“Learning to Program is Too Expensive!” and Other Lies

Pinocchio lying
We tell ourselves a host of detrimental excuses masquerading as lies every day: I’ll go to the gym tomorrow. I’ll pick up those papers during the next commercial break. I’ll call mom and check in as soon as I’ve finished the laundry. The real trouble comes when we start to believe our own excuses and parrot them back to other people. Today we bring you five simple programming lies…and the real truth behind them!

Programming lie number 1: “Learning to program is too expensive.” You might have heard this one before…but it’s simply not true. Money-AIf you’re a savvy shopper, learning to program can be much more affordable than most people think! You don’t necessarily need to drop a couple grand on a college course in order to learn programming—you can learn on your own with books, inexpensive online courses, and even free YouTube tutorials.

Programming lie number 2: “Learning to program is too hard.” Many people think that you have to be a genius in order to become a programmer, but that’s not always the case…sorry, programmers! Smilie---Sad The fact of the matter is that ANYONE can learn how to code—we’re talking anyone from your kid brother to your great grandma. You don’t have to be of above-average intelligence or be a math whiz, you just need to have a little bit of interest in the topic and be willing to practice. The great news is that a lot of programming concepts bridge multiple languages, so once you learn one language, it’s even easier to learn a second!

Programming lie number 3: “Learning to program takes too long.” Not quite! If you have one hour a day to spare, you can learn to program. You don’t need to commit to spending 8 hours a day tied to your computer…Time - Hourglassbut here’s the thing: you might find that after a while, you WANT to spend that long programming. Programming is all about guiding your computer to find a solution to a problem…so if you’re the type of person who gets really involved with projects, yes, it’s true that you might spend long hours coding—but if you do, it’s because you’re consciously making that decision. If you only have an hour to spare and you’re worried you’ll get sucked in, set a timer to let you know when it’s time to stop.

Programming lie number 4: “Learning to program is boring.” To be perfectly fair, I’ll admit that looking at code that you don’t yet understand might LOOK boring to a beginner. It can be compared to opening up a book in a foreign language—and with good reason! sleep
Programming literally is a language all its own. Don’t worry—once you learn some basic terms and start to see how everything ties together to create a program, it’s hard to be bored!

Programming lie number 5: “I’d need to go to college in order to be a programmer.” This is a common misconception! You can definitely learn to program—and even get a programming job—all without setting foot in a University. You know what that means? Education---Graduation-HatNo student loan debt hanging over your head! Simply focus on perfecting your skills and creating a killer portfolio instead of stressing about classes and homework. If you can show a hiring manager that you know your stuff, they aren’t going to be bothered by the fact you don’t have a college degree.

We hope this article has helped to clear some things up for you! You don’t need to let these preconceived notions stand between you and a programming career. Now the next time someone tries to perpetuate a common misconception, you can set them straight!

Alison Downs

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