There are a lot of misconceptions and myths surrounding the art of programming. A lot of people view it as a career path that’s only for the gifted; the process systematic, the rewards fruitful. It’s a job only for the geeks or for the mathematically inclined, and a career path not tolerant of mistakes.
In this article, we’re going to bust some myths, explore, and fix misconceptions concerning programming. We hope this will serve as a source of relief for those who are wondering if programming is the career path for them.
I Am a Woman, Therefore I Can’t Code
Before we tread into dangerous waters here, let’s make things clear: I’m a huge fan of women programmers. Women have, and will always be on top in influential programmer lists, and here’s a short list for you, just to prove my point:
- Ada Lovelace – the world’s first ever programmer
- Grace Murray Hopper – developer of the first compiler for programming language
- Adele Goldstine – one of the pioneers who created the world’s first electronic digital computer
- Marissa Mayer – one of the programming pioneers in Google
As you can see, the impact of women in the programming world is quite evident, but like how most men aren’t attracted to the perfume industry, the lower ratio of women to men programmers in the field may be due to other factors like social and economic pressures, as well as varying perspectives and interests in life, etc.
You Must Be an Adult to Learn Programming
Parents, you don’t have to use your child’s age as a restriction for them to learn programming languages – and this isn’t just our personal opinion.
At Code.org, there’s even a petition demanding the inclusion of programming as a compulsory school subject, so kids can learn to think analytically at an early age. Nevertheless, there’s a difference in the learning model between children and adults, so it’s best for kids to learn in a more visual way, since their visual perception is more developed. For this, Scratch and Alice are the perfect choice for kids to program visually.
If they prefer a more interactive environment, code communities like the Khan Academy is the place to be. Parents can also help out by staying in the loop with their kids’ progress, and guiding them with explanation, tips and resources, as well as parental support that promotes active learning.
You Need to Be a Math Whiz to Learn Programming Languages
People confuse themselves with the relationship between Mathematics and programming because they want a straightforward answer of Yes or No. In truth, the answer is more towards “it depends, but mostly not”.
As a programmer, we spend most of our time writing code, not mathematical formulas! This only means that your knowledge in Math isn’t directly proportional to your programming skills. Besides, there are libraries and plugins available which you can directly apply into your code to help you solve mathematical and algorithmic problems.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to create stuff that require advanced mathematical calculations or physics or computer graphics, you certainly need to master some Mathematics, although there are loads of physics and graphics solutions available in the industry.
I Just Can’t Write That Much Code
Are you one of those people who are just too scared to view a webpage source? You can bet that a whopping 4000 lines of code can be quite overwhelming.
However, while HTML is not a programming language, its content pretty much reflects what every code file contains in general. If you pay close attention, you’ll find that they’re just piles of code containing repetitive statements, methods and loops – and that’s pretty much it!
Programming mostly use the same stuff you learn in beginner and intermediate courses to do both simple and complex solutions. Once you get into it, you’ll feel that even 10,000 lines of code is nothing but child’s play. It can get addictive very quickly!
You Need to Learn Only the Best Programming Language
What do they mean by “the best” programming language, anyway? It’s a little misleading, because the best language for you to learn is the one that fits your current purpose, either for work or study. This simply means that there’s no best programming language out there. It depends on what you want to do with it.
There are amazing programming languages for beginners, though. Python is a good starting point because of its simplicity, readability and flexibility. Java is easy to learn too, and best of all, it has extensive documentation and a die-hard community to boot. Afterwards, it’s all up to you to decide which tools to use based on the language’s speed, exclusive features, compatibility, maintainability, etc.