With technology becoming ever more intertwined into every aspect of all of our daily lives, there is no doubt that this is the trajectory of society for the indefinite future. Whether one’s interests, hobbies or professional career are directly related to technology or not, there is undoubtedly a piece of software, mobile application or at least online community directly related to it. Given the pride of place that technology currently inhabits in our lives, there are many arguments for encouraging more people to learn the fundamentals of coding and increase overall digital literacy. This article will give some examples as to ways in which learning to code can enrich one’s life, regardless of whether or not it is a chosen career path.
Not dissimilar from learning a musical instrument, learning a foreign language, or solving puzzles, learning to code challenges and exercises your brain in ways that are likely to have positive impact on other areas of your life and capabilities. It requires patience, pattern recognition, breaking a larger problem into smaller, quantifiable parts, as well as an ability to organize larger and more complex systems. Even if one has no desire to pursue coding professionally, the problem solving and mental agility that it requires is easily transferrable to other professional or creative pursuits.
In light of recent data privacy scandals such as Facebook’s involvement with Cambridge Analytica, or the prevalence of companies’ uses of “dark patterns”, for marketing purposes, there is an indispensable benefit to knowing how technology works, and how online users are potentially being manipulated. Knowing what goes into technology can go a long way in better discerning good companies, technologies and platforms, from those with less than altruistic intentions.
Additionally, if you have interest in developing an app or software for business or personal purposes, the more of an understanding of even the basic principles will help better articulate your vision to developers you may hire. Increased digital fluency is a win-win situation for everyone.
Coding is fun. Somewhat related to the first point, there is a joy in being able to bring something to life, whether it be a website, mobile app or piece of software. The feeling of accomplishment from successfully completing a challenge is akin to that from a creative endeavor such as music or art.
Learning more about the inner workings of technology has wide benefits beyond the technical. It can be fun, challenging and equip you with better literacy and understanding of the ever more digital world we live in. With digital technology still being in relative infancy, there is a world of ideas yet to be realized, unique ideas surely many individuals have to offer to the public.
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