February 8, 2021

What Non-Programmers Should Know About Programming

Over time, computer programming has attracted the interest of many people. From the strange hobby that people thought it was some years ago, coding is increasingly becoming a popular field with many enthusiasts. However, despite the surge in popularity, most people don’t understand the intrigues of computer programming until they get a taste of it. On the other hand, those without coding interest have no idea what programmers do in their line of work. If you are in the latter, below are some essential things to know about programming.

Coding is Not All about Writing Codes

Most people with little knowledge about coding think that coders spend countless hours writing computer codes. This common misconception is justified by the several hacker movies showing hackers keying in codes into computer systems like a joke. However, in real life, coding involves various structured activities. Among them, include;

  • Planning Stage – in this initial stage, programmers try to understand specific requirements that the code to be designed should meet. Programmers identify specific software requirements that the codes will leverage to produce the desired outcome.
  • Coding Process – coding is not half the time spent on typing the codes. In this stage, computer programmers spend a lot of time compiling codes and trying out the computer systems’ codes. This may also involve modifying initially present codes, depending on the programming language used by the programmer.
  • Testing – it is the final stage of the coding process. Programmers put the code into use, identifying any missing gaps and profiling the codes’ performance vis-à-vis the expected outcome. Depending on the code’s performance, coding experts may have to re-adjust, recompile, or return to the first stage.

Experienced coders write fewer codes. However, the process of becoming a professional programmer is quite challenging. Those with coding interest should try learning the basics of coding independently or sign up for available online coding classes. While boot camps can be expensive, financial aid is often available for qualifying students. For example, veterans may be able to pay using their GI Bill benefits. Attending a coding Bootcamp is also a prudent idea for those who want to master programming.

Coding is Not about Memorizing Magic Commands

Another prevalent misconception among non-coders is that programmers have to memorize a plethora of magic syntax or secret codes. Like any other profession, learning and writing codes is a result of the learning process. Different programming languages have a specific set of coding keywords, which are the basic tools for developing loops and functional programs. Therefore, as programmers learn how to code, they get to understand these keywords automatically. Programmers well-versed with multiple programming languages understand more language-specific keywords.

Coding is Not Mathematics

Coding and mathematics certainly borrow a lot from each other. However, learning how to code doesn’t necessarily mean you should have aced calculus. What brings this confusion is the fact that codes rely heavily on some arithmetic logic. However, the mathematical part of coding is about simplifying complex processes into simple, easily explainable steps.

Another contributor to the misconception that coding has a lot of mathematics is the fact that computers and mathematics share a lot. Computer innovations such as machine learning, cryptography, and artificial intelligence certainly have a lot to do with mathematics. However, computer programmers don’t need a lot of mathematical knowledge to use these mathematically-related computer features.

Good programming knowledge should leverage the tools designed by other computer experts. However, if you want to delve deeper into a skill like cybersecurity, some mathematics background can help. For instance, you will quickly understand how to code better with some basic understanding of machine learning’s mathematical concepts.

Coding is Not Boring

Most people hesitate to learn to program because they think it is difficult and boring. Despite this common misconception, programming ranks among the least boring ways that people spend their working hours. This is because computer programmers earn by solving a problem; they are paid to learn and make discoveries.

Even with similar coding problems, the solutions can never be the same. This is because of the insatiable world of computing. New technologies give birth to new ideas. Programming also has no entry barriers. If you are interested in coding, you don’t have to meet extraordinary people or elite connections. All you need is coding interest. You will also learn with ease, thanks to the ever-present community of programmers who are always ready to help novice-coding aficionados.

Bottom Line

Many computer-programming misconceptions often depict learning programming as quite impossible. Unfortunately, non-programmers may not fully understand these beliefs. However, if you are interested and ready to learn to code, these misconceptions shouldn’t be a barrier. Start by learning the basics, identifying your preferred coding language, finding help from professionals, and practicing coding often.


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