Stop me if you have heard this before: "Learn to Code."
A few times right? I mean, I'm sure I have written that exact statement at least a few, I don't know, 37 times here on this very blog.
But why just code?
You might be thinking: "What if I don’t want to learn to code, specifically? Does that make me a failure? Will I not have the chance to secure a cool internship down the road? A worthwhile job? What if I want to learn to just "tech" instead? Is that a viable option? What if I want to learn X? Or Y? Or Z? Will those things count in the future? Likewise, if I only learned to code, and nothing else, would that take me to the top?"
Code is in fact the language of the future, and learning to code, while great to know in itself, also strengthens creativity, problem solving, and a host of other skills. Thus, the value of learning to code isn't only contained to the actual, physical act of coding, as it opens doors to a variety of related opportunities as well. In less words, learning to code is hugely important.
BUT, when it comes to me or whomever else urging you to "learn to code" (38, and counting), I'm pretty sure the intent of the statement is to not be so exclusive. You would never be encouraged to read, but not write. Or to learn your multiplication tables while throwing division out the window. Facebook was created by a programmer, but what would it be without design?
So, by all means, if you have a coding interest, then LEARN. TO. CODE. If you don't have an interest, still consider it. It's that important, and you’ll be glad you at least gave it a chance.
In the process, though, or before or after, etc. don’t forget about the other things. Learn to "tech," and explore game design possibilities, 3D printing camps, or filmmaking if that is what suits you. Immerse in photography if that is truly what you want to do as a hobby or even a future career. Get skilled in marketing, negotiation, promotion, and more...learn how to become a leader, learn how to collaborate. There is a list of learning opportunities, and that list goes on and on. Coding can take you far, but if you don’t also possess the complementary skills to make your creations thrive, then what gives?
One of the most amazing things you’ll ever hear is that Steve Jobs didn’t code for Apple. Ever. Can you believe that? If I asked you whether or not Steve Jobs was successful, you’d turn around and ask me if the sky was blue or if grass was green. Jobs was one of the most successful people to roam the earth…not because he was a supreme coder, but because he knew enough to communicate a vision, and was wildly skilled elsewhere.
Learn to code, but also learn the elsewhere.