The Magic Behind Scripting

Updated: Nov 11

Even the term itself is slightly imposing – “coding”. Also referred to more traditionally as “programming”, it describes the process of making a computer or equivalent perform some function, whatever that might be.

Perhaps you have in your mind the stereotypical vision of a loner wearing a hoodie, in a darkened room with their face lit by several screens and dense text reflected in the wearer’s glasses, and are wondering if that’s what being a coder is? The answer is yes, sure, if that’s how you like it.

But it certainly doesn’t have to be. A coder nowadays might be someone in their early twenties who has found they have a passion for being on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence and cloud computing. It might be a retired decorator who has purchased a cheap Raspberry Pi computer and taught himself Javascript so he can help his grandchild build a new career. It might be the dreamer who has decided to start their own business, realises it needs a smartphone app, and so are learning Swift.

There are also the scripters, who are using tools created by others but want to extend their function in a specific way. So, they might need to use an API (Application Programming Interface, covered in a previous blog) to control that application or even several.

Ultimately, computers and technology are everywhere. Even if it’s not your specific job, you might come across situations where you realise a (likely quite boring) part of your role could be automated. Being able to create a script that allows a multi-hour task to be done in seconds can really make you stand out!

There are many programming languages, such as C++, Javascript, Python, Swift, Kotlin.

The one you will learn first should be decided based on what you want to do. It’s best to have a goal task – instead of “I want to learn to code.”, you would say “I want to learn to code so that I can…”.

Once you’ve learned one language, it’s much easier to jump onto another one since many of the concepts are the same. If you’re coming into the winter season where you are, it’s an especially good time to start. Any old laptop will do, so grab a hot chocolate or your beverage of choice and search online for some resources to get you started. Have fun!