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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Coding

I started learning to code about 9 months ago, and I am now confident in Java, HTML, and CSS. I am now delving into learning how to code Android apps after I took a stab at it a couple months ago. Obviously coding is what I want to go into, I want to be a technological entrepreneur, but I don't think that coding should be something that just people who need it for jobs should be doing, and there is a lot of support behind this, everybody in tech agrees, and many outside are starting to endorse it, such as Obama himself. Here I will explain through my experiences what coding has helped me with, and why it should be much more emphasized in schools. It is important because it teaches critical thinking skills and allows you to keep up on operating a computer.

I was talking with a friend after the Computer Science AP test in Java. He's been coding for longer than me as his parents taught him at a young age, something my parents had no interest in teaching and I regret not having a start like his. He told me that over the years he has benefited greatly from coding because it taught him advanced problem solving and being able to think through complicated tasks, as Forbes confirms. From what I've done this year, I definitely agree. In Java especially, which is based around data, I had to teach myself to look at a task, and to think of a way to solve it ni every possible case. In a simple example, say you want to mulitply a given number by 2, unless the number is over 10, at which point you want to multiply it by 3. You have to learn to think of every possible value that could be put in and prepare for it in your code. It teaches very logical, wholesome problem-solving that I believe has really helped me in other areas of school. Math and physics are where it is most apparent. I have to use the same logic in order to solve math problems, and it has helped me to apply what I have learned better. Often times you are given an equation to handle, and don't usually go beyond that. This year my teacher has put those kinds of problems into our work, and it has been extremely beneficial to have known how to code and think like that beforehand, and not to just go through problems mindlessly.

The second reason coding is important for everyone is because it helps you stay up-to-date with computers. Just the interaction with computers and learning the terms you need is very helpful to all areas of electronics, because they all interact, and this is an important skill in the world today as Lauren Orsini says. I have been able to do so much more with computers and phones now than I ever have been able to before, and I attribute most of that to what I have learned in coding. Even for the average person, it is increasingly helpful to know computers. I know some people who claim, in high school, to being tech-illiterate, and it always amazes me. If people are having trouble now, what's it going to be like when they're 50 or before where most people start to get confused with the newer technology? In this day and age, having problems with basic technology is a very bad thing. Coding lets you stay modern with your understanding of technology, and for those looking for a job, will help your application out tremendously.

These observations are coming from me after very little coding compared to how much I doubtless have left in my life, but for me and countless others, just this little amount is incredibly beneficial. Just starting to code before college puts me ahead of an amazing amount of people because it is not emphasized at all. In the whole city, AP tests usually garner about 200 each, and at computer science there were 12 people. Please, learn at least a little bit of coding, and I promise it will pay off.