Keywords: Inspiration, why programming, Moores law
The question “why should I learn to code?” have undoubtedly have crossed your mind. In this article, we will try to give our perspective and hopefully leave you with some inspiration.
Programming is a prerequisite for all technical products. Different types of programming are found almost everywhere and are necessary to develop new and improve products. Programming is about giving instructions to, for example, a computer, machine/robot or a microcomputer to perform a certain type of outcome. It can be anything from space-rocket to a small flashing light. If you master programming, you can create almost anything.
For example, if you press the on-button on a TV, you want the TV to start. But how should the TV know that it should start if no one has programmed it first that it should start when you press the button? We can specify exactly what we want to happen with programming depending on how we use a product. Therefore, we could say that most programmers work daily to develop and improve products.
According to Moore’s law, it is said that the number of transistors that fit on a silicon chip doubles approximately every two years. One can thus imagine (roughly) that computer power doubles every two years. With greater computer power, the digitalisation of society increases and therefore, the need for more programmers. It goes fast! Just over ten years ago, not many people had smartphones. What do we have in 10 years from now?
Moore’s law describes the phenomenon that the number of transistors that fit on a chip is growing exponentially.– Wikipedia, Moores lag
Computers, machines, robots and smart computer programs help companies work more efficiently, enabling them to produce added value for society. It can be anything from databases that store information digitally (instead of thick folders with paper), to programs that automate factories’ flows. All the products you use are probably there because someone wanted to make your life a little more comfortable. It can be anything from the dishwasher, washing machine, headphones, TV, streaming website, e-commerce, mobile, games, speaker, car, clock, lawnmower, and… yes we can keep on like this all day, you get the point. All these products are constantly being refined and improved, and then we need skilled programmers who can develop these in an efficient, climate-smart and innovative way.
Look around you and try to think through all the objects that have come in contact with programming. The first thing you might think of is maybe your computer, tablet or mobile phone that you are currently reading from. Of course, these devices are highly dependent on programming; they must be able to do precisely what you want it to do. Someone has programmed the command that will happen when you press a specific button.
Almost all objects around you have been (or are) in some way reliant on programming.
But let’s look at it one step further! Almost all objects around you have been (or are) in some way dependent on programming. For example, the chair you are sitting on has most likely also been in contact with programming. Someone has designed the chair in a CAD program, the machines that manufacture the chair are guaranteed to be programmed, and in some way, you have been able to buy the chair, perhaps with a credit-card entirely electronically.
But programming is much more than only the physical products we use. For example, in calculations, analyses, information gathering, automation and manufacturing, and so much more. Programming has grown enormously in the last decade, and today we see significant advances in artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, IoT (Internet of Things), blockchain and machine learning. It goes without saying that the jobs of the future will, to a high degree, expect some knowledge in programming.
Finally, programming is the key to many of the innovations we need to solve critical social problems. One of our perhaps most societal severe problems is, for example, the climate challenges facing the earth. To meet these challenges, we need to create more climate-smart and environmentally friendly solutions. It can be anything from battery-powered (self-driving) vehicles, smart cities, or more energy-efficient machines.
As a society, we can make significant savings by letting smart products optimize, for example, our electricity consumption. Do you want to be a part of saving the world? Learn and educate yourself in these areas and help to create the next generation of smart products.
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You have got a short introduction and hopefully some inspiration on why we need computer programmers.
In short, a programmer:
A programmer works to develop new innovative products or improve existing technology products
The digitalisation of society is increasing rapidly, and more and more professions require some competence in computer programming. By understanding programming, you build the knowledge and experience needed to compete for future jobs that are important for the market.
Programming is about solving logical problems, and to some extent, this is reminiscent of mathematics. It is also quite common for the program to be programmed to require certain mathematical algorithms. But of course, it depends on what you are going to program. For the basics of programming, you don’t need any prior knowledge. Besides, you will probably increase your math skills if you program a lot.
There are several different paths to take to become a computer programmer. For example, you can attend university programs, or be self-taught. Therefore, decide which type of training is right for you.
But in general, a good approach may be first to understand why you want to start programming. Second, decide the field(s) that interest you, for example, web development or data science, then it’s easier to choose a language to learn. Third, practice, practice, and then practice some more. Computer programming is learning by doing and getting a more in-depth understanding, rather than just memorising concepts and functions. Additionally, as a computer programmer, you never stop learning, as it is such a rapidly growing field.