Whether you are in the tech industry or not, you might have noticed that coding has been one of the most in-demand skills. Nowadays, even engineers outside the field of computer science know a coding language or two. Engineers and professionals who work in the same industry mostly spend their time in front of computers so it is no longer surprising why it has been gaining momentum and popularity these days.
With that, we would look at the importance of coding and programming to engineers like us today. On top of that, we would also look at how it can contribute and make our everyday life at work a lot easier.
Why learning to code is important for engineers?
Here are some of the benefits that you as an engineer can get by learning to code:
1. Helps you think more systematically
Given that we, aspiring engineers, would work in the science field anyway, we are built and trained to think systematically from the beginning.
But, by knowing the basics and fundamentals of programming, we would be able to think more systematically like a programmer, in terms of the everyday equipment we commonly use at work. As we have mentioned before, apart from fieldwork, engineers mostly spend their time in front of computers as well. That being the case, knowing a few coding languages would surely come in handy once you started your career in engineering.
For example, if you are an industrial engineer and you know the fundamentals of programming, then you would be able to do your job more seamlessly and effectively. Since you understand the basics of programming, you would be able to integrate smart technologies and other software into your everyday work. This would make life at work a lot easier.
2. Strengthen your problem-solving skills
By learning how to code, you would be able to think like a programmer. If you are an aspiring engineer, then this skill would surely come in handy. You would be able to strengthen your problem-solving skills if you think like a programmer. You might have already heard that learning how to code is basically just a trial and error. Since you cannot successfully run your code in one go, you have to try several times in order to succeed. With that, you would be able to think of a better solution ahead.
Once you acquire this skill, then working in the field of engineering would not be as hard. Given that engineering is all about precision and also trial and error, you can apply all the things you learn in coding in this field as well.
That being said, when you learn how to code, you would not be only acquiring new skills to put in your resume, but you would be able to strengthen your problem-solving skills as well. We would not only be acquiring new skills, but we would also strengthen our problem-solving skills.
3. Helps you understand the process a lot better
As engineers, our job is to understand the process a lot better so that we can come up with an effective solution whenever things go south.
Having fundamental knowledge in coding would surely come in handy once you become an engineer. You would be able to get a close-up and a better understanding of how machines and other equipment work.
For example, if you are planning to make a career in electrical engineering, then you can use your coding and programming knowledge when conducting test runs. Based on our observation, electrical engineers are great at creating programs and utilizing algorithms when solving problems. In fact, electrical engineers also work in several tech giant companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and so on.
4. Boost your creativity
Since learning how to code requires patience, it would certainly boost your creativity skills. On the technical side, you would be able to come up with several solutions to a problem. Given that coding requires you to think of several ways to solve a problem, you would surely be able to apply this skill in the field of engineering as well.
Other than that, coding can also be your creative outlet. For example, if you are fond of playing video games, then you can write your own code and create a new game. This would not only let you exercise your creativity but it would also look good on your resume. Even though you are in the field of engineering, having this soft skill in your resume would surely impress your coworkers.
If you are currently employed and working as an engineer, then getting started and finding time to learn how to code might be difficult. That being the case, we have listed a few learning options that you can use in order to learn how to code. Keep in mind that this list is also applicable to future engineers who are still studying and currently finishing their degrees.
1. Online Learning
Rather than sitting and attending face-to-face classes, why not try online classes or courses instead? Most of the time, the syllabus or curriculum found in online courses are similar to the ones being taught in trade school or colleges.
Since coding and programming have a vast community, finding a syllabus, tutorial videos, and other resources on the internet is not that hard. Coders and professionals from the community share their knowledge, learnings, and techniques with other people most of the time. So it would not be a problem if you are stuck or can’t fix a program; you can just ask anyone from the community and they would just easily help you.
2. Learning through games like Minecraft, Roblox, and so on
If you have no basic foundation or any idea about coding whatsoever, then we highly advise you to look at kids’ coding as a way to learn it. This might sound unusual, but these kids coding programs are highly effective in teaching coding.
Kids aged as early as 7 years-old already know coding languages like Python and Java so this would make learning a lot easier for you.
Most of the kids coding programs are simplified and easy-to-understand so you would not have a hard time grasping complex concepts and languages.
If you are an aspiring engineer and are having a hard time juggling school and learning how to code, then we highly suggest you to look into the community of Minecraft and Roblox. Even though these sound like games for kids, the community surrounding it is rich, vibrant, and very helpful. They can help you get started on your coding journey in no time.
For example, if you play games like Minecraft, you would be introduced to the fundamentals of coding and programming through mods, Minecraft shaders, packs, and so on. Should you ever get stuck or have a hard time running your code in the game, then you can just simply ask anyone from the community to help you.
3. Block Coding
One of the most commonly used methods in teaching the fundamentals of programming is block coding.
Block coding or programming languages like Scratch is an effective way to acquire the “programming mindset” that most professional coders have. It is designed to prepare you and help you get started in your coding journey.
If you are currently in university right now and are still finishing your engineering degree, then you probably already heard of Scratch. It is created by a group of developers at MIT and it has been adapted in almost all introductory courses on coding or any computer science subjects. With that, we assure you that block coding like Scratch is one of the surefire ways to get started in coding.
Even though you might not see the results at first, these learning options have been proven effective over time. You would be able to learn basic coding languages as well as be able to grasp a concept like syntax and parallelism.
4. After School Lessons
If you are an aspiring engineer and are currently studying at a college/university, then chances are there are several upperclassmen who know a few coding languages. Just by simply asking around, you can get help or have a one-on-one tutorial with them so that you can learn even the basics of coding and programming.
Since coding and programming also falls under the engineering department in other schools/universities, there are several electives and courses that you can take during your free time. Other than that, several professors also offer free tutorials for those who are really interested in the subjects.
With that, it would not hurt to ask around.
We have established that learning how to code is important for future engineers and that there are several ways to get started on your learning journey.
Just to briefly recap, we have stated that coding is an important skill and it can help you beefed up your resume because it
- Helps you think more systematically
- Strengthen your problem-solving skills
- Helps you understand the process a lot better
- Boost your creativity
All in all, there are several ways to learn coding such as
- Online Learning
- Learning through games
- Block Coding
- After school lessons
You just need to find one that would work best with your schedule and availability. Now that you’ve learned why programming is important for engineers, check our list of Best Programming Languages for Engineers.