There are a lot of myths related to programming and software development.
Unfortunately, these myths are usually told by people unfamiliar with programming. To make matters worse, sometimes these myths are enough to derail someone’s intentions in becoming a programmer.
In this article, I am going to debunk 10 common misconceptions related to programming and software development.
Hope you enjoy it!
1. “You Have to Be Good at Maths to Learn Programming”
You do not need to be good at maths to learn programming.
To be honest, you do not really need to know maths at all.
However, mathematical thinking can help when getting started.
For example, programming uses functions that behave similarly to functions in mathematics. They take an input and return an output.
Also, some areas in software development, such as data science or game development, heavily rely on maths. In these areas, you should be good at maths!
If you are interested in programming without having a mathematical background, just start programming!
2. “It Only Takes Months to Master Programming”
You will never master programming.
Learning programming takes a long time. It requires a lot of patience. You are always going to learn something new, no matter how experienced you are.
Mastering programming is not hard, it is impossible.
Make sure to accept this fact before getting started as a programmer.
3. “Programming Is Hard and Not for < 150 IQ”
Programming is not hard.
But learning takes time.
If you expect to become a professional software developer in weeks or months, you are wrong. This way you are indeed making it hard for yourself.
In reality, it usually takes a couple of weeks/months just to be able to independently write a very basic program, such as a snake game.
Once you accept the fact that learning takes time, programming does not feel that difficult anymore.
4. “You Need to Have a College Degree”
You can become a self-taught software developer online, no degrees are needed.
Programming is one of those skills where education is not a must.
You can teach yourself to become a great programmer by:
- Watching tutorials
- Joining online courses
- Joining bootcamps
- Joining online communities
- Building your own projects
When it comes to looking for a job, you do not need to be a certified developer. Instead, you need to have a lot of skill and passion.
In my opinion, having a candidate show a bunch of cool projects is more impressive than a degree without any projects.
5. “A College Degree Is a Waste of Time”
While a college degree is not needed, it can be really beneficial too.
The pros of having a degree are:
- You get to hang out with your future colleagues/co-founders.
- You are guided in the right direction.
- College courses set the pace.
- Help is constantly available.
- You learn about a variety of fields in computer science.
- A degree is something that cannot be taken away from you.
And much more.
So do not treat a college degree as a waste of time. It can be really beneficial for someone.
6. “Programmers Will Not Have Jobs in the Near Future”
Programmers will have jobs in the near future, for sure.
In fact, the demand for software developers is growing constantly.
These days every business is also an online business. This means there have to be developers taking care of that side of the business.
However, due to the rapid development in Artificial Intelligence, it is indeed unclear what the future holds for us programmers.
However, if AI were to replace programmers, it would probably be advanced enough to replace all the other jobs too.
So do not worry just yet!
7. “There Is Too Much to Remember”
You do not need to know everything by heart.
Instead, it is enough to understand the basic ideology of programming.
If you learn multiple programming languages over time, you will realize how hard it is to remember the syntax of each.
This is because each programming language has some similarities to every other programming language.
It would be infeasible for you to remember everything.
Instead, it is way more efficient for you to learn the basics of coding, and use Google as your assistance.
8. “Typical Programming Code Looks Like This”
Program code never looks like that.
This would be unreadable and infeasible to manage.
Usually, program code is structured and readable like this:
If you look at this piece of code, there is way less going on there. More importantly, it is clearly structured and at least partially reads like English.
A good piece of code is something that makes the intent clear and is easy to read and manage.
No developer wants to spend extra time reading a verbose piece of code.
9. “Python Is Not a Real Programming Language”
Python is a programming language just like any other programming language.
As a matter of fact, it is one of the most popular programming languages and the most in-demand language in 2021–2022.
Better yet, Python is also one of the most versatile languages. This means it can be used in many areas of software development, such as:
- Game development
- Web development
- Data science
And much more.
Due to the versatility and the simple “English-like” syntax Python is highly recommended as the first programming language to learn.
10. “Real Programmers Use C or C++”
There is no such thing as a “real programmer”.
Learning C or C++ is indeed way tougher than learning Python, for example.
But the fact that C or C++ is tough does not mean anything, to be honest. It is like combining different sports based on how difficult it is to get started…
Python is easier to learn but then again there is more competition.
Anyway, C, C++, and Python are valuable skills that are all in high demand.
No matter which language you pick, the learning curve will be steep, and the competition is going to be high.
Bonus: “Asking for Help Is Embarrassing”
Asking for help is highly suggested.
This way you can overcome obstacles that hinder your process.
There are so many things to remember in programming that it would be infeasible to learn everything.
This is why there are huge communities built around different areas of software development. They are there to help one another.
If there is an error in your code, think about it for a minute or two. If no bells are ringing, then Google up the error to search for help.
It would be really inefficient to develop software without asking for help and trying to figure out everything yourself.
Also, if you are working as a software developer, you should always be able to ask for help from more experienced teammates.
In my opinion, a skillful developer is someone who knows to ask for help early to maximize progress. And who is not ashamed of using Google at work.
So there you have it. A list of 10 common myths around programming and software development.
Before you go, here is a funny clip to summarize what programming is:
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it.