Why I Code

Want to learn to code? There are no shortage of initiatives, startups, after school programs, TED talks, blog posts, and more all telling you where to learn to code, how to learn to code, and why to learn to code. The why is the part that comes under fire quite a bit. There are many opponents of the “everyone should learn to code” movement, and since I am not professionally employed as a developer, it gave me pause; why do I want to code?

The reason can be summed up thusly:

Time is valuable to me.

– David Lyons

There are lots of other reasons:

But none of these other reasons matter because I’d still do it if all it did was save me (and others via my efforts) time. Because it’s never really just the time of doing the thing, it’s also the time of planning the thing, scheduling the thing, being interrupted to do the thing, remembering to do the thing, fixing the thing when you screw it up because you’re not a robot and boring tasks bore you…

Every time I catch myself doing some repetitive task that is a prime candidate for automation I am first angry that I didn’t identify the task as an automation candidate earlier and then elated that this task I hate is an automation candidate then I automate it because time is valuable to me.

Geeks and Repetitive Tasks

Of course there are lots of other things about coding that are fun and interesting: solving real problems, furthering mankind’s understanding of the universe, making reddit bots, but if all I ever get out of coding is making my own life easier (I don’t have to do the task anymore), faster (robots are faster than I am at most things), and less error prone (don’t get me started on human error) then that is reason enough for me.

I may have also just convinced myself to write a sequel post to this entirely about human error.