Why You Should Learn Programming
Adding computational power as an extension to your brain is every physicist’s dream. This is exactly what programming allows you to do. A saying in academia goes, “leave the processing to the computers”. Jokes apart, here are some reasons you should start learning to program!
Helps a Great Deal with Data Analysis
Physics at its core is an experimental science. So, it boils down to how fast you can collect, process and refine the data. Research organizations and institutes generate huge amounts of data. For example, CERN generates on average 1 petabyte (1 million GB) of data every day.
Coping with this rate of data is nigh impossible for humans. By delegating this work to the computers (by programming), we are able to cope with large data efficiently. As a side effect, we also avoid any errors that might occur in the manual processing of data.
Saving Time with Automation
You can only imagine how many hours the human processing of big data could take. Programming saves you a lot of time by automating every step in the process. Every task from data collection to the production of graphs can be automated. Institutes likes CERN and NASA have started to automate their entire data analysis. This trend is catching up across the global scientific community (if it already hasn’t).
Improves your Career Opportunities
Having programming skills in your repertoire boosts your employability. It also opens up a lot of opportunities for you to choose from. It also provides you with certain flexibility while choosing your career path. In all, programming is an in-demand skill that is great to have!
This break, take a dive into programming waters. Languages like Python and R are trending in academia. But, don’t get bogged down by the task of choosing a language. Just pick one and start practising.
Try using programming languages for your personal projects. Not only will you be saving a lot of time but you will also develop a taste for it! So, all the best!