Coding requires you to learn multiple languages that are designed to build instructions a machine can read. Your first coding/programming language influences and even dictates how you think about data structures, algorithms, and more. Because of this multiple learning and thinking development, we can get exposed to less natural communication and more mathematical, logically constrained syntax. Learning to code means not only developing a useful skill but also acquiring a particular type of thinking.
As coders, we are good at solving math and logic problems. Also, for some non-programmer people, this new thinking could affect our way of interpreting other people’s communication, problem-solving approaches, and many other cognitive traits. However, the reality is that we could be improving our understanding and conception of bringing solutions to others. We start to analyze our communication with others, and how we can simplify the life of our neighbor.
Communication and people skills are essential skills for a coder/programmer, and because “language” is part of the phrase “programming language,” it should come as no surprise that when they are reading source code, the brain’s language centers are activated.
Coding Helps Us!
Our coding/programming thinking helps us to pay attention to details, model situations in ordinary life, and give estimations based on a large number of factors. Mathematical skills are not the most important. As programmers, we could have verbal abilities that can drive us to be successful programmers. This is because we can develop the ability to work with the grammar of both artificial and natural languages.
Each coding skill learned and that we develop can positively influence our ability to solve problems strategically, as well as the ability to form logical modeling skills and cognitive styles. In my experience, coding has a positive effect on various cognitive skills that correlate with the duration of learning each programming language and success in it.
Learning to code and understand a programming language go beyond the content of a particular machine language. With each coding and programming skills we develop, by practice, we are improving our planning skills, reasoning skills, logical thinking, and general problem-solving skills, thereby creating computer programs for us and our neighbor.
Coding Improves our Habits!
Our coding and programming skills are thinking habits that come from what is called “computational thinking.” Wikipedia defines the concept of computational thinking as “a set of problem-solving methods that involve expressing problems and their solutions in ways that a computer could execute.”
Computational thinking is applicable and useful in everyday life. It applies to any profession far from IT technologies. The habit of studying and practicing coding and programming helps us to find new approaches and solutions, no matter what is discussed.
More than programming new source codes, we continuously and regularly review source code, whether it is a code self-written or a source code that another coder/programmer wrote. This habit of review helps our thinking to apply and better execute new simple codes. Yes, as programmers we have the habit of spending more time debugging, fixing, and refactoring code than writing new code from scratch. Also, this habit of analysis and improving other’s codes improves our debugging skills and disciplines us in the habit of reviewing our code in blocks and not at the end of 500 lines of code.
Coding Boosts our Brain!
When we decide to learn new programming languages or improve our coding skills, our brain changes and adapts to the new challenges. It gets to work rewiring itself so that it can meet those challenges while expending less effort.
Learning a programming language is not only adding new skills to our thinking. It’s also a way to take a fresh look at life. It boosts our brain to deal in a different way with the challenges that it poses. It is true that programming skills don’t come easy, but they will if we keep up the practice.
Practice puts our brain to exercise. It Helps us improve our brain function. Practice and learning keep our brain young. It is proven that mentally challenging activities never done by us before could sharpen our brain. When we learn and practice coding/programming skills, our brains are forming new neural connections, while strengthening existing ones. That’s why I love to improve my coding skills and learn new programming languages continuously.
Yes, Coding Affects Our Way of Thinking!
A significant amount of people think of coders and programmers as nerdy men or women alone who are probably trying to do something all by themselves. However, the truth in the beauty of code is that you’re making something that can help many people in everyday life with the help of others programmers around the world. This sharing of knowledge is called Open Source!
Modern programming languages are expressive, readable, concise, precise, and executable. Because of this, a programmer can relatively quickly jump into a problem and figure things out using the right tools and methods to find a solution.
Coders and programmers diversify their ways of thinking and approach to problem-solving by learning new programming concepts and techniques. However, some of the most notable people in the field of computer science have come from other disciplines that have an interest and passion for technology and how computers work; like Me!
A programmer never stops thinking. We may go for a bike ride, binge watch tv, or sleep, but our passionate mind for coding never stops working.