According to The New York Times, most foreign languages go in and out of fashion, but one language that is going to become increasingly valuable to know is computer code.
OK, so it’s not a spoken language, but learning to “speak” computer code is a great skill to have. The number of night classes and online classes that teach this language has been growing quickly as more and more people want to learn how to design websites, as well as iPhone apps. It also has many real-life applications for future employees, such as allowing you to customize a blog for your company, a skill which employers might find very appealing.
“Inasmuch as you need to know how to read English, you need to have some understanding of the code that builds the web,” said Sarah Henry, an investment manager. “It is fundamental to the way the world is organized and the way people think about things these days.”
Some colleges are also getting on board and offering classes that cater to this new field of interest. Stanford University offers two computer science classes that are free and offered online. So far, more than 100,000 people have tried out the classes.
Another way that you can learn computer coding is through Codeacademy, a new company that offers interactive lessons to help people learn how to write code. More than 1,000,000 people – including the mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg – have signed up for the program since it started last summer.
Why the sudden interest in this field? I think that Peter Harsha, the director of government affairs at the Computing Research Association, said it best:
“To be successful in the modern world, regardless of your occupation, requires a fluency in computers. It is more than knowing how to use Word or Excel but how to use a computer to solve problems.”