• Do I really need to learn how to code?

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    Do I Really Need To Learn To Code

    There’s perhaps not even a single nation now that doesn’t talk about the importance of computer science and coding in school curriculum. While some nations like China and Singapore have transposed these efforts into laws mandating coding classes across all education levels for young students, others push for incentive based skill building in coding for people of all age groups. 

    And if that was not enough, the top trending query during the coronavirus pandemic that’s got people around the globe searching in 2020 was “How to learn coding?” 

    In this blog, we present some things about coding that you must know. While we don’t mean to undermine the importance of coding and the benefits that it can bring to your career and life, coding without context does not do the magic that you think it’s supposed to. 

    Not all problems can be solved by learning to code alone

    Image: Reddit by u/WorldOfProgrammers ​

    To answer this question of whether or not one needs to learn how to code, we must first understand why coding became this big hype. Ever since billion dollar startups like Facebook in the silicon valley rose to fame, the push for everyone to learn how to code also became stronger. Suddenly, the world started romanticising the idea of developing apps and becoming rich overnight. Coding boot camps became commonplace, online courses to learn coding became popular and before you know it, coding has become this imperative thing that everyone must learn. 

    Heard the popular saying that coding instills problem solving skills in people? Well, it most certainly does but only if you know for sure that -

    1) what you’re solving is really a problem,

    2) why this problem exists, and

    3) if code is able to fix this problem.

    In this sequence of questions, then comes 4) how can code solve the problem. And is only at stage 4, when you must know how to code. Coding is great but then alone shouldn’t be your motivation to start learning how to code. Here’s some of the things to consider in making that decision: 

    1. There’s more to coding than you think

    As many professionals argue, coding is actually more of logical thinking than writing the code itself, and it is true. One might understand that when you click a particular button, an underlying code runs and returns you some result. What really is the heart of that underlying code is the logic model of how it works and interacts with a device. Now, there may then be overlaying languages that keep changing but the strong logical understanding is something that will help you along the way.

    2. Remember, coding enables you to turn your ideas into action, yourself

    Turn ideas into action on your own by learning how to code

    Image: DIY by BGC

    If you plan to enter into the engineering field or want to be able to build technical products like apps, websites based on your ideas, you must learn how to code yourself. As is the case with many startups and innovations, the founding team has to do the initial leg work when there is no substantial funding. In such a situation and if your ideas are such that they can be implemented through tech solutions like apps and websites, it would be a great value add if you can code. This way, you will be able to give your solution the shape in a manner that you’ve ideated it to be.

    3. You’ll need to adapt to dynamically changing coding languages and platforms all the time

    While the skills in coding are highly transferable, the platforms and languages in which you code are always changing dynamically. The language of choice in the industry today may not be relevant at all in the coming few months. This means that if you are not able to keep up with the changing environment and fast, you lose credibility and subsequently the security of the profession as well.

    4. Coding doesn’t require a degree

    Landing a job in IT does not require a computer science or conventional degree. While there may be jobs specifically where employers seek such specific qualifications in education, even the biggest employers like Google have also realised the potential in self-taught and passionate coders. 

    Read our blogs about starting a tech job without a formal technical degree or finding IT jobs in Singapore here.

    5. Knowing even a little of code can go a long way

    Having a little knowledge about coding is not at all dangerous. In some examples of non-technical roles in a technology company such as in product management, experience design, and digital marketing - as long as you are able to interact with the software teams in a language that they can understand, you have an edge. 

    Even some exposure to the coding environment will give your arguments more value and help you communicate effectively. For example, if you know the coding environment and know that a specific job cannot be done because it is a limitation of that particular technology, you will communicate with your teams accordingly and explore other avenues of solving the same problem.

    6. There are jobs in technology that don’t require you to code

    Top tech jobs that require little to no knowledge of programming code

    Image: Tech jobs that require little to no coding

    We’ve talked about this before and will emphasize again that it is possible to land a job in technology without an in-depth knowledge and experience in coding. There are several career profiles in the technology sector like product managers, testers, security analysts etc. that one can land with basic understanding of computer science and a few other skills that we’ve covered in our blogs.

    Our IT recruiters at BGC Group most certainly don't spend hours on the job coding HR systems or reviewing code. They however, need to be well familiar with coding and development lingo that our tech professionals use so that we are able to find, interview, and hire the right tech talents on behalf of our busy employers in tech!

    In conclusion, to code or not to code is an open question at the end of the day, which is something that you can answer for yourself. You can bear in mind the points that we discussed and think for yourself if coding is something that will help you in your current full time job in Singapore, or even as a personal endeavor to expand your digital skill sets.

    More Recommended Reads:

    5 Soft Skills That will Expand Your Job Prospects Post COVID-19

    ​Top Career Tips for Singaporean Employees in Their 20s, 30s and Beyond!

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