a UNSW Business Society official publication
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The Art of Coding
Written by Shreya Abhyankar
Date Published: 01/11/2020
At the very heart of our society’s technology driven matrix lie the mathematical keyboard wizards, who solve multitudes of technological problems through computational coding. Coders are perceived to be ‘left brained’ thinkers – analytical, methodical and rational. Now, if your values and skills align with those of the conventional coder, congratulations – you’re on your way to becoming a fantastic coder. However, creatives like myself, who can’t shake their curiosity towards coding, may be held back due to the societal construct of left vs right brained thinking. Which raises the question – is coding strictly analytical, and can our cognitive skills be compartmentalised into a singular ‘side’ of the brain?
So, what is coding?
If we delve right down to its roots, computer coding is defined as the act of using programming languages to tell computers how to perform the actions required of them. Without this set of instructions computers would “ultimately be useless” (Forbes, 2018), so the importance of coding in today’s world – especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is pretty self-explanatory. Society’s rapid shift into the inclusion of automation and data driven technology makes it not only desirable, but vital for all new business professionals to have an understanding and interest in the process of programming. Harvard correspondent Brigit O’Rourke elucidates that “learning how to code is essentially (learning) how to create” and is a vital skill that should be developed all, as it “teaches you how to think”.
I always perceived programming languages to be equivalent to some kind of Morse code used during the war – completely uninterpretable by the average student, and much harder to pick up than learning the guitar or speaking a new language. Nevertheless, in an attempt to keep myself busy during quarantine, I decided to enrol into Codecademy’s beginner Java course. I didn’t expect to understand a single concept explored within the course, but to my surprise, my lack of mathematical and analytical skills did not hinder my ability to complete the course! Codecademy’s Basic Java course seamlessly incorporates the theory behind Java into interactive activities via a code terminal, making it simple to follow. In fact, I discovered that coding stimulates creativity, challenging individuals to use their imagination to discover alternative ways to solve a problem.
I highly recommend you give it a try: https://www.codecademy.com/
Besides it being a vital skill for those who wish to pursue a career in STEM, computer programming is a fantastic way to stimulate analytical thinking and challenge yourself mentally. Coding, like any other skill, should not be limited to individuals with certain cerebral strengths, but should be encouraged as an essential skill to all students. So what’s stopping you from giving it a try? You never know – you might be the next Mark Zuckerberg!