Learning to Code—Preparing for the Future of Work

by Malan Moses Faya

Senior Associate, Infusion Lawyers


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Learning to Code—Preparing for the Future of Work

The future of work is technology-driven and also technology-inclined. Computers, software, and machines are taking over the world. Almost everything we do require some form of programming and millions of Nigerians have access to mobile phones, computers, and tablets. Many jobs have been impacted by technology. Software programming is at the heart of this. And this is why people who know how to code–the basis of computer-programming language—would surely be at an advantage.

Learning to Code

By learning how to code, I don’t mean that you have a responsibility of creating the next Facebook, WhatsApp, SnapChat, or the next YouTube. No! By learning how to code, I mean you just need to understand how computer technology works and how to effectively control it.

Just look around you. Technology now manages nearly every aspect of our lives, personally and professionally. We have applications on our smart phones and tablets for our finances, fitness, and everything in between–and we rely on nearly as many to do our jobs.  We can say technology is eating through our world.

The influence of technology can be felt when we realize that industries that have existed for hundreds of years are now being radically disrupted and transformed by technology. The demand for any form of technology has never been higher.

This thing called technology finely blends into our lives that it has become a way of life for us. We don’t even notice it’s there. And we haven’t even started.  IOT–the Internet of Things—where your smart phone can talk with your wrist watch and your wrist watch can talk with your refrigerator, car, lights, or music player.

So why do we really need to learn how to code?

There are approximately 350 million Arabic speakers, 360 million English speakers, 405 million Spanish speakers worldwide, and 995 million native Mandarin speakers. Yet there is one language that unites us all—the language of technology. Three billion people are presently connected to the Internet and the number keeps growing daily. Technology is radically reshaping every industry, sector, and all our behaviours.

In today’s world what has taken over or is going to take over the world is not oil or agriculture; it’s technology and technology is going to rule for a very long time.

Have you ever left your phone with a 3-year old child and see the amazing way the child handles the smart phone? If you think our generation is performing wonders with technology, just wait and see what these kids are going to perform with technology. They are going to be radical and this is going to be very scary.

Need I say learning how to code is going be the easiest way to break through and have an edge in the years to come. It’s not going to be easy, sexy, or sweet. Learning to code will be demanding but at the same time it’s going to be rewarding.

If we learn and understand how computers work and communicate, I think in the near future we are going to make our life easier and simpler rather than trying hard to adjust to the technological reality of life which now controls most aspect of our lives.

Beyond coding, you learn both life and career skills that can help you succeed.

By learning how to code, you will acquire skills in:

  • Creativity
  • Design thinking
  • Innovation
  • Logical reasoning
  • Problem solving
  • Project management

By learning how to code, you also get to:

  1. leverage on both local and global opportunities, especially in the tech space;
  2. be part of people solving problems in our world today;
  3. become employed or get consulted by businesses and innovators who need problem solvers; and
  4. build value for yourself by becoming a job creator and creating wealth.

With the benefits above, it’s little wonder the Lagos State Ministry of Education is training 1million kids to become coders by 2019! The initiative—Code Lagos—is commendable. More states should key into this initiative. Code Nigeria!

Learning how to code will make things very easy for us in the near future when technology takes over our life. Coding will enable people program things to work the way they want things to work. And sometimes, these programs will work better than the way human hands have been handling them before.

Will technology sack humans from their jobs?

One issue many people have been concerned about is if machines are going to get people out of work. But my question is before machines take over every aspect of our life, what are we doing today to make sure that we integrate ourselves to take advantage of technology?

So if technology is radically reshaping every aspect of our lives, doesn’t it make sense to get behind the screen and become creators, unearthing the meaning and cultures of these codes that now underpin this digital age? In this digital age, we will be able to understand and control technology and make our lives easier and smarter.

Finally, I believe that learning how to code is like learning to become a super power in today’s world. In a world where technology matters, it will make you a demi god.

Our future and that of our children need not only be built by computer scientists, programmers, and engineers. We are in a world where even lawyers, accountants, doctors, painters, writers, social scientists, and even political thinkers can write their vision of every aspect of our lives in codes.

My question to you is what are you going to do?  What are you doing today? And how are you preparing for the future? The future of work is now.

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