“Programming isn’t about what you know; it’s about what you can figure out.” – Chris Pine. The world of software programming and technology is a dynamically growing industry and there are millions trying hard to be a part of it. With time, there have been certain myths about programming that have been floating around as if those were real facts. But they are not. They are mere misconceptions that must be busted to have a transparent and realistic view of the programming world.
The demand for computer programmers, software developers, software designers etc. is increasing massively. They are getting lucrative returns and demanding jobs but, there is reluctance that they feel, owing to these illusions. This article attempts to state those misjudgments and throw light on the facts:
Key Myths About Programming in IT World
Programmers either work all the while or play all the while
Most people think programmers are totally engrossed in their work and spend no time freshening themselves or they keep whiling away and are not seriously tied up with their work. Both aren’t true. Developers lead a balanced life of both – work while you work and play while you play. The entire programmer regime has a set routine in which they devote requisite time to their work and meantime, rejuvenate themselves with entertainment/sports activities to keep up with their creativity and innovative spirit.
Some even think that good programmers keep working for long hours. That’s not true. A good developer proves his/her mettle through the work output and not through the number of hours dedicated to it. Long hours are in no way related to increasing productivity and that is well realized by the developers of today. Hence, if well planned and executed, they can lead a balanced work-home life. Yes, there could be times of crisis when the pressure on the work area increases and demands more time but that can be the case with any industry segment.
You must be highly intelligent to perform coding
Yes, there was a time, when programming was new, and programmers were assumed to be super intelligent. Programming does need a certain level of skill, but developers need not possess superintelligence to do so. That is not the right perception of looking at coding. Developers must have a knack for learning the code and that can be availed by any person who is willing to do so. It just needs the desire to work hard and is not based on intelligence level.
The coding languages may seem like Greek and Latin to a layman and hence this myth about programming got pushed forward. But things are changing. The modern-day programming languages are highly logical and simple to understand, making it easy for novices to pick up faster.
Increased number of programmers means more productivity
This is a general impression that whenever there is more workload, programmers must be increased in numbers, to get work done faster. There are phases in software projects that call for immediate delivery and the existing number of developers may not suffice. The instant reaction is that of hiring more developers. But is that the right approach? No, not always.
There must be a detailed analysis done to ascertain if the increased number of resources is the right approach or not. Those resources should be able to gel well with the rest of the team in a short period, must be skilled enough to understand the cruciality of the situation, and must be able to fulfill the organizational objective of delivering faster. Only then it is of use else it is best to go on with the existing team structure and get the work done.
It is too late now to learn new programming languages
Many times, developers feel that they cannot learn new languages as they are too old for that. That is just not the case, age has nothing to do with learning new languages. It can be learned and mastered at any age, any time. With the modern way of education, there are free resources available and innovative learning classes that can help in educating themselves with any programming language.
Gone are those days when programmers felt hesitant about going in for a new programming technology. With the modernized way, they feel encouraged about learning the new way of coding with newer technologies.
I know this programming language to its best now, no need to learn it further
This myth about programming is borne by many programmers who feel they are at their best in some programming languages. But the case is, no language is completely known to anyone. It keeps evolving and updating itself and hence there are newer features that keep adding over time. Developers need to keep abreast with the modifications so that they can keep learning newer things. Their overconfidence in this matter may lead them to get outdated in understanding the language.
Whatsoever may be the programming language or framework be, there must be constant up-gradation and elevation of knowledge through different manuals, documentation, releases, etc. This keeps the developer at par with the features and happenings of the technology and helps in garnering the best out of it.
It is ok to choose any programming language, the choice is immaterial
Many think that the selection of the programming language does not matter much. You can select any and start off with development work, but that’s not true. Each language has its own share of features and attributes that are helpful while developing a software project. Organizations may need certain typical features for their projects and hence identifying them well in advance is highly recommended.
Once that is done, skilled experts must analyze languages and compare them against one another to ascertain which one to choose. Budget, timeline, size, and location of the organization, skilled resources, project workflow, deadlines, and existing systems – are some of the crucial aspects that play a vital role in deciding the programming language for any project.
The software development language will perform all activities
Yes, to some extent, it is true. The programming language overseas performs almost all software activities but under human intervention and supervision. After all, it is the developer who is writing the code and executing it and, there is much more prior to starting coding too. The requirement study, design of workflow and then component design, etc. must be well managed by the teams.
Only then comes the indulgence of code by the language. Again, finalizing code components, libraries, APIs, syntaxes, etc. is in the hands of the developer teams to bring in speed, uniformity, and effectiveness. Hence, language does work at its best on its own, but human involvement is equally important.
Programming needs a lot of good Math skills
Maths does form an important foundation for developing logic which may help developers but, it is not a mandatory requirement. With modern-day coding methodologies, there are multiple plug-ins, algorithms, syntax, and libraries that are readymade and hence easy to embed in your code. Knowing Math may help but not being good at it will not create a roadblock in your path to coding successfully.
Basic knowledge of statistics and algebra works out fine in understanding the concept of logic that will be applied while coding. Detailed know-how of Math may not be too useful to all developers. Hence, taking a backseat if you don’t have a detailed understanding of Math is not the solution at all.
Experience defines the success of teams and projects
Experience is one of the major factors that will define if a project becomes successful or not. But it is not the only one, there is much more. Team collaboration, synchronization between systems, and communication between teams and stakeholders – these elements are more important than any other aspect. There have been situations where smaller teams, not every experienced have led their projects to success owing to their interpersonal and communication skills.
Teams that have better collaboration and the ability to work well with each other tend to produce effective results. Having a greater emotional quotient (EQ) is of higher significance than having a greater intelligence quotient (IQ). Developers must develop a high level of EQ rather than focusing only on IQ.
Programming language XYZ is the best for me
The choice of languages may depend upon many different factors that relate to the project. It may change from situation to situation. Based on parameters like skills, budget, deadlines, requirements, organizational goals, etc., the selection of the programming language may change. Hence, it is wise not to stick to any single one and proclaim that one as your preferred one all the while.
You may need to change the language as your project changes. Sticking to a single one may restrict your exposure to other competent languages and may create a hurdle in upcoming project success. There is no unique language that is good for all software projects. To each their own!
Coding involves continuous interaction with the computer
Coding is one big aspect of programming but there is much that must be done prior to commencing coding. Only then can the development work be in sync with what the project needs and the organizational objectives.
Explaining the problem, finding out the solution, working out the user requirements, sketching the design components, finalizing the technology, and then coming up with a coding plan – are the initial phases that must be set up before getting started on the device.
Syntax must be remembered to enhance coding efficacy
Thanks to the advanced world of components like libraries, tools, and plug-ins; there is no need to learn the coding syntax completely, by heart. Gone are the days when developers used to cram the entire syntax structure. Coding is now easier, more well-organized, and more approachable for novices and experts alike. Yes, memorizing certain code snippets may help in fastening work or reproducing it time and again. But not doing so will surely not harm your project deadlines and growth.
Hence, developers are encouraged to learn the basic coding styles and formats. As the work progresses, the help of supporting tools, libraries, and plug-ins will be sufficient to write the code in an efficient and assertive manner.
As We Wrap Up
Human psychology it is! As we, humans, read and hear different opinions about programming, we tend to start believing it. But it may not necessarily be true all the time. In fact, it may be totally the opposite and that is where such eye-opening articles help in clearing the dust off.
Programming is in fact, one of the most dynamic and open-hearted industries where there are open arms for all and bright results at the end. Developers must keep an open eye on debunking these myths about programming and move towards their goal with complete sincerity and faith. It surely will help big time!
After all, as rightly put by Rich Hickey, “Programming is not about typing, it’s about thinking”
Ankit, Tech enthusiastic Business Development Manager at SPEC INDIA. He loves to write and share content related to the latest technology trends, software tools for business, comparisons of tools and technologies, and more.