Coding has been, for a long time, called a crucial skill to learn. Employers in the tech field value anyone who is able to code because coding can be used for everything from shell scripts to creating simple programs that can automate some workflow.
A QA company may use coding to be able to test applications or websites for bugs.
Coding can be utilized across many fields, and even the most basic understanding of coding will allow you to be able to increase your chances of being hired.
Why Coding is Crucial for Learning How to Think
Coding requires you to think differently about tasks. When you learn to code, you’ll be learning how to look at applications and software differently. Coding allows for an overview of how things work. For example, an application may ask a user to input information in a form and store the information somehow.
If a QA tester inputs data and realizes that the input is limited to 10 characters, they may not know what’s happening internally to cause this truncation of data.
A person who understands coding and databases, such as SQL, would be able to provide a description that outlines the problem, such as:
- The script is causing a hard character limit that is limited to 10 characters
- The database may be improperly created with a varchar or char limit of 10
If a QA tester does not know the basics of coding, the reason for the input being shortened may be unknown. Coders will have a better understanding of coding and databases, so they will be able to provide a much better report of issues that may be occurring and will cause the information to be shortened.
The life of a QA tester is also in a transitional phase
We’re seeing a lot of the processes of a tester starting to become automated. The automation process puts the job of the tester in jeopardy. But when testers understand coding, they’ll be able to:
- Use coding to create tests that are unique to the application and test
- Automate processes to allow for faster, more robust testing to occur
There’s a difference between knowing the basics of coding and actually being able to write programmatic code. If you have basic coding knowledge, you’ll build a foundation of solid logical thinking and a good idea of the inner workings of basic applications.
You can put this basic logical thinking and skill to use in most fields.
4 Ways to Learn to Code for Free
Learning how to code isn’t expensive, but it will take some time. You can buy a book on a particular language, such as:
And there are plenty of other languages that you can learn that will help you with coding. C++ and Java are great opportunities to learn syntax because they use similar syntax and coding conventions.
A few resources that can help you get started with coding are:
- Coursera – A great resource to learn a variety of topics directly online from universities and colleges across the world. Most classes are free, and they will allow you to learn everything from database design to algorithm optimization and coding basics.
- Codewars – A really fun site with an appropriate name. Codewars is a little different, and the site allows you to improve your skills by training with others through code challenges. The site has two dozen languages to choose from, so you’ll have more than enough opportunities to refine your coding and learn something new along the way.
- Khan Academy – Khan Academy has a lot of great subjects to choose from, and computer programming is one of them. Younger kids also have a lot of opportunities to learn programming, with kid-friendly courses.
These are just a few of the many free resources that you can find online that will teach you how to code, and the basics of programming, database design, and algorithms.