Why You Should Learn To Code In 2019

Let’s be real!

Learning to code and working in tech has been hyped up a lot in recent years from many prominent figures in tech from Dionne Condor-Farrell and Bill Gates to inspiring bloggers and spokeswomen in tech such as Pauline P. Narvas and Abi Mohamed. I was one of those who jumped on the bandwagon to see what all the fuss was about back in October 2017 and I have never looked back!

Just note, I wouldn’t describe myself as a novice when it comes to the tech industry; I am a more of a Junior when it comes to my coding skills but I am loving the journey and think you should hop on the “Learning To Code” train! Allow me to share my top five reasons on why you should learn to code in 2019:

1. It’s the most valuable skill of our time

Personally, I would describe coding as one of the most valuable skills of our time and our future. Think about it. We are surrounded by technology built by the languages of coding every day, from finance to healthcare. The device you are likely reading this from is another example of the power of code! Every organisation in the country needs people who know how to code.

2. You will find a job in any industry

I read an article last year (so weird saying last year on the first day of the year!) from The Telegraph. According to a study conducted by a tech start-up group (The Coalition for a Digital Economy), the U.K. will have 800,000 unfilled digital vacancies by 2020. 800,00 jobs and no-one with the skill set to fill them! So if you are looking to learn something new or change careers, could learning to code and 800,000 job vacancies possibly tempt you?

3. You do not need a degree

I graduated with a Certificate in Counselling and Counselling Skills in 2015. Yes. You read it correctly. Counselling. I was training to be a “shrink”! What a change I made! (Lol!) Don’t get me wrong, I loved it but was it something I wanted to do for the rest of my life? Nope!

From what I have come to understand unless you decide to apply for a technical role through a Graduate Scheme, a degree really isn’t necessary to work in tech. Just to add, if you already have a degree, it doesn’t need to be in a STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) in order to be in with a chance.

4. It teaches you how to think

When I say this, I’m not implying that not being able to code means that you can’t think for yourself or even think at all, I mean to say that it teaches logic. It’s like you’ve been given a box of a 1000 piece puzzle. You sort through the pieces, find a piece that you think might fit, discover that it doesn’t but you keep going until you have a beautifully compiled piece of art on your table.

I cannot describe the feeling of when you spend time tackling a problem in your code and then finally figuring it out…… BEST. FEELING. EVER!!

Jennifer Opal learning to create a website from scratch
I'm learning to code and you should too!

5. You’re future-proof!

You will have a great career with a skill like coding and as long as you develop your knowledge and nurture your skill, do I dare say you are indispensable?

Also, if you decide that after learning to code, you want to work in the tech industry and don’t want to code all the time, that’s OK too! There are roles that you could look into such as a UX/UI designer (User Experience and User Interface), roles in management or consultancy. You could always work for yourself, build apps, websites for close friends and family, build a portfolio, start branching out to get clients, starting charging them and ta-da… you’ve got yourself a side-hustle! (Disclaimer: Not as easy as this so I’ve been told!)

Now there are a lot of other reasons like the fact you can take this skill to any country in the world, coding is all in English (last I heard anyway!) so the world is literally your oyster. I also didn’t mention salary and this is because I don’t believe you should learn to code because of how much you can make and compare to the USA, it isn’t much anyway. You should want to learn to code because it interests you; you are excited about learning something new. You want to use this skill to change the world, change your life or be a part of an incredible community.

I am extremely proud to be learning to code and I absolutely love it! It has and is continuing to, change my life and I hope that learning to code changes yours.

Hope you enjoyed my first ever blog and would love to know what you think. Do you agree with me? Did I miss anything? Let me know and give me a clap if you liked it!


Here are a few places you can learn to code online for free. I would recommend taking the free route especially if you don’t have the finances to invest in being taught how to code.

  1. FreeCodeCamp
  2. Kaggle (if data science is the route you are interested in, have a look at their free courses)
  3. CodeWars (a free site providing games that involve algorithms and helps build programming logic)
  4. CodingBat (another free site that provides algorithms and logic games but only available in Python and Java)
  5. Udacity (they have free courses on there if you know what you want to learn. They also have paid courses (Nanodegrees) if you want to make the investment, They also sometimes offer scholarships so keep an eye out!)
  6. EdX (a host of free online courses provided by top universities from all over the world)
  7. TeamTreehouse (this is a paid service but I have used it in the past for a brief time and loved it. You can pay monthly, learn as much as you want and they also offer TechDegrees)

You can apply for coding courses. Some are free and others you’ll have to pay for. Apart from Code First:Girls, I have never been on any of these coding programs before so please do your research before you apply.

  1. Code First: Girls (free for students and open to women and non-binaries and I first learn to code here so I would strongly recommend this!)
  2. Founders and Coders (free but there are prerequisites and an application process)
  3. General Assembly (contact them for prices)

Disclaimer: If you spot any errors, let me know. I am dyslexic, dyspraxic and have ADD. Although I went through grammar checks etc, I could have missed something so let me know. Blessings to you all!


Jennifer Opal

January 2, 2019