Why everyone should learn how to code, at least a bit

Many years ago, while I was in high school, I had a short HTML coding class. I didn’t pay any attention to it, mainly because it seemed like something that was so low on my list of priorities that it felt more like a burden than something worth learning. I finished the class and that was that.

Fast forward to 2018, I had yet another HTML, CSS and JavaScript coding class as part of my digital marketing master’s degree. The difference was that this time I knew how valuable coding was as a skill, although at the beginning it was complex, just like it had been all those years ago. To be honest, the class was a bit theoretical, and it was difficult to stay on track.

And then came the assignment.

I was procrastinating until I decided to do it and get it out of the way, ASAP. But something unexpected happened. I really enjoyed doing it. It was a little frustrating at times, I won’t lie. But creating something out of thin air was awesome, no matter how basic it was. Spotting mistakes and knowing how to fix them also felt good.

The end product was not a work of art, in any way, but it worked, it looked decent and had some cool features, like a Twitter feed and color changes when you hovered over buttons.

Here it is, please don’t judge.

Of course, what I learned was not the only way to write code, and neither was it important. It depends on what you want to use it for. Pick your battles and tackle just one, at least at first. Anyway, this example shows why it’s important to develop such a skill…

Especially if you work in communications, marketing or content creation.

What I’m trying to say is: Give coding a chance. You might not like it or learn enough to build anything substantial. But having a mental framework of how it works and the logic behind it is beyond helpful – whatever language you pick, whatever you might need it for.

For me, the advantage is that you don’t have to wait for someone to help you if you want to do some basic stuff, for example:

  • Change a font size or the color of an element
  • Make some of the text stand out, or rewrite it
  • Check out the dimensions of an item/adjust it
  • Add/remove a link
  • Delete an element (in some cases)
  • Many others

I know it all comes with its complications and if you work within a big organization, chances are they won’t let you go in and mess with program code.

But the knowledge is useful and at least you’ll be able to communicate more effectively with the developers you work with on a basic level or adjust tiny things on your WordPress-run blog.

And who knows, maybe you’ll end up liking it and wanting to learn more after your first taste.

Image by www.pixabay.com

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