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Will computer programming help me in business?

I am kind of interested in learning some computer programming but I do not know if it would be helpful and if so is there any specific programs that will help me in my career ? #business #computer #programming

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Matthew L.’s Answer

Hi Gabriela.


Yes, getting at least a basic understanding of computer programming and coding will help you in a number of ways. Every school should be teaching it, but they don't. First, it's just a good way to get under the hood and see how all the computer programs we use every day function. You'll become a much better user of tech if you understand how it runs underneath.


But even more importantly, learning to write code is a great exercise in how to think logically. Coding really helps you break down complex problems into small, manageable steps that are easier to complete (which is what life really is anyway). For example, let's say you have a friend who can never decide what to have for lunch and you want to write an app for her that suggests what she should have for lunch based on what she's had before. Big problem but who knows where to start? But if you break the project down into little parts, you have the solution. Programs are really just logic exercises: If user clicks this, then do that. If user types that, then do something else. Coding totally helps you in every aspect of your life, but especially work and school.


And just to be clear, you don't have to take a ton of programming classes for it to pay dividends. In other words, you don't have to be so good you can write a new version of Windows from scratch in your basement. It's helpful no matter how good you are. Just a class or two would be a great start and will make you stand out from the rest of the crowd when you're looking for a job or internship, particularly if you go into a non-technical field. Being able to put on your resume that you can write code and that you created a working website for the Math Club at your school, or that you wrote an app to help a local community theater blog about its performances to help them fill seats will REALLY make you stand out to HR managers.


If you know how coding works, eventually you can be a great manager of other coders too because you know what they do, how they do it and if it's not working why not and how to fix it. Coding also pays well, and you can do it from anywhere. Even the beach.


A lot of what entry level people do for companies now is work on things like social media, blogs, internet marketing, etc. If you have a coding background, you'll be pure gold to managers. Other things they may have you do is help manage and create databases (customers, documents, invoicing, and so on). If you understand the database and internet stuff already, you're way ahead of everyone else trying for that same job but who don't have coding experience.


As to specifics, I would suggest you start with languages that relate to the World Wide Web or smart phone apps. Learning languages like HTML, CSS, Java, PHP, jQuery, Python, Ruby, Java Script and others are great. All web languages. You may also think about a database class that focuses on creating and querying databases (languages like the SQL database query language). Most of the big web sites like Amazon or eBay or Uber are just great big databases on the back end.


If you like coding and are good at it, there is a huge demand for good coders, software engineers, project managers and a whole bunch of other jobs, many of which may not even exist yet. Do you like video games? You can learn the languages that they write computer games in and work for one of those companies. The possibilities are endless, really.


And the best part of all is that you can start for free right now. There are tons of free on-line resources that will teach you to code. A few are: The Code Academy, Kahn Academy. Udemy, Udacity, MIT (yeah, the big university in Massachusetts) and Google University. These are all great, free, have wonderful teachers and offer classes in tons of different languages. Just google "learn computer coding for free" and you'll get hundreds of options.


I've been trying to teach myself coding for years and I understand the basics and write little programs, but my big downfall has always been I don't practice enough. The real trick once you have the basics is to create your own programs. Write them, test them, try to break them, fix them, and then write another one, and another, and another.


Most of the million dollar ideas people have require a computer program to succeed (think about Uber, AirBnB, Square, Lyft, eBay, Amazon--they all needed really good computer systems and code to work). You may have the next million dollar idea and if you can write your own code, you're a long way to making it a reality.


Good luck. Great question.

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Daniel’s Answer

One concrete way that programming knowledge can help you in the business world is the wide world of Excel macros & formulas. There is a very good chance you'll end up needing to use Excel in the business world to do some tasks, and a good grasp of programming will allow you to create useful stuff inside Excel to save tons of time. As for specific things to take to learn that - an intro programming course, and something specifically on SQL could be helpful.

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Richard’s Answer

Gabriela,

Yes, yes, yes! Learning to code will open doors. Even if it is only basic coding skills. You don't have to be a Software Engineer to have it benefit you. As a recruiter for a San Francisco based Software-as-a-Service fast growing cloud company, having the ability to code will open doors in Product Management, DevOps Advocacy, Business Analysis, Product Analysis, and Financial roles. Having the knowledge to code against an API will give you an edge over other candidates that can't. There are many organizations like Girls Who Code, Hackbright Academy, and many others are great resources.

All the best!

Richard
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GHEUDE’s Answer

Get some programing skillls is helpful to understand software running

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Mitchell’s Answer

Absolutely! I'm glad you're thinking along these lines. Many businses functions from accounts payable to payroll to inventory management are handled using computer applications, so having even a basic understanding of programming and some basic computer skills is extremely helpful. I started my career as a developer (we called ourselves programmers back then), and the knowledge I gained from that role has been invaluable. The groups that use computer applications usually develop the business requirements that determine WHATthe applications do (where architects and developers figure out HOW the applications will do it). Understanding programming will help you understand the capabilities, complexities, and limitations of the business applications you use, which means your business requirements will likely be easily understood by the developers. And that usually results in the most effective applications.


You don't need a deep dive into programming, just a few classes that provide an overview and give you some experience writing simple code. And if you're a bit of a tech nerd like me, it's actually pretty fun.


Good luck!

Mitchell recommends the following next steps:

Take an overview class in computer applications and code development.
Go a step further and take a programming class. It can be SQL or C++, etc., or learning Microsoft Access and Excel macros could be especially useful.
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