Please do learn to code
Quincy Larson

I grew up with computers and since I was born in the mid 1970s, I had to learn things that most people do not learn today. I’m not bragging, its just a fact.

Now, learning to use DOS (if you don’t know what that is, then you are too young to understand what I am about to discuss here, so get back to Facebooking and instagramming or whatever…) is easy if all you want to do is use it to execute games or something. Yes, you had to “execute” them, you could not click on them, or tap them etc… But using DOS for other needs, even simple needs such as reorganizing files, or rendering animation (which takes forever on those old slow computers requires some effort to learn how to speak the computer’s language.

Today, we do not need to know how to speak the computer’s language, because we have a interface that translates our desires into the computers actions. Its not a perfect system, since our desires may be mmore abstract than the computers understanding of them, but its getting better, so no, you do not NEED to learn code to use modern computers, but it does help.

I am not a programmer, but my curiosity and personal experience has led me down many paths that would eventually lead to programming if I wanted them to. I learned how to render simple visualizations in BASIC, then did the same thing using the visualization system for WinAmp. I learned how to use certain basic geometric formulas to manipulate 3D objects. I learned how to make relatively sophisticated macros in Microsoft Excel. I used some of these talents for fun, and the Excel talent, simply gave me an edge over my peers at the Financial Services company I used to work for… it also got me a few raises. But one thing still stands out from that knowledge, and its an understanding of the logic of computers.

When computers fail to operate as expected, it can be a baffling mystery, but if you understand their limitations and have some insight into the way they interpret and process input into outputs, then you are going to be less frustrated. Don’t get me wrong, I still get pissed when the finger print reader on my iPhone actually accepts my fingerprint when I just want to see my alerts, but absolutely refuses to accept it when I actually want to use my phone, but I get it, Just learn to use a finger that has not been stored. Easier said than done, habits like that are hard to break.

To conclude, one does not need to be a hardcore coder to find coding skills useful or even marginally helpful, so at least get your feet wet. Experiment with simple tools. I highly recommend learning to use Microsoft Excel to make interesting Macro’s in VB. Here’s a good starter that most people can try and I have done myself. Try making a playlist generator in Excel. Heres a hint, those playlist files are nothing but text lists that tell the computer where each MP3 file is located… Let your curiosity take you from there.

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