10 myths about programming and software development
There are many misconceptions related to careers in programming and software development, usually perpetuated by those unfamiliar with programming. To make matters worse, sometimes these myths are enough to derail someone’s intentions to become a programmer.
So let’s debunk 10 common misconceptions related to programming and software development.
10 myths about programming and software development
- You have to be good at math to learn programming.
- Programming takes months to perfect.
- You need an IQ over 150 to be a programmer.
- You must have a university degree.
- A college degree is a waste of time.
- Programmers will soon be out of work.
- There are too many things to remember.
- Typical programming code is indecipherable.
- Python is not a real language.
- Real programmers use C or C++.
Myth 1: You have to be good at math
Reality: You don’t need to be good at math to become a programmer.
To be honest, you don’t really need to know math to get started. However, mathematical thought can help get started. For example, programming uses functions which behave the same way as functions in mathematics. They take an input and return an output.
That said, some areas of software development, such as data science or game development, rely heavily on math. In these areas you should be good at math!
If you are interested in programming but don’t have a math background, just start experiment!
Myth 2: Programming takes months to perfect
Reality: You will never perfect programming.
Learning to program takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of patience. You will always learn something new, no matter your experience.
Perfecting programming isn’t difficult, it’s impossible.
Make sure you accept this fact before you start as a programmer.
Myth 3: You need an IQ over 150
Reality: Programming isn’t hard, but learning anything takes time.
If you expect to become a professional software developer in a few weeks, you won’t. In reality, it usually takes weeks or even months to be able to independently write a very basic program, like a snake game.
Once you accept the fact that learning takes time, programming doesn’t seem so difficult.
Myth 4: You must have a college degree
Fact: You can become a self-taught software developer without a four-year degree.
Programming is one of those skills where formal education is not essential. You can teach yourself to be a great programmer by:
When it comes to looking for a job, you don’t have to be a certified developer. Instead, you need to have a lot of skill and passion.
In my opinion, getting a candidate to demonstrate their expertise with a bunch of cool stuff projects is more impressive than a diploma without a project.
Myth 5: A college degree is a waste of time
Fact: Although a university degree is not strictly necessary, it can to help.
Benefits of having a degree include:
- Universities and colleges can provide great networking opportunities. This could be where you meet your future colleagues or co-founders.
- You have teachers who can mentor you and guide you in the right direction.
- University courses set the pace, which can be helpful if you’re not good at self-study or self-paced learning.
- Help is always available.
- You discover a variety of fields in computer science.
- A degree cannot be taken away from you.
So while a college education isn’t for everyone, college degrees aren’t a waste of time. They can be really beneficial for some!
Myth 6: Programmers will soon have no jobs
Reality: Programmers will continue to have jobs.
In fact, the demand from software developers is constantly growing.
Nowadays, almost all businesses are also online businesses. This means that almost every business needs a developer to take care of their e-commerce platform.
However, due to the rapid developments in AI, it is indeed difficult to know what the future holds for programmers. However, if AI was to replace programmers, it would probably be advanced enough to supersede all other works as well. So don’t worry. . .Again.
Myth 7: There are too many things to remember
Reality: You don’t need to know how to program by heart.
Instead, just understand the basic ideology of programming.
If you learn several programming languages over time, you will realize how difficult it is to remember the syntax for each one. This is because every programming language has similarities with every other programming language. It is impossible for you to remember everything.
Instead, it’s much more efficient for you to learn the basics of coding and use Google when you need to.
Myth 8: Typical programming code looks like this. . .
Fact: Code never looks like this.
This code is unreadable and cannot be managed. Usually the program code is structured and readable like this:
If you look at this piece of code, there’s a lot less going on. More importantly, it’s clearly structured and reads at least partially like English.
A good piece of code is something that clarifies the programmer’s intent while being easy to read and maintain. No developer wants to spend more time reading a verbose piece of code.
Myth 9: Python is not a real language
Fact: Python is a language like any other.
In fact, Python is one of the most popular programming languages and the most requested language in 2021-2022.
Even better, Python is also one of the most versatile languages, which means it can be used in many areas of software development, such as:
- Game development
- Web development
- Data Science
- The list continues. . .
Due to the versatility and simplicity Syntax close to Englishexperts often recommend Python as the first programming language to learn.
Myth 10: Real programmers use C or C++
Fact: All languages are valid and in high demand.
Learn C or C++ is indeed much more difficult than learning Python, but just because a language is difficult does not mean that it is somehow more valuable. That would be like saying badminton isn’t a sport because it’s easier to learn than tennis. (I don’t know if that’s true or not; don’t @ me.)
That said, although Python is easier to learn, it means there is more competition in the job market.
Whichever way you slice it, C, C++, and Python are valuable skills that are all in high demand.
Whichever language you choose to learn, the learning curve will be steep and the competition will be tough.
Bonus myth: Asking for help is embarrassing
Fact: Asking for help is essential to being an effective developer.
Sometimes asking for help will be the only way to overcome the obstacles that are hindering your process.
There are so many things to remember in programming that it is not possible to do everything on your own.
This is why there are huge communities around different areas of software development. They are there for participatory source solutions and helping each other. If there is an error in your code, think about it for a minute or two. If nothing comes to mind, when all else fails, Google the error for help.
It would be inefficient to develop software without asking for help and trying to figure it all out yourself. If you work as a software developer, you should always be able to ask for help from those who are more experienced.
In my opinion, a skilled developer is someone who knows how to ask for help early to maximize progress — and who isn’t ashamed to use Google at work. . .