6 Things Coding Is

6 Things Coding is and 6 Things It’s Not

1. Road to Riches. I think this is true. Computer programming is still a unique industry where supply (of competent coders) is nowhere near the demand in workforce and technology constantly evolving and advancing. 

As entities who adapt to the leverage offered by programming and tech opportunities reap massive benefits and ensure profitability, companies who can’t adapt and offer value are dying. This is a natural life cycle and nothing new, it’s just coding happens to be the new edge-cutting wisdom.

Another good news is that this trend is seemingly here to stay. So, enjoy and ride the wave. Consider yourself lucky to be interested in such a high-value, intellectual and in-demand occupation.

Mansion, palms, boat and swimming pool

2. Multi-disciplinary: You don’t always have to understand everything about every other field out there and it’s probably technically impossible. But, over the years you may realize that it really helps to accumulate an intellectual knowledge about other related fields. In fact many people seem to study non-cs fields and then really get into coding and develop necessary skills.

If you’ve only studied computer science, don’t worry either, you can always educate yourself about other fields you’re interested in like biology or finance.

If you’ve mastered in some lesser-known field that’s cool too. See nobody is going to pay you solely because of your diploma. You have to put your love and passion and create value consistently. That value can be created in an infinite amount of topics using the vehicle of computer programming.

3. Equal-opportunity. Code doesn’t care about your race, ethnicity, religion, background, gender, sexual orientation, social class, marital status, nationality, color etc. etc. It’s all about you as a human being, creative process and creating value.

Friends having fun in snow

4. Location Independent. Computers also don’t discriminate cities (or forests or oceans). If you have a computer and internet connection you’re all set (you’ll probably need a flat surface too like a desk maybe). Especially with Starlink’s satellite internet technology even the unlikely places might become suitable for coding jobs.

  • Some may say it’s difficult to synchronize with remote employees and sometimes coders might take advantage of the situation. But, I’d like to disagree. There are many successful implementations of remote coding teams (Gumroad is a great example) and it’s more of a question of maturity than feasibility. Coding is inherently location-independent and most people love it that way. Code-away in your ski chalet if you want!
Chalet on the mountain under snow

5. Meditative: Flow state of mind has been popularized by Daniel Kahneman’s masterpiece Thinking Fast and Slow and there has been many books about flow since. Almost everybody consciously or subconsciously seeks flow. It’s the state when you forget about time and your immediate surroundings and you lose yourself in the occupation in hand. To achieve flow state your task should have the perfect difficulty, it can’t be harder than you can handle but it should require you to concentrate and engage. Next thing you know is dopamine gates will open and you’ll be flooded with motivation, pleasure and inspiration.When you enjoy the puzzle solving, creating and building aspects of computer programming it can be a quite meditative and Zen occupation.

Meditative Beach View

6. Life Changing: This is a big one. Coding can change not only your life but the lives of people you help through it.Just think about Google. That minimalist page with a search box in the middle that changed our lives. If you’re young enough to not remember the search engine era before Google, it really sucked. You’d have to go to 18th search result page to see something relevant to your search query and sometimes you’d still not find what you were looking for. How much one learns through Google every single day is mind blowing and it’s only one website example. Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, Twitter, Quora, Stack Overflow… there are endless examples.

But it can also change the coder’s life directly. There aren’t many professions where expertise is shared so openly, you can be location independent and you can find so much support no matter where you are.

Coding is still one profession where you can create the next global conglomerate from your parents’ garage or dorm room, such as Google or Facebook. Good luck doing that in traditional finance or real estate.

So, long story short, you can truly change your life and other’s lives through coding

6 Things Coding Is Not

1. Something very new. Not quite. Coding has been around for many decades now and first computer programming languages are likely older than your grandpa if he’s still alive.
Modern movement of main stream coding is however a relatively new trend which started taking place in early 2000s and gets stronger every year. There has been many influential events that contributed to the momentum we have today in the programming world. (such as the book Master’s of Doom, companies like Google, new languages like Python and the accomplishments of many inspirational individuals in business and science from the tech aspect.)

To be more specific, first high level coding languages date to early 1940s. And at the low level Ada Lovelace’s work on Bernoulli numbers in mid-19th century is considered to be the first computer program in history.

43 Years Old Commodore 2001 Series Computer from (Approx. Retail Price was $3300 in today's money.)

2. Quick Money. It can be but it really isn’t! It might appear as quick money when someone comes up with a genius idea that can be implemented using Python overnight. But leading to that event usually is a long journey of coding, building, long days and long nights, weekends and Fridays, books, websites, tutorials, forums, exchanging ideas. So if you think you can always hit it big with coding, in a very short time. This is not very realistic. Therefore, enjoying coding with Python and embracing the journey will deliver those epiphany moments that makes it look like quick money.If you align your expectations you will have a happier relation with coding and specifically Python.

3. Healthiest job in the world. Look if you’re a coder and stay sharp through your old ages even, you’re probably less likely to have Alzheimer. But, coding comes with a whole lot of physical discomfort and potential injuries if you’re not mindful of that aspect. You sit, sit and sit and even with standing desks, you stand, stand and stand. This is not what human body evolved for for millions or billions of years leading up to homo-sapiens.So, watch out for your physical health, don’t forget to take frequent breaks, rest well, stretch and maybe pick up something like swimming. You might not be a coal miner or mason but still, sedentary lifestyle can have tremendous health impacts both long and short term. It can also take a toll on your mental health if you never rest your mind, not respect your pre-sleep, post-sleep states etc. etc.

Some general advises are, when things get rough slow everything down, rest the mind and move the body often. Long term, learn to have a comfortable, sustainable and joyful relationship with your craft.

4. Coding is always creative. It’s not, at least not in all cases and definitely not always. Unfortunately, many coders have day jobs that take endless hours of debugging, checking other’s code and some tedious tasks like that. This is part of the job. But if that’s all you’re doing you might wanna reconsider your coding situation.  If you’re after corporate jobs, they usually tend to follow a structure and a company spirit and no matter how hard the organization tries they are known to get pretty routine over time, not always but in a lot of cases.Usually though coding does involve some level of creativity which inspires more creativity. In the end creative process is something that you strive for and shouldn’t be taken for granted no matter what position you have.

Vintage bicycle with creative watermelon wheels

5. Coding is a white man’s trade. Definitely not. Coding shatters all stereotypes and offers paths to extraordinary level of creative possibilities to all humans and coding robots are probably on the way too! You can realize so many dreams through coding regardless of your social constructs.Since the earlier eras of Silicon Valley such as 60s, 70s and 80s things became more decentralized, computers became more affordable and computer science philosophy became more open. However, there still nations without widespread internet or ability to afford computers.

Recommended Reading:
-> Article about Nvidias Machine Learning Technology and Internet Stats in the World.

6. Solo – Dolo. Not really. Programming doesn’t require the same kind of team work that’s required to build skyscrapers or automobiles but it still takes a lot of collaboration. Especially if you’re building an advanced and innovative software it takes so much collaboration, idea exchanging, mentoring, getting help in some way. Don’t worry you can still avoid corporate meetings and geographic restrictions more than most professions.

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