Coding skills essential for humanities too

Coding skills essential for humanities too

Since the division between various disciplines is blurring and it is so much easier to understand what one needs, it becomes essential for people in humanities to learn coding skills.

Programming is an essential skill for all disciplines and the good news is that it can be learnt at any stage and any age. Right from simple application, websites, games, mobile apps, machine learning to automation, everything is based on programming. A person who knows these tools will have better career opportunities.

Humanities discipline involves critical analysis of the subjects being studied. History, law, languages, philosophical studies, visual and performing arts are some of the popular streams in this field of study. To process the amount of data available offline as well as online, it is imperative that one should have a good and reasonable amount of programming skills.

Programming refers to designing and executing a computer programme to achieve specific results using certain algorithms in any programming language. This is commonly referred to as coding. An erroneous concept is that this is too technical to handle and also that programming needs an early start. Many have a feeling that the professional part must be handled by STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) while humanities constitute the user base.

Not a tough task

Basic knowledge of math and computer science, along with logical skills, would be a desirable feature to start coding. Critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving etc, which are an essential feature in humanities help immensely. Communication, reading and comprehension skills and attention to minor details will help as coding is basically making a connection between various theories and applications.

Since the division between various disciplines is blurring and it is so much easier to understand what one needs, it becomes essential for people in humanities to learn the skill. Those who opted for this feel that their needs are easily met when they code themselves.

Computational thinking consists of breaking bigger problems into smaller ones, removing those which are unnecessary, looking for a pattern or sequence and designing an algorithm step-by-step. C, C++, Java or Python etc., are classic but currently, Python is trending as it has more scope of application in many fields. 

Learning by interactive mode is easier and more fun and event-based programming creates curiosity and learning will be faster, a newbie can start learning coding in many platforms such as online courses and bootcamps designed specifically for those in the humanities stream. 

Many EdTech platforms are offering such courses, both paid and free. Some are time-bound, and many are self-paced. The prerequisites for such courses are provided either in the course itself or as a separate module. In addition, there are many books which one can refer to. These include detailed manuals and references.

Bill Gates famously said “everyone can benefit from learning the basics of computer science. The questions it teaches you to ask — How do you accomplish a task? Can you find a pattern? What data do you need? — are useful no matter where you go in life.”