The Hidden Benefits of Learning to Code

Published by Tim on Friday February 26, 2021

Last modified on November 8th, 2022 at 23:04

I have chosen a very focused path for myself in the last few years and have concentrated fully on learning programming and also teaching it from 2018. For me, this has changed a lot of things. On the one hand, I have met wonderful people, but on the other hand, I have also discovered a new side in me that I had not noticed so much about myself before.

I’m already a tinkerer by nature, and the things I’ve been involved with have always had something to do with culture. Be it in electronic music, graphic design, short film development or even drawing. I have always lived out my tinkerer nature on cultural topics.

In 2014, programming came into my life and more or less changed everything in the following years, first of all my professional orientation. How could it be that such a technical thing as programming could inspire me so much? With my interest in graphic design and music, hadn’t I already opened up two great areas for myself, with which you can spend your whole life?

In some other articles I have often mentioned that I consider the undiscovered worlds and the limitless creative possibilities of programming to be the most important benefit. But this is only half the truth. There is another very important aspect:

During my initial exposure to code, I found that programming as an activity continued to challenge me as a human being. The act of programming has trained and shaped me enormously in my patience, in my own relationship to technologies, and in my approach to complex systems.

Through coding itself, I got to know myself and my thoughts better. And the principles that are hidden in every single application, in every system, can be found virtually everywhere in our modern world.

I have learned how to solve highly complex problems, how to formulate questions so that they are understood by others, that there are people who like to help and those who would rather not. And of course: To leave my comfort zone.

I find these learnings even more important for my students than developing a finished project for the portfolio at the end of a course, although that is of course a motivating goal.

I think that we should finally start thinking of Creative Coding as a generalist school of thought that everyone can benefit from tremendously. I wouldn’t say that everyone needs to learn to code, but I’m convinced that everyone would benefit from it.

The results from my courses in Creative Coding are important and promote a sense of accomplishment. However, they only represent the “front end” of the course. The “back end” is where invaluable learning processes are triggered that students may benefit from for the rest of their lives.

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