Want to know a little secret about me? For years and years, I’ve been a huge fan of high fashion models. I’m not into the clothes & couture, per se, but there’s something about the actual models themselves that I just love. Kate! Cindy! Naomi! Cara! Gigi! Kendall! From one gazelle to another, I love watching those tall bitties do their thing. One of my favourite models is Karlie Kloss. You miiiiight recognize her, she’s a former Victoria’s Secret model who has basically been on the cover of every single magazine.
BUT DID YOU KNOW THAT KARLIE CODES?! She’s a fellow tech nerd!!
Karlie Kloss has a scholarship fund for high school students to learn how to code at the Flatiron school in NYC, and she’s generally a pretty vocal advocate for coding and women in tech. Love this so much!
Let’s take a look at why this is important and how it relates to today’s article : 6 Reasons Why Coding Is Cool.
If models are getting in on coding, it must be cool
Look friends - we all know that coding is something we should know how to do but how many people actually take the time to do learn? How many kids, especially young girls, are being discouraged from learning to code because it’s “nerdy”? There’s a huge stereotype around developers and techies in general. People think we’re all socially awkward introverts who hide away in a windowless room with big headphones on and empty beer cans scattered around our desk.
Newsflash : we aren't.
Take a look at this Instagram pic that Karlie posted not too long ago. Folks, we are entering a new age for coders everywhere.
Having a public figure support the industry and coding as a valuable skill set it huge. And how cool is it that our spokesperson is a total babe, not just some skinny dude from San Fran?
Coding as a basic skill is becoming mainstream and is gaining traction from people of all backgrounds. That’s a great thing!
Here are six reasons that coding is cool:
Become a creator
By knowing how to code, you can let your creativity and entrepreneurial spirit shine.
Imagine you have a brilliant business idea and want to get it off the ground. If you know how to code or even how to build a basic website on WordPress or SquareSpace, you can do it in a matter of minutes. How cool is that?!
Knowing how to code means you can get the ball rolling and actually take action. We know that having a website is non-negotiable for any business nowadays and if you know how to code, you can build a site and style it to look exactly how you want.
Once you’ve mastered those basics, you can move onto some more fun stuff or try your hand at something totally new. This could be a plugin or theme that you created, a new feature for your website, or even creating SAAS (software as a service) that others can use or buy (think: Asana, Facebook, etc.)
Independence and Self-Reliance
This part is huge for me. Personally, I’m quite impatient and the thought of waiting around for someone to do something drives me nuts. I love knowing that I can make the changes to my website when I want and make it look exactly how I want.
Gone are the days of waiting around for your developer to make a fix or apply an upgrade/update. By knowing how to code, I don’t have to sit around letting little tech things bother me - I can fix them myself!
Once you know how to code (or even how to make little HTML/CSS tweaks), you take back ownership of your website and can ditch your tech support.
Having a sense of self-reliance also increases your confidence. It’s an awesome feeling to know that you can troubleshoot something yourself and figure out a solution.
There have been plenty of times that I didn’t know how to fix something but at least I knew that after a few minutes Googling it, I could figure it out - and apply it myself!
Let me tell you, that feels good.
Gives you the power to take control
Once you learn to code and master some of the basics, you have control over your site. You can make it look exactly how you like by changing the format, site structure and navigation, create your own features, and apply a design that really pops and fits with your brand.
By taking matters into your own hands, you can customize your site exactly to your liking and you will never have to settle again.
Think about all those little quirks that bothered you before that you had to live with (e.g., links opened in the same window, not a new tab) because you didn’t know how to fix them. Once you know how to code, you can fix it yourself without the help of a developer, as well as get it to look and function how you want.
This is huge and cannot be emphasized enough!
Think artistically and logically
Many people think that if you’re good at math, you’ll be good at coding. Those two areas do have many similarities (both action and rule based) so this makes sense.
But what if you reframed the way you thought about coding and realized that it’s a language like almost any other one? Learning a language exercises many of the creative muscles in your brain so coding actually uses many different aspects at the same time!
When it comes to coding, often you start with the end in mind and work your way backwards. If you want something to look a certain way or have a specific functionality, you picture the outcome and trace the steps in reverse.
This means that you have to think outside the box in order to figure out a solution. By thinking through the steps logically and troubleshooting as needed, you will eventually figure it out.
In addition, so much of building a website centers on design, so you’ll be exercising your creative and artistic abilities at the same time! Half of the fun of working with websites is playing around with colours and aesthetics.
Become part of the awesome tech community
Joining and participating in the tech community has been one of my favourite parts of learning to code. I always have so much fun attending local events, connecting with other people in my industry (whether in real life or online), bouncing ideas off each other and continually learning new tips & tricks from my peers.
Attending local tech meetups and events is a blast and I look forward to them every month. If you like free beer, good conversations, a fun crowd and meeting people doing cool stuff, this is the crowd for you.
The tech community is also very engaged and active online. There are tons of forums, community pages and even some killer Facebook groups you can join and participate in. Simply Google and poke around to find some that you like!
Another fun thing about learning how to code is that you can join in on the conversations happening around you. At first, all the lingo might seem way over your head but as you continue learning, it'll start to make sense. That feeling of accomplishment and being able to collaborate with others is golden.
More money in your pocket
You knew this was going to be included in this list, right?! Whether you just learn to code for fun or really dive into it and hone your skills, there’s a good chance you can monetize this skill set with little effort.
Whether you decide to go the freelance route or join an established company to work in the field, your skills will be in demand and generally compensation is competitive. Many companies offer great work-life balance (working from home is very popular in the industry), higher pay and challenging but fun projects.
The tech industry is growing every day and more and more jobs are popping up that require coding skills. By learning how to code, you can apply for more positions, have greater mobility in the field and work your way up faster.
Lots of people (like me!) also choose the freelance route and find that there’s more than enough work to go around and pay the bills (and leave some extra cash in your pocket every month).
Depending on how specialized your skills are, you can charge top dollar to consult or work on projects. If you’re just starting out, it gets easier and easier the more you hone your skill and before you know it, you’ll be in a position to take on contract work if you so choose (like building basic websites for friends & family).
I hope that after reading this article you decide to give coding a go if you don't already. If you have absolutely no clue where to start, check out:
Do you know how to code or are you interested in learning? What is holding you back? Do you learn best with online self-directed programs or through in-person classes? There's something for everyone in coding! Leave a note in the comments and share your favourite reasons why coding is cool!
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