5 reasons why girls should learn to code

By Amrita Bhasin

It’s 2018, and that means that we are living in the age of self-driving cars, home robots, AirPods, and drones. For us girls, we are the face of the next generation. We are the face of the next Facebook, Yahoo or Google. As a teenager from Silicon Valley, the home of the world’s largest tech corporations and startups, I know 5 languages: Java, JavaScript, HTML, Ruby and Swift, and I use these languages in different ways.

Check out these 5 reasons for why you should learn to code!

  1. Coding can be used in every field

You may think that coding can’t possibly be used in an artistic field or a career in medicine, but think again. What many people don’t realize is that code is used in basically everything these days, and more and more businesses are starting to rely on code. Coding is used in fields as different as music, mechanical engineering, and archeology. Even if you don’t need to learn to code for your job, it is still very beneficial in everyday life. For example, I used HTML to code my own website where I have art portfolios and writing samples for job/college applications. In addition, you can use code to animate videos or make graphic designs. The opportunities are truly endless!

  1. Businesses want girls

Unfortunately, the world of technology is currently dominated by men. According to the New York Times, women only make up 14% of computer science graduates, and only 0.4% of girls enter college planning to take computer science. Computer science and programming jobs also have a significantly higher average salary than many jobs in America.

It is no secret that there is an increasing rise in tech companies and computer classes in schools nationwide. And lucky for us, more and more people are giving attention and putting resources towards girls learning computer programming and coding.  

Because of the large gender gap and need for gender diversity, there is a lot of pressure on businesses and companies to hire and search for girls. Programming/coding is one of the fastest growing jobs, and currently, there are more jobs that require coding than people to fill them. Businesses want you!

  1. Coding is the language of the future

In the future, learning to code will be considered comparable to learning to read or write. With so many fields and businesses turning to computer programming and software/hardware design, knowing how to code will become necessary in everyday life and beyond.

The reason why is because coding allows you to do something 100 times faster than normal computation. For example, I wrote a program a few months ago that converts normal numbers to roman numerals. Every time I want to do this I can merely just count the numbers using the bases. Or, I can write a program in a few lines that does this in half a second. Now, I can just type in the number “5”, and the program will give me the answer “V”.

As science and math become more complex, and society attempts difficult and large-scale problems, these kinds of shortcuts are necessary and extremely helpful.

  1. Coding really isn’t that hard

Girls today have so many more resources to learn coding than ever before. Nationwide organizations like Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code and Built by Girls aim to get girls into technology. While only 1 in 10 schools teaches computer science, you can join one of these organizations outside organizations and learn it on your own.

You can also learn to code through YouTube, a course on Udemy or even a How to Book. There are plenty of places you can explore.  

Many courses start with super basic and fun things like animation, so there is no need to leap into the difficult stuff first! With a self-paced course, you can also work as slowly or as fast as you are interested in or have time for. Coding really is like learning a new language, so choose something that you’re passionate about. If you want to learn to write apps, choose Swift. If you are a first-time learner, choose Python or JavaScript.

  1. Coding is awesome

One thing coding teaches you is to work hard and not give up. Once I get started on a problem, I work to finish it. Sometimes, I get frustrated and impatient, but seeing the end result makes all my hard work pay off. Designing an app is super fun because I can brainstorm any new idea I want and take any possible angle on it. Coding, like learning anything new, teaches you to stick with and pursue something. But more than that, it allows you to think about something in a new way and innovate.

You can enter programming competitions, hackathons, science fairs, app design contests and so much more. And… you can use code to do it!