There has always been a perception about programming as something that is reserved for the smartest of minds - those who can type 100 words per minute while looking at a screen of text that is endlessly scrolling.
However, that is no longer true. Learning to code has made it into the mainstream, meaning that anyone can learn - you just need concentration, patience, and diligence. I did it, and so can you.
In this article, I'll look at 7 ways that learning to code can positively impact other parts of your life, in ways you wouldn't necessarily expect!
1. Become smarter - think differently
It’s been shown that learning to code can help you do better in other subjects that you’re studying or learning. Within programming, you learn how to break down a problem into individual steps and to use a language that the computer understands to logically create a working program.
In doing so, you develop a certain mindset on approaching problems and processing large amounts of information that is necessary with conquering any new topic. In other words, you learn to look at problems from a bigger picture and adapt to working through the frustrations of hitting brick walls to solve issues.
It’s been said that it’s important to learn how to think first, before actually learning the what. Learning to code is more than just learning a computer language – it’s about creating an effective and productive mindset towards problem-solving that will positively affect any new intellectual endeavor you take on.
2. Exercise more (yes, really!)
Learning to code seems to spit in the face of physical wellbeing – you’re hunched in front of a computer for endless hours, glaring at a glowing screen of text. But, this isn’t the case (nor is it recommended!) and is a misinterpretation of how coding affects your life physically.
For a lot of people, maintaining physical exercise and nutrition is a matter of having the diligence and willpower to commit to any plan of action. Learning to code is definitely beneficial in this respect. You learn the skills to write your own program to fit your personal needs and desires.
As you see how learning to code positively affects the other areas of your life, you will also develop more energy to address your physical wellbeing, as well!
3. Make a positive impact on your career
Making any career change can be scary as you’re unsure of whether you will be financially stable and be able to do the job successfully. Learning to code helps take away a lot of that worry, with its salary potential and job growth prospects.
If taking that career leap isn’t part of your outlook or your goal, you can consider freelancing with your new skillsets. There are many companies and individuals who look to hire developers solely for a single project. The best part of these opportunities is the flexibility in your scheduling, as you can work around your day job or other commitments.
Even if you don’t have the opportunity to freelance on the side, you can definitely incorporate what you learn into your current career or responsibilities. You can write simple programs to increase productivity or to solve an issue that your company is struggling with. Many people find ways to incorporate their coding skills into their daily lives as they see how much an understanding about programming can accomplish.
So don’t fret, learning to code does not constrain you to a life of being a developer. On the contrary, it opens a lot more doors to achieving a successful and rewarding career.
4. Make more money
Financial success is an important goal for many, and learning to code can have a significant impact there. No matter what your career, profession, or background; programming skills are useful. The career opportunities from learning coding was discussed in an earlier section, and there are endless chances to financially capitalize on these opportunities.
As well as getting ahead at work, coding skills can also be a huge help if you want to fly solo. There are many developers who apply their coding abilities to starting their own business, creating websites for other people. Others use their skills to bring their own business ideas to life. For example, a lot of successful startup founders nowadays have at least some coding skills.
5. Enhance your social life
Learning to code affects your social life positively, as it can provide an outlet for you to interact with the rest of the world, as well as those close to you. You develop the ability to make applications and websites for things you care about and want to share.
You become armed with the tools to create a platform for which people who share your interests or beliefs can all get together, whether it’s based on a product, service, or idea.
The flexibility with learning to code also breaks down the boundaries of having to work a strict office schedule. There are many people who become successful freelancers and travel the world – all the while working from their laptops.
6. Bring your ideas to life
All of us have ideas on how to make life improvements - whether it’s within our personal lives, our work environment, or from a global standpoint. More often than not, we lack the technological tools to accurately tranform those ideas into a tangible project that can be executed.
Learning to code provides us with the ability to personally develop the projects that will match our vision, without having it lost in translation as we communicate it to another developer.
A lot of our ideas are wild dreams that aren’t acted upon because we don’t understand the limitations or capabilities of the tools available to us. Understanding how to build a website or develop a program goes a long way towards achieving those dreams.
7. Become more self-confident
One of the best feelings in the world is knowing that you accomplished something great or that you have the ability to execute something really complex. Learning to code gives you that excitement and empowerment!
You gain a lot of satisfaction knowing you no longer have to rely on static cookie-cutter templates when you want to create a website to sell a product or service. Or, that you no longer have to wait on someone else to develop a program to help improve your workflow at your job.
You develop more confidence in using your computer and interacting with the internet, as you understand how it works and how it all comes together behind the scenes. Ultimately, your self-confidence rises as your ability to tackle any technological issues becomes that of the superhero level.
Learning to code positively affects all areas of your life and gives you a newfound sense of energy to really pursue the goals you want in life.
A lot of people think that this positive impact is limited to improving your technological skills and ability to use a computer, but it’s so much more than that. It changes your whole life, from lifestyle, through social life, to career.
If you're learning to code and have noticed any interesting knock-on effects, we'd love to hear about it in the comments below.
If you're a beginner and want to see if coding is for you, try out CareerFoundry's free Web Development Short Course - you might just get hooked!