Well, is it? The answer according to Joseph Stevens, the programme coordinator at the Computer Science and Information Systems department at Murdoch University Dubai, is yes and no.
“If you work in the IT industry, absolutely, but if you are selling life insurance, probably not.”
He does think however, that coding is influencing the way we are programmed. “What is universally important, and is directly linked to coding, is thinking logically to solve problems and learning how computers use algorithms to arrive at answers,” he states.
“A simple example of solving a problem using coding logic without actually coding is being able to know how to search for articles or posts in a certain date range. For instance, when you want to quickly find an email with a particular attachment that your colleague sent last week by searching with the date and name as parameters.”
For a lot of us, the word ‘coding’ sparks a vision of a hacker in an action-packed movie typing away in a highly classified tech room, seconds away from being discovered by the authorities. Joseph helps to explain why coding is so much more, and what are the benefits of learning this language.
Aside from companies in the technology sector, there are an increasing number of businesses relying on coding, so a software engineer could find himself working not only in leading tech companies, but also in sectors such as health, transport, and manufacturing.
However, Stevens says: “Although research has shown that half of all coding jobs are in industries outside of technology, this fact is misstated. IT is broad and everywhere, so if you are working with IT then you are also a part of this growing industry.”
Certainly, coding has become a core skill that strengthens an applicant’s chances of commanding a high salary, and for students who are looking to increase their potential income few other skills open the door to so many well-paid careers.
Twist, Link, Split, and Merge
Computers are not clever things, however they are very obedient. They will do exactly what you want them to do, so long as you tell them how to do it correctly. And in a world increasingly run by software, we need people who can code accurately, whilst realising that writing code is also about expression and creativity, not just practical application. That is why children should learn to twist, link, split, and merge code in a way that it wasn’t designed to be. An entire generation of young people will use code like previous generations used words.