Why should you learn how to program? What is programming? What specific steps can you take? How can you apply programming?

Even if you already know how to program, maybe you can introduce your friends to this mini series of episodes and get them started. Give them a new opportunity. Programming is a lot easier and rewarding than a lot of people think and I put a lot of thought into organizing and preparing examples that you can relate to.

You’ll understand over these four episodes why programming is important, what is programming, how to get started and steps to learn programming, and how to apply programming in a meaningful way. I’ll explain each of these topics in four parts.

Why should you learn how to program? I could talk for hours about how programming changes and enhances your ability to think and solve problems. About how learning to program improves your ability to think more clearly. And about how learning how to program gives you the ability to create your own applications. But I’m instead going to focus on a more tangible benefit.

It’s very simple. If you want to be able to find any kind of meaningful job, you’re going to need to know how to program. If you want to keep a good job, you’re going to need to know how to program. If you want to be able to support a family and have the same opportunities as your grandparents, then you’re going to need programming skills. It’s not enough anymore to just be able to use computers.

The full episode explores this topic more and will help you understand why learning how to program is critical to your future. It doesn’t matter what you do now or plan to do. You need to learn how to program. Listen or read further for the full transcript below.

Transcript

It’s been a while since I talked about topics like this. Even if you already know how to program, maybe you can introduce your friends to this mini series of episodes and get them started. Give them a new opportunity. Programming is a lot easier and rewarding than a lot of people think and I put a lot of thought into organizing and preparing examples that you can relate to. You’ll understand over these four episodes why programming is important, what is programming, how to get started and steps to learn programming, and how to apply programming in a meaningful way. I’ll explain each of these topics in four parts.

Let’s dive right in. Why should you learn how to program? I could talk for hours about how programming changes and enhances your ability to think and solve problems. About how learning to program improves your ability to think more clearly. And about how learning how to program gives you the ability to create your own applications. But I’m instead going to focus on a more tangible benefit.

It’s very simple. If you want to be able to find any kind of meaningful job, you’re going to need to know how to program. If you want to keep a good job, you’re going to need to know how to program. If you want to be able to support a family and have the same opportunities as your grandparents, then you’re going to need programming skills. It’s not enough anymore to just be able to use computers.

I can help ease your journey. I’ve been there. I taught myself how to program. And I’ve studied how to teach things. I try to come up with examples that you can relate to and then show you how those examples represent programming concepts. We can’t walk through actual code in the podcast and that’s why I also offer live classes. The podcast is focused more on the ideas and concepts and the live classes are focused on real gaming projects.

Some of my examples might be a bit strange at times and looking back, I agree. All I can say is that we remember strange things better than boring things.

Just imagine for a moment what you’re life will be like if you don’t learn how to program. I can’t make you learn this skill. This is something you have to commit to. If you don’t, then you’ll eventually fall victim to your job disappearing. But it’s more serious than that. If you lose your job today, it might cause problems but you’ll still be able to find another similar job. After a lot of stress, that is. I’m talking about the scenario where your current job and many more just like it completely disappear. And I’m not talking about jobs going overseas. Computers are becoming part of everything and will completely change the minimum skills needed to get any kind of job.

How many blacksmith jobs do you think still exist anywhere in the world? They used to be everywhere. Did they all go overseas?

How many fletchers still make arrows? These days, archery is just a hobby and maybe used for hunting by a small number of people.

I know what you might be thinking. These are obvious and old occupations that no longer apply. Those jobs went away, sure. But how does that affect you?

What about bakers and cobblers? There’s probably a few more of these types of jobs remaining but overall, they’ve all been turned into factory jobs. It’s big business to bake and distribute pastries just like how most shoes and boots come from big manufacturers. These are more modern jobs that have changed and have been shifting overseas.

What I’m pointing out though is that even these are not safe. The rate of change we’re seeing these days is unlike anything before. And it’s just going to continue. Soon all those jobs that went overseas will disappear there just like anywhere else.

Maybe you can get a service job. Well, I recently read an article about a store that lets customers walk in, take what they want and the store figures out how much to bill the customer. There are no salespeople working in the store at all. They don’t even need cash registers. All this has a ripple effect. Soon the companies making cash registers will notice fewer orders and will eliminate their workers.

Maybe you can get a job driving a taxi or a truck. Well, at the rate cars and trucks are advancing, there won’t be any drivers needed at all. Who knows? Maybe in another 30 years truck drivers will be about as rare as blacksmiths.

So what are you going to do? My advice is to stop chasing after these doomed jobs. Just think about how people have adapted before and you’ll realize that it’s all the same just this time, it’s happening a lot faster and everywhere at once. What am I talking about?

Well, where did all the blacksmiths go? Many of them were in the business of making horseshoes. Why? Because people needed transportation. At the same time that horses became less popular, motor cars came along to replace them. But cars still need people to fix them. I’m not saying that all the blacksmiths suddenly learned how to repair cars. But that newer and different jobs were created at the same time that older and traditional jobs became obsolete.

Where did all the horse sellers go? Those jobs were replaced by car sellers. Again, I’m not saying that a person stopped selling horses and went out to get a job selling cars. Maybe. But these shifts happened over time.

The rate that computers are changing things is much greater. And in many ways, the demand for the new jobs needed to program computers is much greater than anything before. Have you ever heard of a country offering work visas for truck drivers? How about work visas for computer engineers? I can tell you that companies are desperate for people who can really program and they’re willing to sponsor people. Why not learn how to program yourself and fill the need?

To me, that’s a very powerful reason to learn how to program. It doesn’t matter what job you have or plan to have. In one way or another, your job will be affected or even eliminated and you may find that your options are rather limited as the rate of change increases and the change starts affecting more and more jobs.

I remember back when I was first learning how to program and I had a book called Numerical Recipes. It showed how to perform all kinds of elaborate calculations in software. It also had a chapter on encryption. The entire chapter was just a half page. It said simply that encryption was not possible in software so forget about it. Nowadays just visiting a web site will encrypt your information. Things change and what used to be impossible to do with software is now common knowledge.

To me, the same thing is about to happen with jobs. What used to be considered a safe job that could never be replaced with a computer is disappearing faster than our glaciers. All these computers and robotics need programmers.

Learning how to program takes time. Will you be ready?