In our modern world, technology is ever present, and it’s creeping its way into all aspects of our lives. Whether you like it or not, our lives are becoming centered around our computers. Having said this, it’s clear to see why having basic knowledge of the operation of these computers can go a long way. I, for one, have had an interest in understanding computers for quite some time, but because of the rigorous life science path I had chosen, I never really had the opportunity to pursue this interest. After some time in university however, I realized this interest could be very beneficial to me, and decided to take on a Health Informatics specialization. As I now begin to dabble in computer science, I’ve come to learn that everyone has something to gain from basic coding knowledge.

For starters, learning how to code is a fantastic way to improve your problem solving and critical thinking skills. In all honesty, this is what coding boils down to. When programming, you take a problem, break it down into individual steps, and use syntax and semantics to communicate your solution to the computer in a way it understands. This structured and logical way of thinking is known as computational thought, and developing this skill is so helpful. When you develop this certain mindset on approaching problems and processing large amounts of information, you can apply it to any situation! You learn how to view problems from a bigger picture and adapt to any road block in your way.

Now not only are the problem solving skills you gain applicable, but programming skills are becoming more and more applicable to all fields. Whether you see yourself in healthcare or in business, those who are literate in technology are becoming more sought after. Taking the time to gain these technical skills really gives you a competitive edge, no matter what capacity you’ll be using the knowledge in. Whether you’re using programming everyday as part of your job description, or you’re just using it to make your role more efficient through simple programs, your skills will benefit both you and your employers.

If this sounds intriguing to you at all, but you have no idea where to begin, there are tons of resources available to help you get started! There are many websites where you can take free introductory coding lessons, which are a great fit for people with all levels of coding background. They all have very basic lessons meant for those with no coding background, as well as more advanced courses for those that want to take their computer science knowledge further.

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