I have to admit, up until 2009 I did not really pay that much attention to coding/programming. I was introduced to computer programming circa 1980 as computers entered the education system. My two best friends were very much into early games and demo programming as well as hacking real world devices with code (turning a joystick into a pressure pad burglar alarm). I always suffered trying to learn spoken languages and as programming was “just another language”, it and I did not see eye to eye.
Fast forward to 1997 and I start experimenting with AutoCAD scripts and lisp routines out of necessity to make my work day easier and whilst I still achieved good results, it does not come naturally to me.
Jump forward again to 2009 and I finally see what it is all about. It was nagging at the back of my mind and I now put it into just about every presentation I do. Using computers/code to do things that humans cannot, as up until now, I had simply been digitising repetitive tasks to save time rather than any other outcome. (not that saving time is a bad thing) but “Time is precious and unless you fill it with something useful or meaningful then you are just marking hours”.
From 2009 onward I firmly believe every team should have a coder or coding ability, be it macro’s, vba, scripting or hard coding languages. Now some of this will still be straightforward automation but it can also unlock the ability to explore, analyse and truly achieve insights that, up until now, have been hidden and locked away within data and the systems that hold it.
Which is why I am so excited about the upcoming in-house #Hackademy and hack nights. I am looking forward to both looking at automation but also looking at challenging the way we think and how we might be able to embed knowledge into code to further increase understanding and that is why I believe coding/programming as essential to our industry.