Are you a programmer? There are chances your answers will be based on a bunch of untrue stereotypes and misconceptions. Those are harmful because they stop you from trying out this career path. Let’s take a look at 10 of the things that you do not need to have to become a programmer.
Since my childhood I’ve found programming fascinating. And yet, I never tried programming myself. Never even tried to take a look at how it worked. I am generally a curious person who loves getting into computer things and learning about them. So what happened there? How was it possible to be fascinated by programming for years and not even try it out?
The reason, in my case, was I believed that programming was the activity of an elite. People who attended exclusive universities and completed very expensive and long degrees. People who had privileged minds who could do superhuman feats of mathematical genius. But now I know this is not true. It’s not based on reality. And I wish I had known that earlier.
I eventually understood that this was a much more accessible career path than I had originally thought. I got serious about learning, and now I’m having fun learning new concepts and languages.
So let’s explore together 10 things you do not need to have to become a programmer.
There are some things that are rightly or wrongly connected with our popular belief of what it takes to be a programmer, these are called as prerequisites. These are the kinds of things that are nice to have, and they can be useful.
Aspiring developers can dedicate time to attaining some of these skills. But none of them is essential to start, to learn, to get a job, or to have a great career in computer programming.
2.Be a genius.
This one is the most important myth to dispel. The myth of the privileged mind. There is no special thing your brain must have to be able to become a programmer.
Programming is a skill like playing the guitar or running a marathon. You get better at it by doing it. If you see a programmer who is capable of doing amazing stuff with a computer, it is always the result of dedicating time and energy into their craft. It’s not some innate talent they were born with or some divine inspiration.
3.Be a mathematician.
Even though mathematics is at the heart of programming, you don’t need it in your day to day work. For most of the jobs, majority of programming languages used today are high-level languages. These are closer to human languages than numbers and don’t need any special knowledge in maths.
Programming is much more like writing than doing calculus. If you are good with maths, it will help you solve certain problems faster. I
4.Be a computer wiz.
Programming requires you to write programs that run on a computer. Computer is the medium you work in. You don’t need to be able to build a computer from scratch by hand to be a programmer. You don’t need to be able to understand the inner workings of a computer.
It’s one thing if you use a car to do your job, but it’s a different thing to actually be a car mechanic. Of course the more you know about your tool the more independent you’ll be at tackling up and resolving problems. But you can be an effective programmer without first learning how to fix your friend’s virus-infected machine!
5.Have an university degree or have a CS degree.
A university degree is a great thing to have. It teaches you methodologies and investigation. It teaches you about your own learning style.
Being a Computer Science graduate is even better for programming. It gives you great depth and breadth of knowledge. While a university will open doors and give you contacts.
However, none of the above is actually necessary to be a programmer. The field is packed with brilliant programmers who don’t have a CS degree or any degrees at all. If you put your mind to it, you can become a good programmer without any of it.
6.Be fluent in English
As with most of the above, being fluent in English helps. Programming languages were invented and flourished in English speaking countries. So for better or worse English dominates the field.
The words used in programming languages are English. And the majority of documentation, tutorials, articles, and resources about the subject are in English. So it helps a lot if you have a decent level of comprehension.
But, this shouldn’t be the barrier that’s holding you back from programming. You can learn and become good at it with an intermediate level of English. Many people get by only with being able to read and comprehend English.
There are a lot of stereotypes associated with programmers in the public imagination. Now let’s be clear, I’m not saying these stereotypes aren’t sometimes real, or that they are negative in any way. Only that you don’t need those to fit in.
8.Be a nerd. Be a gamer
Nerds are great, gamers are wonderful. But you can be part of a tech team without being either of these things. People of every style now work in the industry.
When you are looking for a job for the first time, the team you end up with is one of the biggest factors in your success. So finding a supportive team with a good atmosphere is most important. Far more important than the hobbies you might or might not share with the other programmers.
9.Be an introvert
There is no particular personality type that is well-suited for this profession. Don’t go looking for personality traits that might show you whether this is for you or not. Your attitude is far more important.
Being able to deal with frustration and persist is a key ingredient. And that’s a learned skill, not part of a fixed personality.
10.Be a man
This should be clear. But it has to be said. You don’t have to be a man to be a programmer. And while men still make up the majority of programmers, this is hopefully rapidly changing.
Any company with insightful leadership has understood the importance of gender-diverse teams. It is not just good for “equality” (which is reason enough), but also gender-diverse teams make better decisions and are less likely to be biased. Gender is not a factor in how good of a programmer you can be.
These were the 10 things that you don’t need to have to become a programmer. So what stereotypes you believed or still believe about programming? Tell us in the comment section below. Also if you liked this post do share it with your friends who are or wants to become a programmer. For more such posts visit us again.