Today’s industries are becoming more and more reliant on digital technologies to succeed. But whilst code is what powers the work we do on a daily basis, most of us are only just beginning to harness its full potential.
In this lesson you’ll learn why code is important in the modern workplace, and why almost everyone can benefit from having a basic understanding of code.
Most technologies emerge to satisfy specific human needs. Ancient hunter gatherers needed tools to help them grow crops and prepare them for eating: so they invented sickles to cut the wheat. The same is true with digital technologies. Tools like Microsoft Word and Google Docs were invented to help us write, edit, and share information faster. Video conferencing applications like Skype were invented to improve long-distance communication.
Today, many manual and repetitive tasks are automated. This has led to massive increases in efficiency and the numbers of new products and services. In an ideal world, we would let computers do things they’re good at, leaving humans to do the things we’re good at.
For example, machine learning allows computers to complete regular tasks in an ever-more efficient way, by automatically learning what works best from past experiences.
The rapid changes in the world of digital technology means jobs we can't even imagine today will be created. So to stay ahead in the modern workplace we need to learn how to work with these new coding languages, devices, and applications, and use them to enhance our own productivity.
Let’s look at a few jobs that have coding at their core.
Mobile Developers use programming languages like Java and Swift to make the apps and games you use on your phone. Since the Apple and Google app stores were launched 10 years ago, the world of apps has enjoyed enormous popularity. There are now millions to choose from, no matter what kind of smartphone you have.
Data Scientists use code to gather, analyse and understand massive amounts of data. They are becoming increasingly in demand as companies look for experts to help their teams make smarter business decisions. By using data and evidence, teams can understand the real cost or benefit of different choices - from the value of placing an advertisement, to a breakdown of the time that’s spent on different business activities.
System Administrators are the mechanics of the digital world. They often work in larger companies making sure that their complex computer systems are configured properly and working effectively. Most are highly skilled professionals, often required to look after both the digital software and the physical hardware.
And finally, Robot Programmers of course use code on a daily basis make all sorts of robots work. Within the manufacturing industry, robots are everywhere, and they all need to be programmed with maneuvering and decision-making capabilities to do their jobs properly. Some robots put out fires, some explore outer space, and others build cars on assembly lines.
These are just four examples of jobs that utilise coding, but there are hundreds and hundreds of others out there, in almost every industry. And as code becomes increasingly important, so will the jobs that utilise it.
In addition to full-time coding roles, some jobs also utilise code alongside their day-to-day work, despite not explicitly being coding jobs. Here are a few examples:
Researchers, journalists, and marketers now use task automation tools like If This Then That and Zapier to make the laborious task of collecting data from multiple sources much easier. With just a few clicks, they can set up these apps to collate information from multiple web pages, post across multiple social media accounts, or notify them when their name is mentioned online.
Designers, art directors and other creative professionals can benefit from basic coding knowledge too. Where once they would have been limited to a relatively static and constrained medium, they now can use code to explore new ways to express ideas and create experiences.
Last but not least, engineers in many fields often write computer programs to help test and design their creations - from fine-tuning car dashboards, to simulating passenger movement at airports. Whilst most of their time is spent completing engineering work, many of them now need a basic understanding of a coding language like Python to keep up in their field.
Now you know a bit more about code in the world of work, do a little research into the industry you work in, or another one that interests you. What new technologies are being developed that might change the way you work? What exciting opportunities are there on the horizon? With the world changing faster than ever, it pays to stay ahead of the curve.
- the ways code is changing jobs and the workplace
- examples of jobs that have coding at their core
- how basic coding knowledge can help, even if you’re not a coder