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Wild Card Blogging

Everyone should learn to program at least to a basic degree.

This is what I am passionate about and this is my wildcard, programming is no longer a niche requirement for a subset of jobs. Programming can make any job or hobby that involves computers just a little bit easier and more fun. It’s a force multiplier, it can make everything you do have more impact, free your time for doing more interesting and important things and generally just give you more time to do things that make a difference.

There’s a sort of belief out there that programming is, to all intents and purposes, just something people who are highly technical or nerdy do. That “normal” people don’t need to know how to program and that it’ll never affect you in real life. This is a pervasive and pernicious lie, programming isn’t just useful, many people do it already but don’t realise it!

Here’s a few examples of how people might already program, but not realise it:

Here’s things they’re probably doing by hand that they really shouldn’t need to:

But the benefits aren’t just in time, there’s also the fact that programming is just a way of formalising how to break a problem down into small steps. There’s a lot of wrapping around it, you’ll see talk of “Big O N squared” and algorithms and cylcomatic complexity but don’t let them distract you. The core of programming is just getting things done in a way the most stupid thing around, a computer, can understand. Programming is a tool, but it’s a tool you can use in so many places. Sure there’s the problem that when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail, but programming is a hammer with a screwdriver attachment, and a blasting rig, and an umbrella. In today’s digital world, so much is a nail to the programming hammer.

Also I wouldn’t be me without saying that if you really want to learn to program, you should look int Python. Easy to read, fast to learn, very powerful and complete standard library!

*Yes it was that long ago.