There’s too much mystification of computer programming. People correlate it with geeky geniuses on a different plane of intelligence. From there, myths begin to circulate that dissuade would-be coders.
But learning to code is a fruitful, rewarding journey. Computer science is an industry that’s growing like no other and has a six-figure median pay.
Confront the mythical beast that is software engineering. These are the myths that are plain bunk.
Software Geeks Are Antisocial
The greasy sweat machines used to portray programmers is a Hollywood trope. These stereotypes were born from false assumptions.
Back in the 70s, tech industries hired programmers that had antisocial tendencies. Employers assumed they’d be hyper-focused on their work.
That sentiment changed after empirical, psychological research. Nowadays, you’re expected to work in teams at tech conglomerates. Neuroticism is no longer favored or preferred.
Computer Programming Is All Math
Computer science is actually a branch of mathematics. It came from a lot of theoretical mumbo-jumbo.
But software development is a different beast. Some problems may require math to solve, but those are sparse. And it’s mostly limited to basic algebra.
Even the best coder may use little to no math.
You’re Too Old to Start
The tech industry, despite what’s shown, isn’t strictly a young man’s game. In fact, the median age for computer programmers is 44.
A lot of employers value experience far above anything else. It’s never too late to get into software development.
Even if you don’t pursue development, coding is useful for automating tasks. Financial analysts use C# export to Excel for quick data migration. Accountants can use Python to quickly sort mounds of balance sheets.
Non-Collegiates Need Not Apply
It’s true: computer scientists are academics. But a degree is only a piece of the puzzle.
Companies hire software engineers according to their merit. A degree is useful only to get your foot in the door. If you can manage to do that, it’s frivolous.
Tech firms want to see projects that you’ve worked on. They also want to test your puzzle-solving abilities during a whiteboard test. Then they measure how well you’d fit in with the work culture.
The fact is, a lot of professionals come from boot camps or are self-taught. If you work hard enough, you don’t need a four-year degree.
It’s Not for Everyone
This myth usually comes from those that try but fail.
There’s no such thing as a natural-born programmer. Everyone gets to their level of mastery through tireless practice.
There are some gifted problem solvers, and they’ll excel as smart programmers. But computer coding has a heuristic approach to learning. You’ll find your own way of solving different things.
Programming is a unique art. Each programmer has a different paint stroke.
Computer Programmer, the Legend
Computer programming has a bad rap. It feels heavily guarded. And lots of debunkable myths gate-keep people from pursuing the art of coding.
Programmers aren’t antisocial ghouls behind a keyboard. Computer science is a branch of mathematics, but software development isn’t. There’s no age, degree, or personality requirement to enjoy programming.
We’ve debunked some myths, be sure to check out our other articles on programming insights.