HTML is the New Home Row

Learn to code so that 8 year olds won’t laugh at you

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I started learning to code about a year ago, for a variety of reasons:

  1. I was looking for a new challenge
  2. My brother was finishing up a Comp Sci degree, and the work looked fun
  3. I was frustrated that I had to rely on others to build my ideas for me

I currently work as a designer at a tech startup, but at the time I began learning code I was working in architecture, and I was starting completely from scratch. It took a bit for it to start sinking in, but I eventually began to be comfortable working in HTML and CSS. Here’s why I think everyone should learn to (or at least understand) code:

Chicken Peck

You know those people that pick the letters on their keyboard one at a time while they type out a message, while you sit there trying to hide your grimaces and pained expressions? Maybe you ARE one of those people?

Those people either never learned home row in elementary school typing class, or simply chose to ignore it when they were taught. Now they are doomed to a life of misery, being laughed at and ridiculed behind their back. It’s something very simple to learn, and lack of typing skills can quickly out you as a ‘non-techy’ person.

At Least They Can Chicken Peck

Join with me in peering 20 years into the future. Coding is a part of the curriculum for all stages of schooling (this is already starting!) and you never learned to code. You are now the “chicken peck” dude, only worse because you can’t even understand how to read code, let alone write it. And yet, your 8-year-old can. Is that a scenario you want to live in? Picture your 8-year-old child and all of their friends pointing and laughing at you, making silly faces and calling you a “dumb dumb” all because you didn’t take some time to learn basic HTML when you were younger. HTML may not be as easy as learning home row, but it isn’t that difficult to learn either.

It Only Gets Worse

Now join me in another future scenario. You are a truck driver, or an accountant, or a paralegal, or any other job that is currently being automated. In this future scenario, these jobs have been automated, and you find yourself having to begin a new career. The problem is that thousands of people find themselves in the same situation, and all of you are vying for the remaining jobs in the market. By this point technology employs the greatest amount of people compared to any other sector, and most jobs require basic understanding of code. If you had made the effort to learn some code 20 years earlier you would be able to smoothly transition into your new career in tech, but instead you are flipping burgers (a little overdramatic, and there is nothing wrong with flipping burgers, but you get my point. And by that point who’s to say burger flipping won’t be automated too?). Sounds crazy right? Maybe not.

Please, Learn to Code

Aside from helping to future-proof you as a person, learning to code helps you think in new ways. Computational thinking is increasingly desirable to employers, and coding forces you to problem solve using methods that you may not be typically engaged with. HTML and CSS may not require logic, but they are a great entry point for learning software languages. 
If anyone has a reason to NOT learn to code, let me know. Otherwise, please learn to code…and avoid the ridicule of your future 8-year-old child.

I learned on Codecademy and FreeCodeCamp, but there are lots of great resources out there!