Lose 10 pounds?  Exercise more?  Be more positive?  I got one – how about learning to code?

Learning to code is about so much more than just making a lot of money. It’s challenging, fulfilling, teaches you to think and helps you make improvements to the world you never thought imaginable.  With that being said, everyone needs to make a living some way or another. That’s the nice thing about learning to code as the jobs pay a lot more than anything else. How much more do they pay?

“Jobs requiring coding skills pay $22,000 more than positions that don’t, and the demand for employees with such skills is expected to grow 12 percent faster than the overall job market during the next decade” –Burning Glass Technologies

Teaching and learning to code has become a global movement. Getting ahead of this trend can help position you for a very long and lucrative career in any number of fields, including of course coding. How did Burning Glass Technologies figure this out? They analyzed 26 million online job postings published in 2015 that were posted on job boards, newspapers and websites. They combined this data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Data from the College Board suggest not enough students are getting an early start in the field. Only 2 percent of students in the College Board’s advanced placement program studied computer science last year, and only 22 percent of those students were female. Computer science was the fastest growing Advanced Placement test in 2014 and 2015, however, as the number of students taking those tests increased 25 percent.”

At Coder School, we can help you get ahead of these trends and carve out a long lucrative career in any industry – including computer programming.  So if you need a great New Years Resolution, maybe learning to code fits the bill!

 Green Tree Python.  Just like the language.

Green Tree Python.  Just like the language.

Are you wondering what programming language you should learn? Python may be the best one you could choose. David Robinson, who is a data scientist at Stack Overflow, claims Python could be the fastest-growing major programming language around.

Python became the most visited tag on Stack Overflow just this past June. The US and UK lead the charge as it holds the top spot in both countries. It’s top two behind Java or JavaScript just about everywhere else.

At this rate, Robinson predicts that Python will be the most visited tag in 2018. R, Go, Rust and TypeScript are also accelerating but at a much smaller rate than Python. Robinson doesn’t think that more means better. Looking at these numbers simply helps us all understand the developer ecosystem and how it could be changing.

At theCoderSchool, Python is one of our go-to languages when it comes to transitioning kids away from Scratch.  Using cool online platforms like Trinket or PixelPad and local libraries like Pygame, we’ve got our own unique way of helping get engaged into a typed world from a drag n drop world.  After all, drag-n-drop is awesome, but you gotta get typing at some point right?

Learning to code is important. Everywhere we look, we’re implementing technology and/or software into everyday things to improve our lives and change the world. Computers are now used to automate everyday tasks, make us more efficient, build amazing things or help us keep in touch with loved ones.

Everyday household items like your lights have code in them to save energy and set the correct ambiance in whichever room you want it to. Our cars have software in them to make parallel parking easier, connect to the internet and eventually drive themselves. Who would have ever thought a company like Airbnb would change how we traveled or Uber would change the way we got around the city? It’s an exciting time as industries such as finance embrace technology to make it easier to manage our finances and prevent unnecessary fees.

While learning to code is extremely important, learning to think is the primary benefit of learning to code and what really ends up impacting the world. The process of learning to code lends itself to a new way of thinking that has resulted in everyday improvements in life we never thought possible. Some of this, such as the hyperloop or the smartphone, are straight out of a sci-fi movie. When you learn to code you can literally think something into existence!

Check out this TED talk video called “Teaching Creative Computer Science” for kids, a great talk about how Comp Sci education for kids is focusing too much on the technology, and not enough on ideas.  Sure, learning Java or Python is great – but how about that big picture?

When you read this article it may stir up nostalgic memories of Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Skynet. It may even fuel Elon Musk’s everlasting paranoia about how AI may one day overthrow the human race. Whatever ends up happening, we think it’s super-cool that Google has created something that optimizes its existing code without human interference. AutoML now “produces better code than its programmers” and is “designed to be a solution to the problem of the lack of machine learning talent.” In a few hours it can accomplish what takes a human weeks to do.

Whether you believe automation will eliminate jobs or create more, you have to be excited by what the future holds in the world of AI. Google of course is leading the way in automatic machine learning AI which some coders may pause and ask “Why should I even bother to learn how to code if machines can do it for me?” The answer is simply that someone has to build the programs that engage in this level of machine learning and AI. There will be a shortage of people who understand how AI and machine learning works for a very long time which means demand should sky rocket. As a coder, you can be a part of the next generation of coders that does this, improving the world in ways never thought imaginable.

As coding solves these problems it will free up time for people to take on others. As people, we are problem solving entities and coding is a part of our tool chest to make this happen. Have you ever felt like there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything? Well, we can create more time so we can do more of the stuff we enjoying doing instead of wasting it on mundane tasks.