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Why you should learn programming

I remember when one of my friends got a summer job where he was asked to remove certain special characters from filenames and replace it with an underscore. He complained it was boring and tedious but it paid well so he stuck at it.

He was expected to do a certain amount of files per hour and he was determined to hit that target as soon as he could so that he could spend the remainder of the hour surfing the internet. The internet at that time was still a rarity and he decided he needed to find a quicker way to complete his work so that we could free up more time.

After much searching and lots of testing he wrote a simple program which renamed the files for him. Unfortunately for him some of the code he cut and pasted without properly understanding its function looped through all the directories on that particular drive completing weeks of work into a few hours. He was shocked at the speed, efficiency and most devastating of all the prospect of losing his job.

He plucked up some courage and showed his manager what he had done. His manager was astounded at his cleverness and told him if he could setup the process to run daily and then maintain it ongoing he would employ him part time permanently. This led to a fruitful source of income as over the next few years he did very little modification to the system whilst picking up a monthly paycheck.

This is the power of programming and why you should learn programming  as with only an entry level of knowledge anyone can recreate the program my friend had created.

I bet there are dozens of daily tasks which you do which could similarly be automated like

  • moving files
  • downloading files
  • giving custom notifications in response to events
  • manipulating excel sheets
  • importing and exporting data
  • and hundreds of more similar tasks.

Think about how much time you could save and how much you could benefit by automating things in your life. Hopefully the benefit you could receive is enough to answer Why you should learn programming.

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