12 Facts about Programming Everyone Thinks Are True
March 24, 2016 - Uncategorized
There is no doubt that we live in a digital age, where modern technology is playing a significant role in our daily lives, regardless of how tech-savvy we are.
Apart from the obvious, such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, computers have found their place in smart homes, TVs, household appliances, and even toys. However, since machines can’t speak our language, they require code to be told what to do. This means that programming is definitely a profession of the present and future.
But, be that as it may, people who are on the outside looking in still have numerous misconceptions about what it is that programmers do. In order dispel some of the myths about programmers and their work, we have decided to list 12 facts about programming everyone thinks are true, and if they are, analyze to which degree. Keep on reading to find out more.
Top 12 stereotypes in tech sphere
1. You Have to Be a Nerd to Code
This is probably the biggest misconception of them all. Because of the biased media portrayal, programming has a bad reputation, and some people even shy away from it, fearing they will be labeled as nerd or geeks. The real truth is, as with any other profession, there is a wide variety of different people there. You could even argue that programmers are the most versatile bunch, simply because their numbers keep on growing, so it’s impossible to stereotype them and lump them all into the same category.
2. You Have to Be a Brilliant Mathematician
While this isn’t 100% true, we still can’t dispel this claim as completely false. The connection between mathematics and programming is mirrored in the fact that both require you to think logically and sometimes, out of the box, in order to come up with an original solution. That being said, you will need to use math, but it’s just basic algebra, nothing too advanced and demanding. Web developers should have a bunch of skills, but after all, the goal of programming is to write code, not solve math problems.
If by any chance you are required to use complex math equations as part of your code, you should not despair, because there is plenty of programming help at hand in the shape of libraries which you can use instead of writing that part of the code from scratch. Being bad at math doesn’t mean you will be terrible at programming, just like being great math doesn’t mean you will be an awesome programmer.
3. You Need to Have to a MENSA-Caliber IQ
If this was true, every single programmer would be a member, which isn’t the case. Learning to code can be likened to learning to play a guitar. It’s not all about talent, it’s about how much hard work you are willing to put into it until you have completely mastered it. It doesn’t have anything to do with your IQ or any other number. Programming does require you to be creative and look for solutions to problems, which gets mixed up with one’s IQ.
Programming languages, as the name indicates, are still languages, which means that if you could have learned your own language or a foreign one, you can also learn how to code. Languages like Java, C, C++, or Python were not created by aliens from outer space. They were created by regular people.
4. There Is One Best Programming Language
Unlike in most areas of life, there is no single best language when it comes to programming. This is because every programming language was created in order to achieve a certain goal. Simply put, if a programming language helps you accomplish what you have set out to do, and fits your purpose, then it is the best one for that particular case. If you are, for instance, interested in low-level programming languages and OS coding, assembly language is the best choice. If you are creating apps, you can use Java, C++, or C#. Which one is the best of the three is entirely up to you and the problem you are trying to solve using that particular language.
5. Programming Can Only Be Learned in College
While that may have been true in the past, because there were only a handful of places outside of a university that could teach you how to code, today you can find pretty much anything you need, whether you’re a complete beginner, or a senior developer for a serious IT company. Of course, college courses are advantageous, because you have professors and their assistants guiding you every step of the way, and the lessons are structured in a way that teaches you how to think first, and then apply all that you have learned later.
But, just because you haven’t gone to college or you have a degree in something else, that doesn’t mean that programming is out of your reach. You have to want it, and once you have that covered, there are plenty of online resources, and even actual college course you can take on platforms like Coursera or Codecademy.
6. Programming Is Not a Job for Women
We’re going to get into feminist arguments here, but there is no basis for claims that women cannot be equally good programmers as men. For instance, the first programmer in the world was a woman. Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo! was one of the first programmers to be hired by Google. And there is of course, Grace Hopper, who is credited with not only being a programmer, but also as a person who came up with the term “bug”, and its meaning, as we know it today.
That being said, there is a shortage of women programmers. While it’s hard to pinpoint the exact reasons, it may be because people, both men and women, are generally poorly informed about coders, and they believe in clichés served to them by the media.
7. You Are Too Young to Learn How to Code
You can never be too young to start coding. In fact, there are many benefits that are linked with learning to code early on, such as the development of analytical skills. However, children’s learning pattern is different to that of adults, as kids tend to think more in visual terms, which should be taken into account when choosing their first programming language. There have been some initiatives for introducing programming into elementary schools, but nothing has been official.
8. You Are Too Old to Learn How to Code
On the flip side, you can never be too old to code, either. In fact, people who are developers today, will be required to learn throughout their lives in order to keep up, just because IT and programming are such dynamic fields. This means they will need to learn until the day they retire, when they are in their sixties! If they can do it, so can you. If you are interested and driven, age is nothing more than a number.
9. Thousands of Lines of Code Is Too Much
If you are interesting in programming, or if you are just getting started, looking at some source code which has 10000 or more lines can seem extremely intimidating, or downright impossible. But luckily, that’s not the case. If you were to take a closer look at all that code, you would find that some of the sections are identical, and that the coder has used the same piece of code in several different places. So it’s not exactly 10000 different lines of code.
Both the most trivial and the most challenging programming tasks are done by combining the same pieces code you will be learning right from the very beginning, such as loops, functions, and methods. Once you figure those out, writing several thousand of lines of code will become the easiest thing in the world.
10. You Need Years to Learn a Programming Language
Learning a programming language does require a lot of time and effort, and the process of learning is never really done, but in order to be able to understand and use the commands and functions of a certain language, you don’t need ages, because all of the commands are in English already, for the most part. The next thing you need to do is learn the syntax, which would be similar to learning all the grammar rules of a foreign language.
This will take longer than learning the commands and functions, especially if you are programming using a low-level assembly language and dealing with registers, but again, it’s not impossible. Once you have mastered the syntax, you are all set. Not that you are even close to being done, but you will be equipped to write code on your own and develop your own applications in time.
So, when it comes to timeframe, you are most likely looking at months of hard work, but not years. It takes years to perfect your coding skills, but that is pretty much the case with any sort activity.
11. It Takes Ages to Until You Are Able to Make a Living a Programmer
As we’ve already pointed out, it doesn’t take years to learn it, and it doesn’t take years before you can start making money with your coding skills either. Of course, you shouldn’t expect to get a job at Microsoft after learning C++ for a year, but there are other jobs available which are a good fit for your skills and experience level. Because some places will require experience, which you don’t have, since you couldn’t get a job in the first place because you lack experience, an internship might be a good idea.
Certainly not from a financial point of view, but you will gain experience, plus there is always a chance that you will get hired full-time. Also, you can always try your hand at freelancing, and finding clients yourself, which is not a bad way to earn money. But, make sure that you establish a good communication with your clients, that the requirements of the job are clearly laid out, and that you stick to the deadline religiously. Some people prefer to work from the comfort of their own home and enjoy flexible hours, which is why an increasing number of coders is choosing this route to make a living.
12. The Hours Are Long
We shouldn’t even bother with this one, but we will. Programming will require you to put in lots of effort, and even long hours at times, but it’s far from a pattern. Even those coders who are working long hours are well compensated for their efforts, and you don’t hear them complaining. Of course, you can always become a freelancer and set your own hours and rate.
If all of these myths were true, there would be very few people lining up to become programmers. Yet, the opposite is true. It is definitely a profession of the future, and you can become a part of that future, regardless of your age, gender, degree, or IQ. All it takes is hard work, dedication, and the desire to learn, and that is something that has nothing to do with any of the aforementioned categories.
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Source: Instant Shift