Here’s why it’s awesome to be a programmer
Steve Jobs said in an interview that “everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think”.
And to be honest, truer words have never been spoken.
The programmers’ day is on the 13th of September, the 256th day of the year.
You might wonder, like I did, “Why day 256?”. The official answer is because the standard binary system of 8-bits in a byte, with the power of 2, allows producing 256 different values (0b11111111 !).
And, whether you are looking to learn to program for fun or whether you want to improve your skillset and job prospects, you can do no better than to learn how to program.
Computer programming is one of the most adaptable tools that you can have at your disposition. Not only can you learn to do things that are pretty amazing, but you can also, sometimes, manage to perform the impossible. Everyone that uses a computer, a smartphone, even a key that remotely unlocks your car door is using some kind of computer programming and your life now depends on programming to a certain extent.
But, you should never make the mistake of thinking that learning programming will put you in the position of building the new Facebook. Start doing research about why Facebook or Google became necessary for humans – they filled a gap in the market that needed to be filled. You’re going to need more than just programming to build something like that.
Here’s why it’s amazing to be a programmer:
- You’ll develop a new and better way of thinking
- It’ll make your life easier
- You will learn persistence
- You’ll have an amazing career
- You will develop the ability to “think like a programmer”
Developing a new and better way of thinking
When a programmer is given a certain problem that needs solving, they don’t dive right in to write code right away.
No problem is ever solved in that way.
In order to do it the right way, you’ll have to break it down into smaller and more manageable chunks. Then, each one will be tackled as its own problem, a part of the whole. Most non-programmers won’t go through all this “trouble” with any problem they face. They attempt to solve it right away, and more often than not, they’re doomed to fail.
When you start learning programming you’ll also learn some brand new ways of tackling problems – a brand new structured way. And this way, your brain starts to be programmed to deal with every problem – no matter how small – this way. Your thinking becomes more and more creative and logical. And this will not only affect programming but your whole life.
It’ll make your life easier
Being a programmer will teach you even simple lines of code that can make your life much more easier for you. If something will only work when a few buttons are pushed, you can program your smartphone to do it in one single tap.
Or, say you’ll need to work on something that requires you to input repeatedly, you can write a program that does it all for you. One single click and all those inputs could be filled automatically.
You can also write programs that help you with complicated work on Excel sheets. Maybe you’ll need to add the contents from three columns together and find an average. You might even need to do this several times a day, and that can become boring. One small program can do all these functions for you – and make your life much easier.
By using programming, you can make your life much simpler for yourself.
When you’re a programmer, you’ll find yourself seeing all problems in the light of their solutions – and your brain begins to function that way every time.
When you’ve learned how to program and you face a particular problem, you begin to see all the possible solutions. And, if you’re lucky enough, you’ll start seeing some good results to it too. It won’t matter how hard a problem is you’re facing, you’ll become committed to solving it – and you’ll find yourself being turned into a person who is driven by solutions.
Programmers need to be logical thinkers when it comes to problems. When you become a programmer and learn how to write computer code, you’ll start facing general day-to-day situations that you thought were too difficult to face. You start to be more persistent in finding ways to solve particular problems and your patience starts increasing because you know there’ll be a solution. There always is.
Being a programmer is very powerful and even learning just the basics of it might help you to learn persistence and patience.
You’ll have an amazing career
One of the best things about being a programmer is that there are so many jobs available to you.
The world is constantly turning digital and becoming more and more reliant as a society on technology. And currently, there are more and more computer programming jobs to choose from – and this doesn’t seem to change in the foreseeable future.
As most of the other industries are starting to feel a decline, computer programming is enjoying a great period of growth and expansion in almost all the areas of our lives. If you’re a programmer, you’re set for life – you’re eminently employable or you can start your very own business.
Once you’re employed in the programming industry and have a good basis and reputation, you can be your own boss and pick which jobs you want to do. Think about that one – being able to decide your own future. Building great programs will help you build a great relationship with your clients and put you ahead to being hunted by bigger and better companies.
Additionally, you might become a freelance programmer and have the opportunity to work from home in your pajamas. Or, you can work from any hotel around the world, or even in the internet cafe. Remote work gives you this freedom and ability to work and travel at the same time.
Developing the “think like a programmer” ability
When you can think like a programmer, you will start relating that to your real life. Most people won’t be able to see the connection – let alone understand it – but you will, when you become a programmer. Have you ever heard of the term “pragmatic programming”? It means that you’ll learn to use a more direct approach to decisions, in programming, and in real life as well. By learning how to program you’ll learn to be more efficient at problem-solving.
Think about the times when you faced a difficult problem, and couldn’t think of a solution. Or, say it was a much easier decision like naming a file on your computer. Did you do it fast, or did it require some time? When you begin to think like a programmer, complicated and difficult tasks start looking more and more simple with time.
Happy programmer’s day, and happy coding 🙂
Alicia Newman is a 29-year-old programming professor who enjoys working with computers, and solve programming challenges. She is an Australian citizen and has a very exciting and bright personality. She is currently a PhD candidate.