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Facebook, Twitter, Google, DropBox – isn’t it fascinating that each of these technology giants started with a line of code?

In a world where development is king and demand for talent continues to rise, an essential skill that will help set you apart is learning a programming language. In fact, President Obama’s initiative to empower students from kindergarten to high school to learn computer science in order to be creators and not just consumers is focused on developing these type of tech skills. Founder of Porch, Matt Ehrlichman, stated that even if your job title isn’t “a programmer” or “a developer,” it is important for every team member to know his or her way around a website’s code.

What are the real benefits of coding?

And, should you learn to code if you’re not necessarily a developer?

Here are the top 3 benefits of coding, applicable to everyone, regardless of whether you code professionally or not. These benefits extend far beyond the computer and as Steve Jobs said, coding “teaches you how to think:”

  1. Done > Perfect: In the early phases of learning how to code, you realize that coding is actually a constant series of small steps and each accomplishment is the next step in the process. This teaches us the importance of getting started on our endeavors.
  2. Resilience: One of the many facts about coding is that there is never an end line to it. A code can always be better and cleaner. Thus, it’s all about raising the bar and building great things. This teaches us how to become more resilient when things get out of control.
  3. Cognitive Development: MIT did a series of studies on the Effects of Computing Programming on Cognitive Outcomes, proving an increase in cognitive development of subjects who had programming experience.

Which language should I learn?

There are more than 250 programming languages, but Java ranks as #1 according to the TIOBE Index For February 2016, which ranks the popularity of programming languages.

It’s also important to keep in mind the skills employers are looking for. Shravan Goli, president of the company Dice, stated that on any given day there are about 16,000 open Java positions. Additionally, he also stated that Java was one of the top 10 named skills hiring managers are looking for.

Where do I start?

Whether you want to be a professional developer or increase your employability by upping your coding skills, edX has some exciting Java courses that you can start today! Learn the fundamentals of object-oriented programming, data structures and much more.

From Java To Android for Beginners XSeries- HKUSTx

Introduction to Mobile Application Development using Android – HKUSTx – Self Paced

Using Android Studio, this course will take you on a journey through the world of mobile applications and teaches you the basics of creating an android app.

Introduction to Java Programming – Part 1 – HKUSTx – Self Paced

Using the Java platform, this course will provide you with a strong understanding of basic Java programming skills and will also help you become a better problem solver.

Introduction to Java Programming- Part 2 – HKUSTx – Self Paced

Part 2 of this course will teach you how to solve “real-life” problems in an algorithmic manner as well as how to use the logic of a programming language to formulate solutions to well defined problems.

Introduction to Programming with Java Part 1: Starting to Code with Java – UC3Mx – Self Paced

With numerous visual and interactive activities, this introductory course will teach you basic fundamental concepts like games, calculators and also some powerful concepts like Object Oriented Programming and Application Programming Interfaces. 

Introduction to Programming with Java Part 2: Writing Good Code – UC3Mx – Self Paced

“Good” code is both correct and efficient. By understanding basic principles of computer science, not only will this course teach you how to write good code, but it will also prepare learners for the AP Computer Science A exam.

So enroll today and become a creator! According to Drew Houston, the founder of Dropbox, it will be the closest thing you have to a superpower.

Ready to get started? Explore Java projects for beginners or see all Java courses for all skill levels.

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