3 Steps To Programming Your New Year By: David VanDusen Computing dominates our world but many people forego learning to harness its power. Your computer is waiting to do your bidding; all you have to do is learn its language — code. Even a small amount of programming knowledge can be tremendously empowering. Taking the first few steps to learn any new skill can be daunting. Learning to code is a totally reasonable new year's endeavour. There are only three things you need to do. 1. Be creative Taking time to express ourselves creatively can be wonderfully fulfilling. Finding an outlet can be difficult, though. Limitations exist due to the cost and availability of materials and space. But guess what — expressing yourself through multimedia is free if you have a computer, and you only need to learn the syntax of coding to start. Make a web page for yourself or a friend or family member. Learn a little bit of HTML and CSS syntax and you can immediately start creating beautiful things. 2. Solve a problem When many people think about programming, what comes to mind is math. However, from the perspective of a coder, we use logic to solve problems and make our lives simpler and more productive. We break real-world problems into simpler ones so that the computer can do the rest of the work. This is an extremely useful skill, even outside of programming. Think of a problem. Maybe you have to do something that's repetitive or time consuming. With a little bit of logic and just about any programming language, you can make yourself a button that does it for you with a single click. 3. Leave a legacy When you create something or you solve a problem with code, it's permanent. It doesn't degrade or disappear. As long as those instructions you wrote for the computer exist, they will be able to be reproduced. That's why we encode our lives and our history; with a little bit of code you can store your conversations and ideas forever. When information is stored as data in the form of code, it has the same resiliency as a computer program. It's also collaborative. Take the code that you've written and publish it on GitHub. When you share your creations they can be seen by anyone in the world. Not only that, other people can contribute to your projects and suggest improvements or take them in their own direction. The power of programming The things you can do with code are both amazing and everyday. Computers are there to enable you to do them efficiently, or at all. Consider learning to code this new year and see doors of opportunity open in front of you!