Coding in the Actuarial Industry

Written by Fang Kai Lim: FangKai__1401727824_69.170.148.114

Have you heard a real life story about a homeless person begging in the streets of New York when a guy, on his way to work, saw him and decided to teach him coding? The 23-year-old man said he gave the homeless man a choice of either accepting 100USD on the spot or rejecting the 100USD and giving him a laptop, coding books, and an hour everyday for the next two months teaching him how to code. The homeless man chose the second door as an opportunity and now he is selling his app called Trees For Cars in iOS and Andriod markets for just 99cents.

I think it’s crucial and important even to have a little knowledge in coding no matter which career field you’re in. I started studying at Drake University with the thought of solely majoring in Actuarial Science and that would get me through in life.

However, a certain compulsory information system course made me rethink my path and I decided to get a double major, adding Information Systems to my graduation certificate as well as in my knowledge base. After making this decision, my naive thought led me to think that I was going to work for a company that either focused only on my Actuarial major or only on my Information Systems major. Never in my wildest dream did I think that I’d be using both subjects with my current company. The company I’m working with helps organizations improve performance through actuarial insights and custom technology solutions. 2-in-1!

I recently got to catch up with one of my friends who graduated with me and is currently working in a financial office. He told me about how his supervisor is very intrigued about coding and began learning programming languages such as SQL and Visual Basic on his own. He even tried to apply what he learned to make his job more efficient. His code worked so well that when the upper management heard about it, they invited him over to their headquarters to present his code, implement it in other offices, and promoted him.

So why is learning to code important? We are living in a digital age where we’re bombarded by information but with so little time to manipulate/analyze it. Coding comes in handy here as it teaches us to learn to read and write the machine language. It’s like to learn one’s culture we must first learn its language. So to learn to see the beauty of all the information around us, we must first learn their language, coding/programming.

Companies and corporations are always looking for a way to save time and cost and at the same time, make things more efficient. That’s when your knowledge in simple coding/programming will come in handy. Other than the opportunity it’ll give you in your career, learning to code also helps improve critical thinking and problem solving skills. Both figuring how to make your code work and figuring out how to solve life’s problems requires lateral thinking.

There are many programs out there that encourage children to learn simple coding, as it would definitely help them in the future. So, why not us too? My advice is to pick up a book or do some simple research about coding: learn as much as you can, apply it whenever it’s possible (or just for the fun of it) and no matter if you’re going to use it or not, I guarantee you’ll never regret it. It’s only appropriate to end my blog with a ‘good bye’ in binary, so,

01100111 01101111 01101111 01100100 00100000 01100010 01111001 01100101