects of the science. Take a look at this image:

ImageThe front end code is what we’re used to seeing. HTML consists of the paragraphs, images, text, and other elements of the page. CSS is the design, such as colors, sizes, fonts, and the like. JavaScript is the more dynamic aspect of coding. JavaScript is the part of the page that includes fancy user interaction. Back end coding goes a little over my head, but if you want to read more follow this link.

At this point, I would like to admit to you that I have no idea how to code, but I came to realize its importance when I started looking into writing about it for this blog. I truly believe that everyone should learn how to code on at least a basic level. Not only does it allow you to understand the world around you, but it is a valuable asset when applying for jobs (or getting a raise). In case I’m not being persuasive enough, please watch this video.

You may have recognized Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, who made their fortunes understanding how to leverage coding. Furthermore, the job opportunities they have opened up for people who understand computer science. 

Hopefully at this point, I have shown the importance of coding. The true kicker is, however, IT’S NOT DIFFICULT TO LEARN TO CODE ON A BASIC LEVEL. It just takes dedication.  Several sites offer free online classes with guided tutorials. Check out these two notable online coding guides:

When its this easy, we really have no excuse to not take a shot at learning. Hopefully, I’ll be dedicated enough to spend the time over the summer to begin to learn the basics of coding.




10 thoughts on “The Most Important Thing You Haven’t (and maybe won’t) Learn

  1. I think this article was excellent. You are absolutely right that some sort of knowledge about computer coding is close to imperative. Aside from its business implications, it is an interesting skill to possess and seems like a fun thing to experiment with! You have definitely influenced me to get more involved with this field. I have thought about it in the past, as my Mom is involved with computer programming and coding. She has become an expert and spends hours and hours a day honing her skills (on top of her work hours.) This just shows how dedicated, like you said, one has to be if one is to truly become a computer coder. I think your blog did a wonderful job giving a brief introduction to what coding consists of. It is something millions of computer users have probably no knowledge about. As I type my response, I am thinking to myself how little knowledge I have of why the computer works the way it does. I also enjoyed looking at the links you posted. seems like a great tool to learn coding from an online source. The only thing I would recommend is possibly a video or some other sort of interactive visual representation of your comments on coding. Overall though, great topic, great links, and great content!

  2. This post definitely relates to our conversations about the growth of technology and the shift in what majors college students will pursue. What I question is that as we shift toward a highly technological society and priority shifts to learning technical skills, what will be sacrificed? Will there be less focus on the liberal arts? I think this could be a bad thing as it is important to remember other perspectives. I do how agree that we do need to respond to the changing times and it is important for our economy for people to learn these skills. I am a senior and have found the core curriculum here incredibly beneficial.I hope that people don’t forget about the importance of a holistic education.

  3. I couldn’t agree with this blog more. I think you did a great job at highlighting the importance, as well as the benefits of learning how to code. It’s scary that there are so many tasks that our computers routinely perform that we just don’t take the time to to think about. In addition, I agree that in order for students to stay competitive in the changing workforce, schools need to put more emphasis on technology because this is the trend in which work is going. Personally, I am really interested in learning how to code and this blog definitely made that interest stronger. To think that companies like Facebook and Microsoft are actively offering great jobs to people who know how to code seems to good to pass up!

  4. I thought this was a really interesting blog post. I have never thought of myself as a computers person at all. However, after taking this class, I realize how that is going to have to change in order to keep up with the altering job market of today. This blog just gave me a little hope in becoming more savvy with not just using a computer in general but realizing that there are tools out there I can use to learn how to code. I think it is important for people to know that there are ways to teach yourself how to become more computer proficient. The video also helped demonstrate this as it illustrated top tech innovators describing their humble beginnings of learning to code. All in all, this was a very positive and motivating post that put into perspective just how much normal people can do to improve their computer skills and that its never to late to start.

  5. I profoundly agree with you! Computers are super important right now. But imagine how more important they will become as years pass. I believe that the more we know about computers, the better off we are and will be. I am particularly scared of the time I will become detached from technology and will have to start to ask my children (if I have any) about how to use whatever device is popular in the next 15 years. Every time my mother asks for help, I cannot believe how little she understands about technology. Maybe knowing a little bit about coding will help me in the long-run to maintain a good, knowledgeable relationship with technology as I grow old.

  6. You did a great job with this blog. You posed a very real issue with this blog post, that if you cant keep up with technology you will fall behind. clearly it has become increasingly important for people especially young people to learn more about the technology that they use. I have looked briefly into HTML and CSS like you described but like you a felt far outmatched by the complexity of the coding that creates the websites that most of us visit everyday. the video and article that you added into your blog post really enhanced your post and added a lot to your argument. You did a great job addressing an issue that will effect almost all of us in the very near future

  7. This was a great blog and was unique in its subject and presentation. I like how this article was relevant to us students and gave advice for the future. I do agree that coding is an invaluable skill for a young businessman to have, and I do plan to take some classes in coding especially after this article. I thought that the video was interesting and liked the part with the anecdotal stories about the first experiences with coding. This post was very unique, inspirational, and interesting. I will definitely remember how important it is to have an understanding of technology now.

  8. I think you brought up a great point in this blog. I agree that it is important for everyone to learn how to code. It is especially relevant in our world today because technology is becoming increasingly more and more important. It is necessary to learn the ins and outs of computers in order to gain a competitive edge in the coming years.

  9. My mom is actually a computer programmer who does front end coding. It’s inspiring to me that an older (jk mom you look 23) woman can still succeed in a field dominated by young, single Cal Tech grads. Anyways, she’s always urging me to learn a little bit more than the simple HTML that I know (thank you tumblr) but your blog post, and the embedded videos, have definitely convinced me to delve more into the topic!

  10. A basic understanding of coding can certainly be helpful in learning how to design with technology. However, in learning to code the emphasis should be on function, and not on syntax. Many tools exist to abstract away the complexities associated with syntax, however, designers with a grounding in the functions of code will better understand how to structure a solution to meet a problem.

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