Our daily lives are inundated with technology. From smart mobile devices, exciting new games or applications, Smart TV’s; laptops and tablets, just to name a few. What do all of these technology advancements have in common, the quick answer, CODE! Every application on pc, tablet, and phone such as Facebook; Uber; WhatsApp; Twitter, any email you send or game you play is all written by software engineers and we call it coding and yes it definitely is a distinctive and unique art.
So, what is coding exactly?
Coding, simply put, is a set of instructions created that tells a computer; phone, or application what to do. Coding is a unique language, much like French or say Spanish. Sounds rather unusual to compare a coding langue to a foreign language but if you think about it, both need to be taught, understood and applied to convey a specific message or have a conversation.
Depending on what the code is being created for i.e. is it for a website, a game, an application etc, determines the distinctive coding language to be used. This coding language is primarily made up of a set of syntax rules, structure, and commands that in turn become a message that your pc, website or app can understand. In essence, you are the teacher, coding is your subject and your pc or app the learner.
Why It’s a Good Time to Learn Code?
As the technology landscape evolves and shifts toward a more digital approach, also known as the 4IR, learning how to code, even at a basic level, has become a study that many deem necessary.
For a younger generation who have grown up with technology, it seems like a natural evolution that they should want to study software and programming related courses. Equally, for those who are a little older and who work in varying industries, also need to learn the fundamentals of coding to stay relevant, up to speed and ahead of the curve.
Coding and understanding it, allows us to bridge the gap and remain literate in the digital space, and understand the ideas behind current technology trends and just how the digital landscape is growing and being reshaped.
We at hi.guru, have a team of amazing and passionate developers who develop code on an everyday basis. Having seen the lines of code they write and deploy, I wondered what they would see as the do’s and don’t and what they have learned along their coding journey.
Here’s what they had to say:
- What you deem to be the fundamental coding do’s and don’ts?
Bennie (Junior Software Engineer): Make sure someone with equal understanding of code, but not necessarily the same knowledge can understand the objective of your code and how to use it at an eye’s glance.
Mark (Senior Front-End Web Developer) :
do’s – drink lots of coffee
do’s – always use proper naming conventions with camel case
do’s – always comment your code so the next coder (or yourself years later)knows what is going on in the code.
do’s – keep it tidy and simple so it’s easy to read
don’ts – don’t deploy without proper testing there is nothing worse than something that doesn’t work and there could be irreversible consequences.
- What coding languages do you use or prefer?
Bennie (Junior Software Engineer): Python has gained large support in the past couple of years. Python is an interpreted language, meaning it is easy to learn for beginners and can be read like a conversation. People have started to create python libraries for a wide range of coding uses like Django/Flask for a web framework, use it to create GUIs with PyGUI/TkInter, do complex mathematical calculations with commands like those found in MATLAB or easily accomplish artificial intelligence (AI) tasks with tensorflow.
- What you have learned along your coding journey?
Bennie (Junior Software Engineer): Everyone can code. Your expertise is dependent on the time and effort you put into it. And the more you push yourself the faster you’ll grow.
Mark (Senior Front-End Web Developer): Turn cache off in your browser when testing it could save you hours.
- What value do you see in coding and how it impacts the world at large?
Bennie (Junior Software Engineer): When we invented the tractor, we replaced the work of 10 unskilled workers with 1 skilled one, improving our productivity 10-fold. Now not only can we improve our productivity, but also safety, social interaction and standard of living. With intelligent systems our work becomes less labour intensive and more efficient. Coding has created opportunities for people to become self-made models and actors through Instagram and YouTube. Coding has also given young aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to start their own business with very little capital.
Mark (Senior Front-End Web Developer): It helps us build platforms that automate so many tasks improving productivity in businesses and things like communication in our personal lives. It is very rewarding to see the end product because we are not only coders, we are creatives, innovators, inventors and solution providers.