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Coding and why you should learn it

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Published: 17 January 2022

Students on computers

Coding, or using a programming language to communicate with a computer, is a rising skill in the world of work.  

Everyone from top executives to school children is learning to build websites and design apps. So, why should you get involved?   

Working in software  

Of course, the most obvious reason to learn how to write programmes is to enter the world of software development.  

This wide-ranging field includes everything from the things that make your computer run, through programming tools, to applications including websites, mobile apps and even video games.  

Although getting your skills to a level high enough to succeed in this industry may take some time, the current national average pay for Software Developers in the UK is £39,943, almost 60% higher than the overall average salary.  

Launching your business  

But what if you are sure a career building programmes for other people isn’t for you?   

If you’ve already got a plan to become an entrepreneur, it’s worth looking into learning some basic coding.  

Many companies hire external developers to build their websites and apps for them. But if you’re on a budget and want to save a few thousand pounds, why not think about doing it yourself?  

Having a website you’ve designed on your own will give you a lot more flexibility for your marketing than hiring someone.  

It’ll boost your CV  

The job you’re applying to doesn’t need to list coding as an essential skill for it to help you stand out from the crowd.   

Marketing and PR roles, for example, rarely ask for it outright. But once in the sector, you’ll find it to be surprisingly helpful for your work.  

You're likely to use a Content Management System (CMS) if you need to do any site building. This means you won’t have to code, but most give you the option to add HTML (or website language) if you need. That can come in handy when fixing problems with the site. 

Having coding on your CV will show hiring managers you can tackle more complex problems with ease.  

How can I learn to code?  

There was once a time when coding was limited to specialist university courses and paid-for schools.   

Luckily, the internet has opened up access to this world in a way that few expected.  

These days you can follow free online courses, using apps to learn on the go.   

There are even popular toys for children that introduce young ones to the basics of programming.  

The first question you need to ask yourself is ‘why do I want to learn how to code?’ There are lots of different computer languages and the ones you need will be based on the tasks you need them for. 

So, for example, websites run on HTML, CSS and Javascript, Java and C++ are great for financial trading and Python and R are often used for analysing statistics.   

To learn these, head to sites like CodecademyfreeCodeCamp and Coursera 

Have you started on your coding journey? We’d love to hear about your experiences so far.  

Share your thoughts with the University of Sunderland in London community on FacebookTwitter and Instagram using #WeAreSunLon.  

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