Why Everyone Should Code

Sometimes when I have a lot of projects at once or new requests keep coming in, it can be hard to remember why I love doing what I do. Like every job, there’s a lot that I like doing (meeting with customers, planning new projects and coding), and there are some bits I don’t like (chasing customers for money, fixing jQuery incompatibility problems).

Here’s a list of reasons why I love coding and why everyone should learn at least a little bit of it.

Reason 1: Building from nothing

I’m sure most of us that work with computers quite enjoy starting from zero and building something using nothing but their brains and a computer. I think that feeling isn’t unique to IT or graphic design, I can imagine an artist enjoying a blank canvas and then the finished result, or the feeling a cleaner gets when they’ve just scrubbed and polished a large floor.

It’s satisfying when you can clearly see the progression from start to finish.

Reason 2: Lines and lines of code

There’s something satisfying about seeing rows and rows of code, functions and classes, especially when they’re all colour coded in your IDE. It makes life seem organised.

Reason 3: Breaking things down

Sometimes you’ll do a project that in the beginning seems so complex, you’re not sure you can get through it. The only way to complete it is to break it into manageable steps so, for instance:

1. First, you need the data extracted from the old Drupal website.
2. Then you’ll build the backend forms.
3. Then front-end forms.
4. Then the front-end view once you have the data in place.
5. Then fix up settings before publishing.

This kind of planning is pretty standard and comes automatically with experience, but it’s still nice to see how big projects are broken down into manageable tasks that are then completed and added to the whole. It’s great looking back on a complicated project and remembering the moments of despair that you overcame 🙂

Reason 4: Freedom

If you’ve read my other posts, you’ll know that freedom is something I feel very strongly about. As a developer, I like that I can take a project from start to finish. I plan it, I design it, I code it, I publish it. Even if my house and office both burned down (touch wood!), I could still work from the library or anywhere I have internet access. Also freelancing means I have the freedom to do exactly what I want, where I want. Not many jobs offer that kind of freedom.

Reason 5: Job market

There always seems to be a shortage of developers, at least until the next generation starts coming and starts kicking our bums. This means that you won’t be short of work and if you build up your skills and reputation, you’ll nearly always be busy. Sometimes too busy, but once you love coding then it won’t matter because every project is different and a chance to do something awesome.