For those of us with little experience with it, the programming world seems very mysterious and complex. Due to this, we often start to believe certain myths about programming that keep us from learning to code. However, these myths are completely false, so before you decide to pursue something else over coding school, be sure to learn the truth about the following myths.
1. Programming Requires a College Degree
Yes, a certain amount of instruction is necessary to begin coding, but the real learning experience comes from practice. Thus, getting a four-year degree full of classes where you aren’t practicing merely stretches out the learning process and ends up costing a lot of money. Many famous programmers became successful without a college degree, and there are plenty of resources out there to use without enrolling at a university.
There are interactive websites dedicated to teaching about coding along with tons of tutorials online as well as books at the library. If attending a physical school is important to you, look for a training program that only focuses on coding and that focuses on active learning. The bottom line is that code is constantly developing, so teaching yourself is one of the most important skills you can gain if you want to get into programming.
2. Programming is for Nerds
This myth encompasses several ideas including that programming is dull and uncreative. People get this idea because they picture a programmer sitting in his or her basement typing out lines of code with a zoned-out expression on their face. The truth is that programming is a highly creative field that allows you to take any idea you have in your head for a game, mobile app or web design and turn it into reality. For some reason, many people also associate programming with complex math, but most programmers only need a basic understanding of algebra.
3. Programming is for Geniuses
Programming is much like learning a new language, so in the respect that learning anything new takes work, learning to program will require a certain amount of effort. However, if you are interested in programming and willing to put in the work, you don’t have to have an incredibly high IQ in order to do it.
4. Coding is for Men
While there does tend to be a higher percentage of men in the field, that doesn’t mean there aren’t successful women programmers as well, or that women shouldn’t go into programming if they are interested in it. Marissa Mayer, now the CEO at Yahoo, was one of the first programmers at Google, and Grace Murray Hopper developed the first compiler for a programming language. Finally there’s Eva-Lotta Lamm who chose to work with the corporate side as a user interface designer for Skype. As a woman you have the same amount of choices and career opportunities, whether you go freelance or work for an agency.
5. All Programming Languages are the Same
We often think that all of the programming languages are different ways of doing the same thing. The truth is more complex than that, as some languages can be used for multiple purposes while others are more limited and are only good for one particular function. Languages are also divided into two broad groups: high-level languages and low-level languages. Low-level languages are closer to the language computers actually use and are harder to learn. High-level languages are built to be easier to read and write.