5 Myths About Learning Programming

You want to start your career as a programmer, but you don’t know where to start or even if you’re just going to succeed one day. If you think that programming learning is reserved for a handful of elite/gifted/mathematicians, you’re wrong!

Programming has become one of the most sought-after and important qualities of this century. Together we’ll see 5 popular myths about learning programming.

I have to be good at math to be good at programming

No. And even though I’m not a programmer as such in my trade, I’m pretty well placed to say I’ve done a master’s degree in computer science with programming almost every day, whereas I’m very bad at math.

In reality, developers are ordinary people like you and me, who are passionate about programming. They write code, not mathematical formulas. Of course, it depends as often on what you want to do.

Let’s take two very concrete examples: if you want to write algorithms and make a program that does given calculations according to this algorithm (for example, in terms of imaging), yes being good at math is important. Conversely, if you want to do web design or graphical interfaces, chances are you don’t have any mathematical formula to use. So I repeat, it depends on what YOU want to do.

This myth is more general than mathematics, because you don’t need to pass a particular degree or get validation of a particular quality before you start. This point is very important and I often stress on it, because the biggest mistake you make is just waiting for a green light, waiting for a diploma, waiting for an answer to your questions.

Of course, there are qualities necessary, even indispensable to all programmers, these include logic, problem solving and patience. I’m not saying that there is no need for any quality but I say that these qualities are acquired through practice, so don’t wait. Even if you make mistakes (what will happen, and what is normal because it is part of the learning process).

I just have to learn the best programming language

The most typical question for beginners in programming is: “What is the best language to start with?” There is no one-way answer to this question. It all depends on what YOU want to do, and I will repeat it often. You have to go from there.

There is no better programming language, but simply languages more suited to a particular task. And I would say even more suited to a particular individual, because often several programming languages are usable for the same task, so it’s up to you to choose according to YOUR feeling and YOUR desires. And to do this, we must test, practice, we fall back on the conclusion of the first point.

To take an example, if you want to learn how to create a website, you’re going to have to turn to web languages (HTML, CSS, JavaScript… etc.) If you want to learn how to program to interact with your operating system, you’ll instead learn a “low-level” language like C. Even if there are several alternatives for the same tasks, then it is up to you to choose, either by chance or according to your preferences after testing one or the other. And the truth is, it’s once again with practice and experience that you’ll know which language is best for your profile and tasks.

Another great way to choose a language is to go on an open source project that is close to your heart. I take the example of WordPress, the most popular content management system that is programmed in PHP, JS, HTML… Etc. This one offers you tutorials to write plugins: you program something in a standardized way, with specific languages and methods, plus you directly apply your knowledge in a concrete project. This example is not necessarily suitable for all readers, but more generally you have many open source projects that can inspire you in various programming languages here or there.

I have to memorize the syntax and avoid seeking help

Beginners often think that by programming something from A to Z, without outside help, they will memorize the language better. Even if it’s probably fair, it’s a waste of time and energy. Because you can learn faster and better, faster. In programming, not only do you avoid reinventing the wheel, but you will also have memorized it through practice, you will memorize the same code dozens of times, and in a sustainable way, because you will have memorized it through practice!

The integrated development environments were not created for fun (or for noobs), they are there to facilitate the programmer’s task, generating code for him and assisting him in his code writing (syntax recommendation… etc.)

Do you have a problem? Try to solve it quickly, otherwise go directly to Google to find the solution. Then write down the code and memorize it so you don’t have to search for the solution. Congratulations, you optimized your memorization method.

Once you feel comfortable, you can test yourself with new code.

I can’t write that much code

If you’re scared when you come across a 5,000-line source code, be aware that a programmer often sees (and programs) such source codes.

The ideal is to stay organized in your code writing, to avoid getting lost. Separating software tasks from different source files is also part of good programming practices.

And when you’re inspired, you’ll see that writing 10,000 lines of code was actually nothing special. But that won’t stop you from being proud of it!

Learning programming takes only a few weeks (or months)

You may spend a few weeks learning programming, but you’ll take years to master it (hence the need not to wait for an event to get started). Programming is like drawing, at first we are rather bad, we imitate others and we try on our side. Then as the experience accumulates, you become autonomous and perfect. Passion and patience are the order of the day.

So start now, and thank your self for the past in a year.m. Don’t forget to step by step. Knowing that mastering programming will take any time, you don’t have to rush to learn everything at once. On the contrary, do not rest too much in passing that everything will be done with time, because at that time you are no longer passionate about programming …

Perseverance, patience, motivation, action! Your task can of course be greatly facilitated by using a guide that puts you on the right path and saves you from wasting time making mistakes already made 1000 times.