What if, instead of starting that next Excel spreadsheet, you tried your hand at trying to write some code to do the exact same thing?
The worse that can happen to you is that you find it’s all too hard and you go back to building that Excel spreadsheet, but, potentially, one of the best things that could happen to you is you take your first step towards learning how to code.
Learning to Code
One of the best things that I did to help myself start learning Python was to weave opportunities to learn how to code into my everyday life.
I worked in quite a data focused job role, so admittedly, these opportunities came easier to me than it may do for you and others, but it’s not impossible.
I remember reading Automate The Boring Stuff to help get a sense of what I could do with code. Not having a formal background, all I knew of code was the pinnacles of the industry such as Apps, Robots, Artificial Intelligence; all way too advanced for me.
The trick I found is to learn about what I could do to help myself, thinking this way gave me the motivation to power through any stumbling blocks because I could always think "I am so close, this will be so good!". From that, came the ability and confidence to help others.
You may be reading this and thinking, that’s not for me, I’m not a coder.
Think of that Excel spreadsheet you’re about to make and think of how many formulas you’re going to write. You going to use any pivot tables? Multiple sheets?
My argument here is that if you look at the complexity of your spreadsheets, that same thought pattern, is exactly what you can use to follow through on code:
- If you’ve ever googled “how to do vlookup”, you’ve already looked at some form of code documentation, and most likely Stack Overflow.
- If you’ve ever written a nested if statement, you already understand the logic needed to write a nested if else block.
- If you’ve ever used multiple sheets to act as steps in a process, you already understand the purpose of functions within code.
The future is digital, and automation will become a bigger part in everyone’s lives over the coming years.
Michael Kennedy puts it best when he mentions (here) that learning to code and program is like a super power, you don’t have to become a full time programmer off the back of it, it can just mean you can get to do way more interesting stuff with your day thanks to it
Weaving code into your day helps you provide yourself with a pretty much future proof skill, whilst making your day way that little bit more interesting.
Put down that Excel spreadsheet and walk away slowly! Now go give coding a go!
Previously published at https://www.automateall.co.uk/PutDownTheExcelSpreadsheet