Coding the key to success in the digital workplace

As technology works its way into everyday life, digital coding has become a useful skill to learn.

Dan Stephenson, a news media production and design instructor at SAIT, says that code is a universal language.

It’s the vocabulary we use to communicate with a computer in order to create functionality in everything from task management to gaming.

In a recent interview, Stephenson said that New Media Production and Design program at SAIT teaches students the foundation of coding.

However, it’s up to the students to be willing to solve problems.

“A lot of programming is about solving problems,” Stephenson said.

“The code is just the language we use for solving that problem.

“You need to be able to think outside the box and be able to find a solution for it.”

While people who are unfamiliar with coding might find the process difficult, Stephenson says it’s like learning a new language.

Once students learn the syntax and figure out the words to use to “talk” to a computer, it gets easier, he said.

Because of much of what students consume digitally is interactive, Stephenson explained that they are able to create what they want using code.

Every industry needs what we do. Everybody’s online today. – Dan Stephenson

Upon graduating from SAIT, graduates are able to find a variety of jobs within the industry, such as developing mobile apps, creating computer software, video games, and websites, using coding languages such as HTML, Python, CSS and others.

“Every industry needs what we do. Everybody’s online today,” Stephenson said.

“A lot of our students will end up as web designers and web developers for big companies.”

There are also free resources online to learn basic coding that Stephenson mentioned, such as lynda.com, codecademy.com and khanacademy.org.

Although it’s great to have sources like these to guide you on the first steps of learning code, Stephenson says it doesn’t help you beyond that.

Ralph Gonzales, a multimedia creator and a web developer from Lighthouse Labs, said that the road is only going to get rougher for new coders, due to an oversaturation within the market.

“The world in itself is evolving so fast,” Gonzales said.

“It’s almost like it’s essential now in anything you do.

“Being a graphic designer, you have to learn how to code to be able to put some of your designs online and for your websites to look the way you want them to look, and to have certain functions,” Gonzales said.

“As a blogger, you need to be able to learn how to put up pictures, write articles and format those articles in a presentable way. And if you ever decide to create an application, coding is almost essential at this point.”

Stephenson said learning code is a life skill and that it’s like learning to ride a bike.

“You might not need it every day, but once you have it, you’re richer for it and you can find ways to use it.”

About Shama Palangdosan 3 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Shama Palangdosan worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2017-18 academic year.