The straight answer to that is, coding allows us to create internet-based businesses which have the potential to earn high profits because machines do the work of humans. And that potential has driven the demand for coders, which is an updated name for programmers. Computer programming began several decades ago, but gained a culture of its own when people started becoming ‘instant’ millionaires by doing business over the internet.
For baby boomers (with whom programming began) it was laborious to learn and confined to those who were technically inclined. Programmers were revered. But writing programs/coding became simpler and in the 21st century – the Digital Age – it became the new literacy. Where previously grammarians were held in awe for writing languages for humans, now that stage is shared with coders who write in languages for machines. Since it is the new literacy for business and Asia is the new hub, I had to investigate and attended a bootcamp for those who wanted to learn to code.
Yes, it really is like learning the alphabet and punctuation marks! I found it to be fun – like playing God by changing colours and inserting spaces, creating pop-ups on a screen, etc. merely by typing in the right commands, which are simple enough. I also found it very frustrating when the result was not what I thought I had instructed the program to do! This meant going back to the lines of code and painstakingly identifying what had been done incorrectly.
So I came away with this revelation: When you bungle the Highway code you can still arrive at your destination even when making mistakes, but when you write code incorrectly, the machine cannot compensate by anticipating what you want to achieve and you do NOT get what you want. Well not yet, anyway. The human brain rules! (Unless you allow algorithms to replace your thinking skills, but that is another story.)