Some jobs are all about code. Software engineers, firmware engineers, software testers—these are professionals who write and test code all day. That’s obvious from the job titles. But coding is a valuable skill in other careers that might not seem to be related to code at all. As you’re about to see, knowing how to program can benefit people in unexpected careers.
Coding skills are likely to be useful in more and more places as artificial intelligence progresses. According to the authors of What to Do When Machines Do Everything, a book about computers and the future of work, machines aren’t going to take over all jobs. Instead, they will enhance the productivity and output of everyone from truck drivers to retailers. But those workers will need a basic understanding of how programs function.
Code is Increasingly Important for Tradespeople
Automation is popular with manufacturers because a single machine can often do the work of three or four people. It never calls in sick, never takes a vacation, and never goes on a lunch break. But a machine can’t do its work without someone to program and operate it. That’s why coding is a valuable skill for workers in manufacturing trades. These workers include cabinetmakers, machinists, and welders. Although these workers usually don’t need in-depth knowledge of coding, they must understand the fundamentals like variables, conditional statements, and arithmetic operators. With this knowledge, they can use the graphical programming languages that control CNC routers, robotic welders, and other automated equipment.
Helpful coding languages for tradespeople include:
- G Code
- Ladder Diagram (LD)
Entrepreneurs Turn Code Into Profit
Building a successful business requires a combination of hard and soft skills. And coding can be one of the most valuable hard skills an entrepreneur can have. Before a business generates stable revenues, founders sometimes have to do much of the hands-on work themselves. This work includes graphic design, copywriting, prospecting and selling, bookkeeping, and much more. In the world of start-ups, people sometimes refer to this as being “scrappy.” For an entrepreneur who has an idea for a new mobile app or website, the ability to code can be the key to making it happen. It’s an inexpensive alternative to hiring a software development company or a freelance developer.
Entrepreneurs can use almost any programming language, but some of the most popular are:
- PHP/MySQL (these are important for WordPress site development and customization)
Musicians Can Compose With Code
Much of the music we hear on the radio today is computer-generated. Some of the most popular musicians use software to make the instrumentals that accompany their lyrics. Programs like Ableton and Finale give composers the power to write and record. But coding skills take this power to a much higher level. Musicians who can program have the capacity to go beyond the standard composition tools. They can customize and automate. In addition, some coding languages exist solely for the purpose of producing music, like Sonic Pi. This simple language makes it possible for musicians with coding skills to produce complex musical pieces using nothing but text, with potentially astonishing results. Coders who know Python should be able to get comfortable with Sonic Pi quickly, which is yet another reason Python is such a great language to learn.
Some useful coding languages and tools for musicians are:
Scientists Use Coding Skills Too
In the sciences, programming skills make data collection and analysis efficient and effective. Software can work with large amounts of information much more quickly than a person, or even a large team of people. Using a computer, scientists process data about the environment, the human body, and more. They create models to predict possible outcomes and solve complex problems. And they often need to apply coding skills in order to solve unique problems. A researcher doing a first-of-its-kind experiment might not be able to use a prepackaged solution. When scientists want to understand a rare phenomenon, they can’t rely on algorithms written for other purposes. Coding skills make it possible to do complex mathematical modeling with Python and associated tools like Jupyter Notebooks or NumPy.
A few of the most useful coding tools for scientists include:
- Python and math/science libraries like NumPy, Jupyter Notebooks
- R (for data science)
Most software companies employ designers to create the visual elements of their products. These designers do a combination of graphic design, illustration, and other creative work. They collaborate with software engineers, who turn their designs into functioning software. UX designers who know how to code can design for the way software is actually made. In addition, they can build working prototypes for testing and troubleshooting purposes.
The following languages are great for UX designers:
- HTML/CSS (you could even say these are necessary)
Coding is Becoming a Valuable Skill for All Types of Jobs
In the near future, coding will be a vital communication and productivity skill. Whether someone is an artist, a start-up founder, a researcher, or a skilled tradesperson, coding skills will increase a person’s value in the job market. Deep knowledge of computer science and efficient program design might not be necessary. But a simple understanding of how software works will be important for finding and doing almost any kind of work. The key advantage of knowing how to code will be the ability to customize software to any given situation. People who can do that will be in demand no matter the field.
Get Your Child Started With Their Coding Journey
With so many possibilities open to those who know how to code, kids who go into college already knowing coding fundamentals have a head start on whatever they want their future to be. Our coding classes for elementary, middle, and high school students teach in-demand programming languages through live online classes led by experienced teachers. Our classes are centered around teaching coding through fun projects to keep kids engaged and excited to learn. By the time your child is ready to start their career, they’ll have even more doors open to them thanks to their coding experience.