Filling the Coding Generational Gap
20 Jul 2017
6 minute read
There is a growing misconception that the tech industry and coding is reserved for young people. This stereotype has created a viscous cycle where the stereotype is preventing older people from learning to code, and the lack of the older generation involved in this field has encouraged the stereotype. The only way to break the cycle and open to the world the possibility of people of all ages working together in the coding industry is by encouraging the older generation to take that leap. Once all the benefits of picking up coding become clear, there is no doubt that this will happen.
Strengthening your mind
Ignoring the benefits of career mobility and fulfillment for a moment, a core and often-overlooked benefit for learning how to code is the strengthening of your mental ability. Coding teaches you how to think in ways that can be applied all aspects of life. It provides a logical step-by-step foundation to look at problems in new ways. Once we fall into the rut of everyday life, it can be easy to let our minds slip and not challenge ourselves to keep them active and healthy. In the same way math problems or crossword puzzles keep us sharp, coding does the same but provides a longer lasting impact.
Reaching career fulfillment
Besides the impactful benefits coding has on our mental abilities, it also provides the flexibility and freedom many of us search for in our careers. Knowing programming skills can create a breadth of new opportunities. While certain jobs may require an extensive knowledge of programming that would be prefaced by years of study, there are many new job opportunities now that combine a basic understanding of programming with traditional work. One of these prominent careers is a digital marketer. Digital marketers utilize the technology and software available to promote a product. While ageism is present in our workforce, it is not nearly as bad as people think. Many companies do look towards younger generations in the hopes of finding employees who can innovate, there are also many companies that understand that innovation is not limited by age and are actively seeking for employees who also have vast life experiences and a worldview that can create more practical and efficient ideas.
Becoming agnostic to new and different technologies - overcoming their fear barrier
Change can be scary for everyone. The loss of familiarity and fear of the unknown provokes the most overwhelming of feelings. But these fear don’t necessarily have to be invoked when working with technology. In fact, conquering these fears can create huge benefits. As mentioned, coding doesn’t necessarily have to be applied directly to your career. Ken Hart used a knowledge of coding to grow his passion for fish keeping even more. He was then able to share his passion with those around him. You don’t need a full understanding of coding and programming to be able to use a career, but having this knowledge can unlock new opportunities. Creating your own website and community will increase your quality of life.
These coding skills don’t necessarily have to be applied to solely programming either. Coding is becoming the language of the future, and many jobs will be incorporating this into aspects of the job. This is nothing to fear, but instead something to be excited about. Knowing these skills will facilitate day-to-day tasks. A McCrindle research reported that the average person spends over ten hours on technological devices.
Gaining a better understanding of the processes behind the development of technology will give you an edge in utilizing them. The rapid pace of development in the programming industry is a opportunity that should be taken advantage of. Even if it is not directly applicable, there are large benefits to be gained by strengthening your mental quickness and discovering new ways to tackle everyday problems.
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