With more than 5 years of experience in the software development industry as a programmer, it is interesting to see my programming skills have skyrocketed since the moment I decided to become a programmer. If you are thinking about becoming a programmer and you would like to know if you can become a programmer, this is the article for you.
Is programming really hard? Learning how to program depends highly on a person’s ability to learn the skillsets required. Nevertheless, learning how to program is hard and it takes a lot of time to become really good at the art of writing code, but not just any code, quality code. Just like many other professions, it is not easy to learn something new and be master at it, but anyone can become good at it. Willingness to learn on a regular basis and dealing well with frustration on an ongoing basis are keys to becoming a programmer.
It is important for you to not be discouraged by this. Sometimes, the things you think are hard are not that hard once you give them a try. On the other hand, sometimes things that are perceived to be easy can be extremely hard to do. It is just that whoever is good at what they do, makes things look simple.
Can I Learn To Program?
Yes. Anyone can learn how to become a programmer. I’m convinced that anyone can learn to do whatever they want to do in life, just like anyone learns how to say their first words or learns how to walk. No matter what you want to learn in life, it all shares a similar process: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and MORE PRACTICE.
Don’t be intimidated by the fact that learning how to program is hard. In fact, I never thought I was going to become a programmer, but to become a professional soccer player. The funny fact is that I become a professional programmer even though I played soccer since the moment I could remember things when I was a kid.
There are different ways and approaches for you to learn to become a programmer.
Get a Computer Science Degree
I want to clarify that just because you go to a university and get a computer science (CS) degree it will not necessarily make you a programmer. There are different paths people can choose when they decide to get a CS degree. With this degree, there is a wide range of career options you can choose from such as:
- Database Administrator
- Computer Hardware Engineer
- Computer Systems Analyst
- Web Developer
- Software Developer
- Full-stack Developer
- Mobile Application Designer or Developer
- Computer Network Architect
- IT Project Manager
- Computer And Information Systems Managers
- Computer and Information Research Scientists
- Computer Science Professor
- Chief Information Security Officer
- Software Quality Assurance Manager
- Information Technology Specialist
- Research and Development (R&D) Scientist
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Engineer
- Cloud Computing Engineer
- Network Architect
- Data Scientist
First and foremost, you need to make sure to take the classes that will help you get the skills to become a programmer. Among the career paths that a CS degree can offer you, the following take essentially the role of a professional programmer:
- Software Engineer
- Software Developer
- Full-Stack Developer
- Web Developer
- Mobile Developer
Some of these careers are very similar or have no difference besides the title. Just make sure you take the programming classes that the career offers, as the main thing a programmer does is write code most of the time.
Go To A Bootcamp
With the increase in demand for more talent in the IT industry, especially programmers, there has been an increased amount of Bootcamps to teach people to write software. Do you know what a Bootcamp is?
A Bootcamp is an educational institution that teaches you the skills and knowledge you need to learn to become a programmer. Generally, attending Bootcamps can take, from the moment you start until the moment you finish, about 6 to 12 months. In other words, think about 1 to 2 semesters of college focused on learning the topics you will truly use at a programming job.
Learning how to program by attending a Bootcamp can be challenging for many as the amount of information you learn is a lot for the relatively short amount of time in this kind of coding academy. It is important to mention that Bootcamps not only teach you how to code, but also help improve other skills such as interviewing skills, develop your own portfolio, and learn how to network with other programmers or people in the industry to be able to land your first job as a programmer.
Teach Yourself How To Program
If you start doing online research with regards to what percentage of programmers are self-taught, you will find different responses with regards to how many people are self-taught programmers. The numbers are different for every survey and year, but many of them show that a decent amount of programmers are self-taught, .i.e, HackerRanks’s survey shows 27.4 percent of developers are self-taught in 2019.
It is important to understand that not everyone’s brain was wired to learn in that way. Some people prefer to have a clear education roadmap as well as having an instructor to feel someone is taking them in the right direction. However, that’s not always the case. Oftentimes, university professors can teach programming languages that the current market demands. In fact, some programming languages or topics taught in universities were used in the past, but not in the present.
The IT industry is constantly updating at a fast pace, and professors will find it complex to keep up with that pace. Therefore, professors don’t update the curriculum as often as that means they have to study new technologies and teach them to their students on top of their job, which is a lot of work to keep up with.
Learning how to program sounds already complex for you. Teaching yourself how to program can be seen as a Mission Impossible challenge to embrace. The beauty of programming is that the only thing you need is a computer and the internet to get started. You don’t really need to pay someone to help you get started. You don’t need to go to a school to get started. All the information you need to become a programmer is found on the web.
How Hard Is It To Teach Yourself How To Code?
Thinking about becoming a self-taught programmer? Get ready to embrace a tough journey. Is it hard to become a self-taught developer? This is a question that is subjective to each person’s ability to learn. Some people will say it is extremely hard, some people will say it isn’t as hard as they thought it would be. The only way to give you the right answer is to go ahead and find a tutorial to learn how to code.
The key aspect of self-taught programmers is not to learn a programming language but to know if they are learning the right programming language for the programming career they want to follow. Fortunately, the web is plagued with tons of good information, tutorials, pieces of advice, and videos from professional programmers who learn the topics you really need to know to become a programmer.
Many programmers share their skillset knowledge online. This makes an abundance of free mentors and tutors available without you even meeting them in person. It’s like receiving education from people in the field without the need to pay for education unless you purchase online courses. Nowadays, becoming a self-taught programmer is not as challenging as it was years ago when there were fewer available resources.
What Is The First Programming Language I Should Learn?
It is tempting to ask this question when you are brand new to the world of programming. However, the question you should ask yourself first is: What career path do I want to follow? Do I want to become a mobile app developer? Do I want to become a game developer? Do I want to become a full-stack developer? Do I want to become a blockchain developer?
It is critical for you to know this first prior to making an investment in learning your first programming language. However, if at the end, you’re still unsure what programming language to learn, I recommend you to start with HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language. HTML is the language used to code web pages.
HTML is not a programming language, but a markup language. Before you think I’m recommending something completely different from what you asked, the reality is that HTML is used in all web applications and you will need to learn it at the end. In fact, I started my programming journey by learning HTML and CSS, which stands for Cascade Style Sheet. CSS is not a markup language, but a style sheet language and it allows you to style the HTML. It’s what makes a website look pretty with a nice user interface.
It is a great starting point for anyone interested in becoming a developer as the concepts are often found easy to digest and practice in a relatively short amount of time.
What Good Piece Of Advice Can You Give Someone Who Wants to Learn How To Program?
Find yourself a mentor early in your career. There’s no better way to speed up your learning process than getting help from someone who does what you want to become. Mentors could not only help your faster, but they learn what you need to learn and what you should avoid learning based on the programming career path you choose.
When I started my programming career, I started with an internship working for a small company. The three founders of the company were programmers by heart, and I got the chance to get mentorship from the three of them. This allowed me to boost my skillset in a matter of time. Don’t get me wrong, the process was hard at the beginning, but my first programming experience of working with 3 senior developers made the learning process more effective as they had not only already gone through the struggles a programmer can go through, but they were also experienced enough to recognize the things that were important in programming.