Why I gave the Coding Hype a Chance

Start-up hype has been followed by coding hype. Accessible tools and a growing market opened plenty of opportunities for any computer science whiz. All of a sudden, there were coding schools popping up on every corner. I have to admit: I’m falling for it, too. Here’s why.

codewashing

Photo by Martin Sabia on Flickr

1. Team communication…

…is crucial. But, what if you’re having trouble understanding how long it would take the developer on your team to complete a certain task? Are you asking for the impossible? I had this issue on one particular project last year. I was on a business side of a small team that was developing a mobile health application. We had plenty of ideas and a limited time to implement them. Putting pressure on developers to complete a complex task in an unreasonable time-frame created anxiety, and none of us felt comfortable misunderstanding each others’ standpoint. Even if I decide to stay away from computer science and stick to business, I want to be able to speak the same language.

2. Understanding the bigger picture.

Technology won’t solve all our problems. At least, not until we understand why and how people use it (or don’t). Take a simple issue the rural India is facing: even though the government is building millions of latrines in order to combat sanitation problem, the investment is practically going to waste because people won’t use the toilets. The reason? Their caste-based beliefs and culture doesn’t encourage the use. Therefore, understanding people and societies becomes crucial.

***

Computer science career was never on my radar. However, my mind is increasingly occupied juggling with questions about ways technology is changing our businesses, our economies and lives. I want to understand it to the bone in order to comprehend the bigger picture in the making.

Nicholas Kristof recently praised humanities in his New York Times column, and I couldn’t agree more with his conclusion: Our world is enriched when coders and marketers dazzle us with smartphones and tablets, but, by themselves, they are just slabs. Right on! Computer whiz’s cannot solve inequality, poverty, and security issues alone, no matter how well their programs run.

3. I’m curious and coding is addictive!

If you’ve never tried it yourself, let me tell you – it’s hard to stop once you start figuring it out

It’s engaging, creative, and makes me think hard about problem solving. It also makes me humble.

I’m excited when a program works after stumbling, making mistakes and trying over again. The baby steps I’m taking are the best reminder of how much work it takes to be good at something – at anything you take on doing, actually. I don’t expect to be a pro next week, and the best thing is that being at the very beginning feels fine.

*Originally published at www.braver.in.rs

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MARIJA GAVRILOV

Born and grew up in Serbia, but in the last three years spent the majority time in the U.S. As the U.S. State Dep’t UGRAD Program alumna, I studied sociology, Arab studies and social research methods at American University in D.C. in 2012/2013.

My engagement with entrepreneurship and tech began two years ago, when I attended Entrepreneurship Program at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth as one of 10 selected young people from the Balkans. Ever since, I’ve been in love with the drive, intelligence and creativity of people I meet in this field, all over the world.

This year, I administered the same program at Dartmouth for six talented entrepreneurs from Kosovo. I currently work with Startit, most relevant IT blog (www.startit.rs) and movement towards stronger IT eco-system in Serbia. As a regular author, I mostly write about mobile, cloud, machine learning and IT education.

On the side, I lead Braver – bilingual blog (www.braver.in.rs) about entrepreneurship. Even though I spend majority of my time writing, I’m looking for ways out of this role and into sales and business development.

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