Why every millennial should learn some code

Ngoc Huynh

In a rapidly digitizing world, having tech skills — especially coding — can be your ticket to better personal and professional opportunities. Here, two self-taught coders explain why millennials, or really anyone, should learn how to code. It changed their lives for the better, and it can do the same for you.

Technology is everywhere

Thousands of companies across industries are relying on technology to power their business operations. “I can’t think of any company that doesn’t have technology embedded in their operations in some shape or form,” says Evan Leong, cofounder of Fount.

Regardless of your specific role, he believes learning to code “will vastly increase your potential in becoming a valuable asset at any organization.” Or, if you don’t have a job yet, it can be what helps you edge out the competition during the hiring process.

Improve your problem-solving and logic skills

If you’ve always thought of yourself as more of the artist type–right-brained, creative–then coding can help you gain balance. Prior to teaching himself code, Leong navigated life based on feelings and gut instinct alone: “When questioned on the logic of my decisions, I struggled to articulate them in comprehensible steps.”

Logic, problem solving, and organization are some of the cornerstones of programming, and practicing with code helps you exercise that “left” side of the brain. According to Leong, “Learning to code has not only helped me process the rationale behind my own thinking, but has increased my ability to create more well-thought-out decisions through organizing my thoughts and intentions.”

It makes you better at what you already do

Astrid Countee is an anthropologist and a web developer. On the face of it, those careers don’t have much in common — but Countee knew she could fit coding into her life as an anthropologist, rather than paving over her past.

So she made her own website, started a blog, and began to write about her journey “learning how to weave together my programming career with my previous training as a social scientist.”

Coding doesn’t restrict you to a career in tech: it enhances the career, skills, or interests you already have. “The most exciting part is that I can now build my own brand online for any of my interests,” says Countee. “I never would have felt that I could do that on my own before I learned how to code.”

Coding know-how can lead to other (and often better) opportunities

Shortly after Leong launched his app and began selling it, his former online instructor got in touch to offer him a job. “He was recruiting early employees to build a learning platform that delivers coding bootcamp quality content for a fraction of the cost,” Leong says. “This immediately resonated with me.”

Within a few months, the Devslopes team was ready to launch, and they are currently in the process of bringing their platform to the world.

And who knows — maybe Leong’s experience working with this company will lead to even more opportunities later. Networking and experience are gifts that keep on giving.

Coding skills give you flexibility

When you’re marketable, you have leverage. You’re freer to take risks. And you’re more able to bounce back when things go wrong.

Countee always dreamed of having her own business, so once she learned how to build websites with Ruby on Rails, she got started as a freelancer (while keeping her full-time job). “That meant that when I experienced a layoff, I didn’t have to immediately run to the next open position,” she explains. “I had the option of continuing with my freelance work.”

Thanks to having such a useful skill, Countee says, “I feel that I have the room to try things that I might not have otherwise.”

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Source : http://www.forbes.com/