Mark Zuckerberg started computer programming by creating computer games and a simple messaging program. He used Atari BASIC to do this. From these humble beginnings, he eventually created the technology giant that is Facebook.
Computer technology affects our work, leisure, health and education. Read on to discover why everyone should learn computer programming.
What’s Computer Programming?
A computer program is a set of instructions for a computer. These instructions are organized in a systematic way so as to complete a specific task. They consist of a code that is understood by the computer.
The process of creating these instructions is called computer programming and this is done by a computer programmer. It’s a creative, analytical and technical skill requiring the use of logic, mathematics and language.
The result of programming can be a database, a web page or a software program. The code may look like just a series of numbers and letters but it lies behind all of the computer applications we use every day. A retail website, a modern motor car and a digital camera all use computer programs.
There are a number of computer programming languages. Some of the most common are Java, C, and C++. These languages are the basis for the instructions that the computer programmer gives the computer in order to complete a task.
Learning to program enables you to write the instructions behind applications. This is useful of itself but there are also many incidental benefits too.
Digitize Your Solutions
There are problems all around us in the world. Some are big problems such as how to distribute food and water to people who don’t have it. Some are small problems like how to have fun during our leisure time.
Any task that involves large numbers of calculations or which requires the processing of large amounts of data is helped by being digitized. Imagine you had an idea for a great messaging system like Twitter. Then how limited you would be without instant global digital communication systems enabled by computer programming?
With computer programming skills you can digitize your solution. This means you can wield the power of computer technology.
A small-scale solution to a problem may be effective but why limit yourself? Computer programs can be replicated. Being able to program means you can create software that can operate on multiple devices.
A computer program is easily and inexpensively replicated. It can perform a task multiple times in multiple locations. This means you can simply scale up the solution to have a massive impact.
A computer program such as a smartphone app can enable you to solve a problem such as how to organize photos or book a cab. By distributing these apps many millions of users can use the apps and earn you revenue too. Scaling up these solutions to problems makes them more powerful to users and also viable business propositions.
When you have programming skills they make you more employable. Not only can you get a job computer programming but there are transferable skills too.
Computer technology is continuing to develop with global spending on IT expected to grow by 3.2%. It’s reasonable to assume that the people who create much of that technology will continue to be needed.
An understanding of computer programming is also useful in other jobs in the IT world. IT project managers, systems analysts, and network engineers all require an understanding of computer programming.
Computer technology is a vital part of the global economy. It is growing, so people who have skills in this area are needed in order to support this growth. This means jobs in this area are well rewarded and are likely to continue to be so.
Many entrepreneurs are starting up businesses in the digital economy. Although some fail, there are also many successes. Some of those successes are spectacularly lucrative including Microsoft and Facebook. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg both started their business lives as hands-on computer programmers creating innovative products.
Learn to Think
Learning how to write computer programs enables you to do more than create computer code. It isn’t just a technical skill. It helps you learn how to think.
In learning how to program computers, you learn how to plan, solve problems and use logic. The simplest of errors can mean that a program fails to work. It requires accurate and precise thinking to make a program work reliably without producing an error.
These thinking skills can be applied equally to other disciplines. Other jobs that require accuracy and logic include finance, science, engineering, and medicine. It’s likely that learning how to think is a useful skill not only for your working life but in all aspects of life from personal finance to relationships.
Improve Your Efficiency
Being able to program a computer can make doing a task much more efficient. Save time by automating tedious repetitive tasks and so improve your efficiency.
For example, you may need to perform a calculation on a spreadsheet application such as Excel. If this is something you do many times, a simple program can enable the spreadsheet to perform the complex calculation at the touch of a button. This can save many hours of repetitive work.
Be Solutions Orientated
Creating computer programs involves solving problems. This can become an attitude of mind. The problem-solving task can become a challenge to be overcome.
This attitude of mind can be equally applied to non-computer related problems. Even problems with marketing, people or design can be challenges where persistent and determined work reaps rewards. Learning computer programming can help develop this relentless solution-orientated approach.
How to Learn Computer Programming?
Computer programming is taught at all levels of education from simple programming in schools up to degree and postgraduate education. Also, training is available as free online courses and through in-company training courses.
Contact us today to talk about learning computer programming.