What is Coding?

Discover the versatility of coding in a broad range of careers, industries, and hobbies. Explore different coding tools, potential coding careers, and the average salaries for these positions.

Key Insights

  • Coding is a versatile field that can be applied in various careers, professions, and hobbies, including creating websites, algorithms, and programs.
  • Coding tools include programming languages such as JavaScript, Java, and Python. Popular code editors like Visual Studio Code are often used by coders.
  • Learning coding has become more accessible with live online classes and coding bootcamps. High school students can also acquire these skills to strengthen their college applications.
  • Coding careers include Software Engineers, Full Stack Developers, JavaScript Developers, and Python Developers, with average salaries ranging from $112,000 to $127,500 annually.
  • Coding skills are easily transferable between different coding positions, providing flexibility and job security in various industries.
  • Web development, a subset of coding, is another field with career opportunities as Front End Web Developer, Back End Web Developer, and Full Stack Web Developer.

Coding encompasses everything that goes into programming computers, phones, machines, and anything that can connect to the internet. Because coding is a broad field, it covers a plethora of careers, professions, and hobbies.

In recent decades, coding has become commonplace in everyday life, from the televisions you watch to the cars you drive. Mobile devices are also becoming increasingly prominent and complex, meaning more professionals will require proper training to program them. Regardless of the topics that interest you, you can find that it will involve coding in some form.

What Can You Do with Coding?

Coding is an incredibly versatile field that covers a wide selection of topics. You’ll be able to create websites, algorithms, and programs that have uses in every industry on the market. Even if your chosen career operates primarily in-person, you’ll be able to take creative approaches to coding that will make everyone’s lives easier.

You can make your own video game, build an online presence for your small business, or code simple programs that automate your mundane tasks. There’s no limit to what you can do with coding. This impressive skill will always serve you well if you have an imaginative mind and a willingness to learn more.

How Do You Get Coding Tools? How Much Does it Cost?

Like musicians can’t work without their instruments, coders can’t work without their coding tools. In this case, their primary tools are the programming languages used to write code.

Full-Stack Web Development Certificate: Live & Hands-on, In NYC or Online, 0% Financing, 1-on-1 Mentoring, Free Retake, Job Prep. Named a Top Bootcamp by Forbes, Fortune, & Time Out. Noble Desktop. Learn More.

JavaScript is one of the first programming languages most people learn because of its relative versatility and relative simplicity. JavaScript has various frameworks, such as React, Node.js, and Angular, which are used for different tasks depending on the need of the programmer. It also has databases and libraries that are widely supported by the programming community. Although web development is technically considered another programming field, it uses JavaScript and its frameworks, libraries, and databases alongside HTML and CSS to create websites.

Noble Desktop's YouTube channel offers free tutorials about Node.js and React.

It’s important to note that JavaScript and Java are NOT the same programming language. Java is an object-oriented programming language whose primary purpose is to organize pieces of data, known as “objects,” that are essentially bundled together. It’s commonly used for data science and programming mobile devices.

When writing with Python, many people use Jupyter because it’s free and open-source. “Open-source” means it’s available to the public, and modifications are allowed—and encouraged! A subset of Jupyter is Google Colaboratory (also known as “Google Colab”), a free tool you can use to code with Python through your browser.

If you’re interested in learning more about Python, take a look at the Intro to Python Fundamentals class, available at no cost.

In most cases, coders use a code editor to write their programs, and one of the most popular ones is Visual Studio Code (sometimes called “VS Code”). It’s widely used because it’s free for personal or commercial use, meaning if you create a game, Visual Studio Code permits you to sell your game using its code editor. That also applies to any other product you program using Visual Studio Code.

Check out how to install Visual Studio Code and use it for your projects.

What Are the Benefits of Learning Coding?

Coding is becoming increasingly relevant to the working world. It will only become more critical as companies try to build their online presence. Most businesses are shifting their focus online in response to increased remote working and learning opportunities. As a result, coders have risen both in value and demand.

Learning to code has become more accessible thanks to live online classes that teach basic coding principles. After taking a coding bootcamp, you can start applying to entry-level positions, even if you’re continuing your education in programming. High school students can obtain these skills and use them to bolster their resumes before they enter college.

Read more about why you should learn coding.

Coding Careers

Every industry can use programmers and coders, and the demand for these positions will only rise. Check out some of the careers that people with coding backgrounds traditionally enter:

Software Engineers know many coding languages, such as Java, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and C#. Ideal candidates for this position are teachable individuals who are always eager to learn something new. Their average salary is around $127,500 per year.

For those who are interested in coding websites, you might find that Full Stack Developer is a good fit. These developers are skilled in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, the three most basic programming languages to learn. Despite their simplicity compared to other programming languages, this position earns about $112,000 annually. Full Stack Developer roles take on the responsibilities of two other positions: Front End Developers and Back End Developer. Both positions use skills in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Front End Developers focus on the client-side of websites (known as the “front end”), while Back End Developers focus on the server-side (the “back end”).

If you become deeply interested in JavaScript, you can specialize as a JavaScript Developer. JavaScript is known for its libraries, databases, and frameworks and is one of the most commonly used languages. JavaScript Developers can expect to work with resources such as React, Node.js, Vue.js, and jQuery. They’re commonly expected to learn Git, GitHub, and search engine optimization (SEO), but this expectation depends on the industry and company. At a bare minimum, JavaScript Developers should all know HTML and CSS in addition to JavaScript.

For those interested in back end roles but want to incorporate another programming language into their everyday work, you can learn Python and become a Python Developer. People in this position should know how to use Python’s frameworks, such as MongoDB. They usually make around $119,000 per year.

The best part about all these positions is that they enjoy job security even in highly competitive environments because our world is becoming increasingly dependent on the internet. Perhaps more importantly, they all involve skills that are easily transferable between different coding positions. That means you can move between different positions relatively quickly once you build your skill set effectively.

How to Learn Coding

Coding can seem overwhelming to a new learner. There are many avenues and categories to choose from, and picking a topic can seem to be a tremendous feat. The most important task is simply to begin and take those first few steps.

First, remember to be patient with yourself. Look through the coding courses and the live online options and bookmark some that appeal to you. Take note of the topics and recurring themes in each course, program, and bootcamp you find. That will help direct your focus when you narrow them down.

Once you’ve settled into your chosen topic, you can check out some self-paced courses to see if your topic is a good fit for you. Start small—stick with one topic or language at a time, especially if you’re a beginner. Make a list of the ones you enjoyed, and then prioritize them based on your goals until you have a sequence of topics to learn. Once you’re satisfied with your choices, you can can feel more confident about commiting to a more intensive course.

You might want to learn a little bit more about your topic before signing up for a class, which is understandable. Free, pre-recorded classes are a good reference point even if you’re already established in the field. You’ll be able to rewatch them as often as you want, which is perfect if you’re taking notes. That way, you can learn as you go before, during, and after you sign up for coding courses.

Read more in the full guide on how to learn coding.

A Brief History of Coding

When people think of coding, they tend to think of the future. It might be hard to believe that coding started in the distant past, before the television, telephone, and even electricity.

Most historians credit Ada Lovelace with the invention of coding after she published an article about Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine in 1843. The Analytical Engine was a thought experiment for a general-purpose machine that could carry out computations automatically that Charles Babbage proposed in 1837. Lovelace translated Babbage’s proposal from French into English and saw that the Analytical Engine’s potential could exceed simple computations. With her skills in mathematics, she included an algorithm that the machine could use in the publication, and this algorithm is considered the first computer program.

Fast forward to the end of World War I when German engineer Arthur Scherbius developed Enigma Machines. These machines could decipher encoded messages or encrypt plain text into secret messages at a rapid pace. Germany widely used these machines in World War II until Alan Turing managed to decipher their messages on his own and allowed the Allies to counteract the German’s plans, ending the war quicker than initially anticipated. In 1936, Turing created a new engine that could execute multiple tasks simultaneously—the Turing Machine.

It wouldn’t be until the 1950’s that the first computers as we know them would appear. Although these computers were still primitive in computing power, they became more commonplace over time. Video games arrived around a decade later and introduced a new way for programmers to approach their craft through entertainment. More recently, inventors such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs developed methods for computers to become accessible and understandable to the general public, and coding’s potential has only skyrocketed from there.

Comparable Fields

Web development is technically a subset of coding since it involves coding websites. The main difference between web development and other coding fields is that its primary programming languages—HTML, CSS, and JavaScript—are significantly more straightforward to learn than most languages associated with coding.

Web development has three main career tracks: Front End Web Developer, Back End Web Developer, and Full Stack Web Developer. They each have similar skill sets, but their roles are slightly different. Front End Web Developers focus on the “client-side” of websites, also known as the front end. This part of the website encompasses everything users can see and interact with on their screens, including sliders, buttons, and banners.

Back End Web Developers work with the “server-side” of websites, known as the back end. This web development role creates and maintains the servers to ensure they can effectively support the front end.

Full Stack Web Developers have the skills to work with the front and back end. Depending on their team's skillsets, they may focus on one side or the other, but they’re free to shift their focus as needed.

Check out the Full Stack Web Development Certificate program or the free introductory web development class to learn more.

Key Insights

  • Coding can apply to any job or career.
  • There are loads of educational resources that can help you as you learn
  • Take note of your interests and see how they can involve coding
  • Search for classes once you’re ready

Learn Coding with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop has a robust collection of coding classes and bootcamps that fit various learning needs. They offer in-person classes in Manhattan as well as live online classes internationally. All classes have relatively small class sizes and are taught by coding experts who have practical knowledge in the field. After completing your classes, you’ll have the option to retake those courses at no cost for up to one year, allowing you to practice, review subjects, and receive insights from instructors for free.

If you’re eager to learn a collection of coding languages and applications, the Software Engineering Certificate will give you a taste of three notable ones. You’ll start with Front End Web Development, allowing you to create websites through HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Once you understand these subjects, you’ll shift focus to JavaScript’s various frameworks and databases, including React, Node.js, and Express.js. Finally, you’ll learn Python Development with Django, which is helpful for server-side programming, among other topics.

The Full-Stack Web Development Certificate provides a comprehensive education in coding designed to take you from coding novice to career-ready. You’ll first learn to develop the front ends of websites with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and WordPress. After that, you’ll dive into a JavaScript back end stack known as MERN: MongoDB, Express.js, React, and Node.js.

Anyone interested in algorithms and data collection should look into the Python for Data Science Bootcamp. It’ll show you the fundamentals of Python and everything that it entails. The possibilities of uses with Python are vast. Companies such as Netflix and Amazon use Python, and this bootcamp will teach you how to start writing your own Python programs.

How to Learn Coding

Master coding with hands-on training. Learning how to code in JavaScript, Python, and other popular languages can pave the way to a job in tech, such as web development, data science & analytics, or software engineering.

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