Maybe you have heard some famous business people say that everyone should learn programming. While I don’t necessarily agree with that, I find that knowing how to program can make life much easier. Especially if you have to do anything with computers, business and alike.

What is programming?

Programming is writing instructions for a computer to follow, in a language it understands. You might have heard that programmers solve problems. I personally prefer to say that programmers automate what would otherwise need to be done manually. They save a lot of time, money and nerves by doing their job. Just imagine, could you ever write a blog as easily as this, if not thanks to the people who programmed WordPress and other blog platforms?

Take as an example doing calculations. If someone wouldn’t automate it and build a calculator, you would need to do all of the calculations by hand! Definitely takes more time. Also it’s easier to make mistakes when you do it manually.

How would I benefit from learning it?

Do you have 200 word documents and you want to change dates in each one and then print them out? You can do it with just a little of knowledge of how to program, without having to open each document.

Do you want to build a website by yourself from scratch? A few days of learning and you can surely do it.

Would you like to have a remotely controlled stopwatch? Yes, this also you can do without much knowledge.

You could then automate many things you do manually 🙂 You surely would be surprised how many things you do, could be done effortlessly once you know a bit of programming.

Where do I learn it?

This one is easy. There is a huge base of tutorials on the internet to learn basics of programming. And among them there are many good ones! You can’t go wrong, just google for it and have some fun programming.

I just recently visited two meetups. One related to JavaScript, other one to Java. Loved it!
Let me share with you at least 5 reasons why should you also go to the meetups related to programming.
I ordered them from most important for me at the moment.

1. New ideas

The first thing I liked about meetups is that I can get introduced to many new concepts that I might have not even heard about. Azure Web Service, what does Data Scientist do and what is machine learning, new version of Angular and etc. are a few examples. Sometimes I didn’t fully understand what’s going on. Nevertheless I felt satisfaction of learning during the meetups. It was  fascinating to hear from people from so many different backgrounds.

2. Travel

This one is important for me since I tend to take life too seriously. Rarely there are meetups in my city, so I have to travel to other places. Every time I go to a meetup not only I learn, but I also get to feel like a tourist, traveler. This means I not only get to learn about new concepts. I also get to reflect on them and on my career or life just after the meeting.

3. People

What surprised me is that rooms where meetups about programming happen are almost always full! It’s very motivating to see so many people interested in the same topic as you are. If you want to regain motivation for learning web development, joining a meetup is a good way to do so. You’ll feel that you are not alone and are a part of a much bigger community.

4. Networking

During a meeting there might be some breaks, but you won’t get many chances to speak to people. It’s common to see an after-party happening just after the last speech and the organizers might ask people to come 30 minutes earlier before the meetup begins so they can network. This is a great chance to get to know some other people from the community and perhaps learn something from them. It would be a good idea to hone your networking skills and even prepare an elevator pitch!

5. Job opportunities

Whether you are currently employed or not, it still holds true. If there are people, there are opportunities to network which is a shortcut to getting a better job. This is especially true for meetups where you can be sure, that people not interested in programming wouldn’t show up. As long as you are prepared for some networking and are willing to talk to people and mention that you are open to new positions, there is a big chance that you will find one.