This article on how I learnt computer programming as an accountant is a detailed account of my journey into the world of computer programming and technology. Before we delve into the ‘how I learnt to code’, I think it will be nice if I tell you ‘why I learnt programming first.’ So, let us start with the ‘why I learnt computer programming as a Certified Chartered Accountant’.
Why I learnt to code as an accountant
It all started in the year 2011 when I finished my Master’s program in International Accounting and Financial Management (MAcc) at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. I searched for job for a while without success, but it didn’t take long before I realised that my accounting skills, knowledge and qualifications would not take me to where I truly wanted to be. I immediately reckoned that the business world has gone beyond looking for people with accounting skill, they need business partners who come in with both accounting and IT skill set as accountants.
I have always wanted to be a hybrid accountant with the perfect blend of IT, Accounting, Law, and Business acumen. So, I enrolled for ISACA’s flagship certification – CISA knowing that this will nicely announce me in the world of techie world.
I learnt a lot in the course of studying hard for the CISA exams that I became very familiar with many technologies which in turn increased my appetite for learning more IT related topics.
My first programming language
The first programming language I learnt was python. This choice was made based on research and recommendations from people that have taken the path I eagerly long for – a very good choice in hindsight.
Steps I took to learn coding
This section of this article will give the exact steps that I took to become a programmer.
- Random YouTube search: through some random YouTube search with the keyword ‘basics of computer programming’, I found a video prepared by people from Microsoft (Susan and Harrison) titled ‘…zero to hero…. using python’. This video was about 10 hours long and I must say that it was time well invested. YouTube through its smart algorithm recommended numerous other videos that helped consolidate my skills.
- Udemy: I will try not to give free endorsement to Udemy but it has to be said that the quality of tutorials on udemy are high quality. The only downside is that I had to spend some money in buying access to the lessons (lifetime access). It is hard to believe that one would go wrong by investing in buying access to few tutorials here.
- Books: I love the ‘Head first series’, and ‘Think python’. These books took all that I learnt from thousands of video tutorials that I watched from various sources and made them flesh.
- AndelaGoogle scholarship: one of my Linkedin mentors Prof. Ndubisi Ekekwe pointed me to this opportunity. They have three tracks but I chose the Android track for the simple reason of picking up enough skills to enable me build apps that can solve my work related apps (just for the record, I did build really useful app that made my life as a finance professional a lot easier). Though I dropped out of the scholarship due to tight work schedule but the learning continued at my pace.
- Pluralsight lectures: Pluralsight provided the learning platform for the AndelaGoogle scholarship program. The videos on pluralsight are top notch. My only problem with pluralsight is that they make a lot of assumptions regarding what you ought to have known before taking the course.
- Udacity: my quest for really beginners’ tutorial on Android led me to the udacity’s free courses. Fantastic courses I must say. I closed the gap of basics here before going back to pluralsight for the rest of the course.
- Practice till infinity: one fundamental life lessons that programming teaches is that – doing is the best form of learning. Forget about dreaming of becoming a computer programmer if you are not willing to get your hands dirty with some codes.
- Building apps and programs: once I practiced enough on various assignments, I started building little apps and programs that solve real life problems.
Benefits of coding to accountants
- Valuable asset to any organization
- Indispensable in any team
- Confident at all time
- Problem solving skills
- Critical accounting and finance thinker
- Accountant for the future (this in my opinion is the most important benefits of learning computer programming as an accountant)
The future of accounting and finance
It is no longer news that AIML has come to stay and will continue to take accounting and finance jobs. However, those that take decisive actions like learning to code as accountants will never be displaced by computers. Going forward, all that the business world require is hybrid accountants with all the accolades of a finance warrior. Make that all important investment today into learning how to write computer code and you will never regret it
I love the insights in this article. I am also an accountant and I recognize that in the future, coding and data skills are critical for those in the accounting field.
Would love to hear more about how python has helped you in your accounting and finance job.
Thanks for reading my piece and for the encouraging comment. Yes, surely I will be updating this piece with how python is helping me in my current role and future roles.