To Program or Not to Program?

To program, or not to program? That is the question. If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t learned to program yet – but if you’re like most people, you probably should.

Many people don’t learn about programming because they think it doesn’t relate to their personal or career interests. After all, not everyone wants to be a professional programmer, right? However, should a person take a finance class only if he/she is going to be an accountant?

The answer to this question is of course not! People take finance classes so they can handle their personal and business finances. Similarly, you should take a programming course not because you intend to program professionally (although this is a good reason, too), but because it will teach you valuable skills that can improve your daily life.

Programming for Regular People

Here are a few examples of how average people can use programming knowledge in their everyday lives:

Do you use Excel? If you know just a little programming, you will easily be able to create macros. Macros help you create and use spreadsheets while saving you lots of time!

Do you organize and create computer files? If so, someone with a little programming experience can create short scripts that will personalize this process. Just a tiny, everyday task that programming can automate will free up time to do other things.

Do you use Photoshop or Illustrator? Well, if you know JavaScript programming, then you can improve your use by automating many common tasks. This will allow you to focus on what is really important: your design.

Are you an Apple computer user? If so, you can write programs to improve your computer performance using AppleScript. You can do anything imaginable, but some common examples of scripts have been created to customize iChat status, download MP3s, customize backups, edit/search for text, edit images, and much more!

Do you have a web page? With programming, you can learn how to update the look and feel without having to pay someone else. Perhaps you want to add upcoming events, new pictures, or change a color. You can even create customized, interactive elements by adding JavaScript to your website.

But Wait; There’s More

Learning to program has many other benefits. It will teach you to apply logic, check your work for details, and become more analytical in general. You don’t have to become proficient in programming, but in a world where you are constantly surrounded by computers, phones, and electronic devices, knowing how these things work can be useful in your life. You will learn how to better set up your home wi-fi, perform a stronger Google search, and be knowledgeable when voting for politicians who have plans involving technology.

Programming languages (like music!) are the universal languages of the world. At a minimum, you should take an introductory programming course so that you can improve and be knowledgeable of all aspects of your digital life and the world around you. For current or potential FLVS students, check out some of our entry level programming courses like Foundations of Programming. You won’t regret it!

Browse this and other courses at www.flvs.net/courses.


Michael FrancisMichael is a Curriculum Specialist with the Career & Technical Education (CTE) Digital Publishing Team. He earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and recently joined the FLVS team after 13 years of CTE experience in Palm Beach County. Michael has served 17 years in the Army National Guard and is an avid runner and musician.



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