Learning to code decrypts endless advantages

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There’s no question coding is a skill worth developing in the 21st century.
Whether you’re an artist designing a website or an astronomer observing the galaxy, computer science impacts every discipline.
 
If I told you I spent my summer at a pathology lab, white coats andmicroscopes might be the first images that come to mind. That’s what I initially thought would define my experience, but most of my research primarily required the software on my laptop.
 
I also didn’t expect what I’d learned from Elements of Computing Science would be useful so soon, but my beginner’s knowledge in computing helped me to analyze gene expression in a shorter amount of time and with less confusion than I would’ve otherwise thought.
 
This was just one of many the experiences that opened my eyes to the value of learning how to code.
 
At first I wondered whether I was clever enough to deal with never-ending numbers, but I soon realized that it was not too different from learning any other subject or language. Computer science challenged me to think creatively through solving its various puzzles. 
 
University is the best time for exploring new interests, but you never know what those interests are until you try them out—so consider taking an introductory course in computing as your next elective. 
 
As our generation evolves to become high-tech and data-driven, verbal language isn’t the only standard for communication. The ability to code offers a world of possibilities and empowers you to create your own content instead of merely consuming that of others.
 
Due to a rapid shift from print to digital, the publishing industry is no longer limited to personal interviews and written articles. Journalists may also present digital data as reliable news sources, and code infographics to tell stories that capture the public’s attention.
 
While I’m not suggesting everyone become a software engineer, I do think knowing how to code shouldn’t be limited to those who specialize in the field. Computer science skills are useful in any career—whether it’s in business, healthcare, or even journalism.
 
It’s time to recognize we’re more than millennials with an addiction to social media and love for avocado toast. We shouldn’t just stay informed on social issues and politics. As young people living in a digitally fluent age, we should first be curious about understanding the code which connects us to the news and information we consume. 
 
Zier is The Journal’s Editorial Illustrator. She’s a third-year Life Sciences major.

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