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You should learn to code in 2020. How to get started?

Coding is ever more important in the new decade. Even the Ministry of Education recognised this trend, making it compulsory for Upper Primary School students to take coding classes. But why should you care?

Automate your processes

With the advent of more “Human Readable” coding language such as Python, it is ever so easy to pick up the new skill. Gone were the days of scary looking syntax. Python is often touted as a good platform to learn to code, as beginners find it easy to comprehend its syntax.

Coding is a great skill to possess. One of the things Python can be used for is to Automate your workflow.

Data Manipulation

Imagine having to work with a large data set in the form of multiple Excel documents, or sheets. You are supposed to compare two excel files and to merge relevant rows together. Using the conventional Excel method, you would have to look through every row and compare them manually. With Python, you can write a script to automate this, and combine the result into a single Excel file.

Web Scraping

Another menial task is web scrapping. Imagine being tasked to copy each and every product of an E-Commerce website. Traditionally, you would spend hours copying and pasting the data manually into Excel. With the use of python, you can automate this.

An excel file of scraped data.
An excel file of scraped data using Python.

Improve collaboration skills

Working with a web developer can be challenging at times. They often communicate in their lingo which may be foreign to the non-programmers.

For example: “Which colour would you prefer? Send it to me in HEX format”.

HTML colour picker on Google.
HTML colour picker on Google

Do you know what is a HEX code? It is basically a 6 character code that identifies a colour.

Having development skills can also help you save money and avoid getting scammed by your agency. You may be over-charged by your agency for a relatively small feature.

Increase problem-solving and logical skills

Programming is a skill that is used to solve problem. Without a problem, there wont be a need for programming.

When you encounter a problem, before jumping straight into coding, you would first have to plan a solution.

Know exactly what is the problem, come up with a solution, then jump into programming. I know, this is an over-simplification of what programming is all about.

Before you even start coding, you need to think like a computer. You would question yourself: “What happens after this… If this happens, then what’s next? What if this doesn’t happen, then what?”

To be a great programmer, you’d need to be very logical. Being logical may also make you a more decisive person.

Where to start?

Like many of us in Enchant, many developers are self-thought. We understand how hard it is to start learning programming. There is just a plethora of resources online, without knowing where to start.

While learning methods differs from person-to-person, learning programming by watching videos would be a safe place to start. Online classes usually structure their lessons, so that each and every topic is covered progressively, making it very easy to learn for the average Joe.

I would suggest starting with Python. Mastering it will unlock a world of possibilities as Python is a very versatile language. You can develop a website with it, build an AI bot, or even program a robot.

Here are some websites you can begin learning Python:

https://www.learnpython.org/

Mastering any language will also enable you to pick up other languages easily.

No matter the language, the general concept of coding stays.

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