Gross: A New and Necessary Language

Hailey Gross

Skills such as swift typing, Microsoft Office proficiency and bilingualism are no longer considered by employers to be “bonuses.” A variety of skills such as these have become a collectable and necessary array of attributes for getting a job. Individuals involved in job hunting often spend thousands of dollars on classes or software that will help them acquire these resume fillers.

Picking up a new language might equate to an attractive new bullet point on your tidy resume, but depending on your career field, it may not be something that you ever really utilize. However, there is a language of sorts that nearly everyone can take advantage of. As we advance further into the 21st century, coding is the newest and most important language you can acquire.

Unlike Spanish or Chinese, coding is a “language” that doesn’t cross country borders so much as it permeates each and every country. Whether it’s HTML or CSS (or whatever prevalent coding language develops in the next few decades) coding is a “language” that is quickly becoming universal.

Over a decade after the 90s dot-com craze, the internet continues to flourish. It’s unheard of for a successful business, organization or individual not to have a website. Coding is the language of website building; in this era, it contains the power of (virtual) creation.

Sure, coding is pretty neat. But why are employers looking for it? As with all other skills, it advertises versatility. The various languages of coding are becoming more and more relevant to an increasingly large number of professions; as a result, employers are eager to see that a potential employee has this ability.

Like any other skill set, web development languages must be learned. However, there’s often no need to sign up for pricey classes or get scammed into purchasing expensive instructional software. HTML code is relatively simple to learn, and can definitely be self-taught with the aide of some relatively affordable tools.

The best of these tools, especially for those of us who learn through words, are the various instructional books that have been written by HTML and CSS experts during the surge of web-building. Thomas Frank, a recent ISU graduate and creator of the blog, suggests HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites by Jon Duckett for introductory coding instruction. Guides such as these can be the only tool necessary for the acquisition of this extremely essential skill.

An alternative (and often free) tool is the various web developers that are out there on the internet. One of Frank’s more popular posts on covers the process of building websites in extreme detail. Most serious bloggers have easily accessible contact information, and many of them would be more than happy to answer any questions that you might have as an amateur web designer.

Aside from making yourself an attractive job candidate, coding and web development languages can have other benefits. Personal websites, the 21st century version of a business card, are extremely good things to have when on the job hunt. If an employer conducts a Google search on your name and the first result is a carefully and professionally constructed website containing all your information, you will just become that much more desirable.

If you can build that personal website yourself, it becomes ultimately customizable. Instead of paying for a website format or downgrading to the less professional (though free) WordPress frame, you can create a site that fits you, your profession, and your hopeful employers perfectly.

I’m not arguing against alternative skills such as foreign languages; all skills have their place in different fields. However, coding only becomes more and more universal with each passing year. Many people (especially website developers) believe that it’s only a matter of time before coding becomes a completely necessary skill, and in more areas than just job-hunting. Websites may be the next form of major written communication: journals become blogs, newspapers turn into online bulletins, and textbooks are sold and downloaded in digital versions only.

As the growth of the internet and its various uses continues, there are an increasing number of reasons to learn HTML, CSS or one of the other coding languages. By learning them now, you can get ahead of competitors in any job field instead of dragging behind while others snag the jobs with their spiffy web-building skills. The languages of coding are not only increasingly relevant to daily life, they are becoming absolutely necessary.