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So, Why Should I Code?

"Coding is for everyone."

I don't know exactly where that saying came from, but there is some truth to it. It's really easy to get started learning how to code, what with its accessibility (like JavaScript being bundled in every web browser) and the vast amount of learning resources available to you on the world wide web. Should everyone know how to code? Maybe not - though being aware wouldn't be bad.

But you, reader, probably have some kind of interest in coding, right? Why should you code? Let's lay out some of the bigger things, and see if they can help.

There's a pretty good market for developers...

And we know that it isn't going anywhere soon. Between 2014 and 2024, software developer outlook set to grow by 17% - 10 points more than average. It'll only get better as times goes on, software is everywhere and in everything: our phones, laptops, in the healthcare industry, aerospace, even Walmart.

...and they make pretty good money.

In 2015, the median pay was a $100,690 salary - $48.41 per hour. Not too shabby! And in some areas, like the public sector - particularly government contracting jobs - you can look forward to pay increases every year if the business is good. There's a lot of money to be made in software.

You can do a lot of really cool things with code...

Even if you might not want a job in coding, it's still a nice skill to have, and you can do a lot of cool stuff with code. JavaScript, which is primarily used in the browser, has been growing really fast and can do a lot of things now. There's libraries for artists to use, frameworks for animation, and even doing a lot of cool things outside of websites. And that's just JavaScript: you got C++, C#, Java, Python, Go, Ruby, powering all types of things from video games to stock market trading. I guarantee if you can think it, you can code it.

...but coding is challenging, and always changing.

Software developers should have no problem getting a job straight outta college with a Bachelor's. If you're savvy enough, and dedicated, you won't even need that - there are plenty of self-taught developers creating amazing things on their own and in the industry. But coding is challenging. It takes a lot practice, and making mistakes, and fixing those mistakes, and maintaining that confidence in your coding abilities. If you like a challenge, and doing what seems like ✨magic✨, you'll love it.

Coding's ever-changing too; it seems like theres a new language or framework every week. While you don't need to know everything, keeping up with the times is important; you don't ever wanna be stuck in one place too long. Ever heard of agile development? It's important for developers to be agile as well.

This all may sound daunting, but really, retaining the fundamentals of programming and software development is what's most beneficial; new languages and methodologies are just the tools. You get the fundamentals down, you can code anything, in any way you want.

All in all, we all have different reasons.

Personally, I didn't really see myself as a software developer - I still kinda don't, more like an amalgam of things. But I do have a love for technology; I wanted to make video games one day. When it was suggested to me that this might be the way to go, I said "why the hell not?" (they also gave me scholarship money, but I digress.) I took my first coding class and it all just made sense from then on, I liked to code! I think it was the gears turning as I thought through the logic, and the different ways the software problems could be solved that I fell in love with.

We all have our reasons for why we code. If you're interested in learning, think about what you see yourself doing with that skill: do you have an app idea in mind? Is there a problem you're looking to solve? Do you want to be a hacker?! Coding is everywhere, I'm sure you could find some reason. ;)

Have you joined yet? What are you waiting for?! Go to www.datcode.io to join our vibrant community of black and brown coders. (You don't have to be brown, but you gotta love us, though :)