So you want to learn how to write code and be a programmer but you’re wondering how hard is it to learn programming? I’ll be answering your question here, as an experienced programmer myself, along with many other questions that might come to your mind. So let’s get started.
How hard is it to learn programming? Programming is not hard at all if you enjoy it and you know what you are doing. There are many factors that play a huge role in answering such a question. However, as anything else in life, your approach decides how hard it is to learn programming for you.
If you hate programming and you just have to learn it for some reason, you’ll find it much harder than if you truly loved it. It’s as simple as that.
So first things first, you want to teach yourself programming the easy way? I’ll tell you the best methods that I have found extremely useful later in this article.
But first, you really need to know what you can achieve with programming just so that you can always keep yourself motivated to keep learning and pushing yourself.
What can you do with programming?
Here is a list of what programmers do :
- They create video games (AWESOME)
- They build websites
- They make mobile apps
- They write the brains of all the robots that you see anywhere
- They write software for Rockets
- They program your refrigerator, your washing machine, your little toys…
- They write software for self driving cars
- AND MUCH MORE…
Basically, most of the devices that involve electronics might need a programmer to help program the logic behind it.
If you are a programmer, it means that you have learned the language of the machines.
We need a form of communication with every other existing thing around us, writing code is the form of communication that you can use to talk to a machine.
So that’s what you can do if you are a programmer. Now for the next question.
Do you need a college degree as a programmer?
So let’s say you are really considering programming as a professional job. Do you need a degree?
No you don’t.
Usually, if you want to learn programming at college, you would go for either a Software Engineering major or a Computer Science major.
I completed my computer science degree about a year ago, and trust me when I tell you, you don’t need it. You don’t need it at all. you can learn programming yourself.
In the field of programming, no one cares about your degree, what employers or people care about are the projects that you have worked on.
It usually goes like this: Are you a programmer? Then show me the code.
Almost nobody cares about your degree. Bill Gates didn’t have a degree when he built Microsoft, same thing with Mark Zuckerberg when he built Facebook.
I know that these two people are outliers and can’t be used as a reference. However, I mentioned them here just to tell you that not having a degree does not mean that you can’t build one of the biggest tech companies around the world.
But putting Mark and Gates aside, many of the regular employers of companies of different sizes will care about your achievements and knowledge as a programmer rather than your degree.
I had a teammate during my job as a game developer who had a degree in Chemistry, yet he was one of the senior game developers at the company.
How come? He simply knew how to code, and he got the job. No one asked for his degree, they asked for his capabilities as a programmer.
I have written a much detailed article here about why a degree in computer science is a waste of time. You can check it if you want to learn more.
So now that we know that you don’t need college to become a programmer, what should you do? You should teach yourself how to code.
How to teach yourself to code the easy way?
First of all, you want to know what programming language you need to learn.
To me, it really doesn’t matter which one you learn first as once you learn one of them, the rest will be very easy to learn because you have already learned the basics.
My first programming language was Java. But yours could be different.
- You want to learn how to make video games? The C++ language would be a good option
- Interested in Machine learning and artificial intelligence? Then learning Python should be your highest priority.
One thing to note here before you feel overwhelmed by the number of computer languages out there. Once you learn one of these, the rest will be extremely easy to learn.
It will take you a few days to learn a new programming language if you already have programming knowledge in a different language, so don’t worry about the number of languages out there. All you need to do is master one of them and the rest is easy.
So now that you have picked the computer language that you are interested in learning, you need to know where to start.
You can choose to buy an online course somewhere on the internet, however, YouTube and books will usually have everything you need.
If you’re not planning to pay money to learn programming, then go to youtube, find a great youtuber and learn from their videos.
There are some excellent youtubers and websites out there that can help you learn how to code.
Want programming to be easy? Rule number one: PRACTICE.
Here’s how I learned programming: Whenever I learned something new in a programming language, the first thing I did was go and practice it hundreds of times.
There are tons of free resources online to practice your programming skills. Here is a list of some of the best websites that you can use to practice your programming skills on.
So, how to teach yourself to code the easy way? Learn something new, practice it many times, and then move to the second skill. Repeat until you become an expert. That’s it. Very simple yet very effective.
If you try to just go and learn everything really quick without practicing first, you’ll end up being overwhelmed and you will end up believing that programming is super hard.
Another advice I would give you is to never stop once you have started no matter how ugly it gets.
During my second semester at college, I almost decided to quit programming because of a programming course I had to take.
I forced myself to learn everything as quickly as possible, and there was the problem. I was overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge that I have learned in a very short period of time and I couldn’t solve anything.
I gave myself time, revisited and practiced each skill alone and things went back to the right track. I ended up getting a full grade on the course (an A).
So no matter how much things get ugly, you’ll go through it with time, do not ever quit.
How long does it take to learn coding?
The answer of this question really depends on the way you are approaching programming in the first place.
If you are putting around 2 hours of effort everyday, You will be able to learn the basics in less than a month I believe.
However it will take you a few months for you to be able to call yourself a true programmer. You’ll need to learn data structures and some algorithms.
With the right approach, you’ll find yourself a good programmer in less than 6 months. Maybe 3 months if you put in good effort and practice.
How fast can I start making money as a programmer?
You might also decide that you want to learn game development. So once you feel comfortable enough with programming, you can take some time to learn how to use a game engine like Unity for example and immediately start making games.
Who knows how much money you can make out of a game right? You could make millions of dollars or nothing. Depends on many factors. But it’s possible to make good money out of making your own games.
You can even land a job, which gets me to the next question.
When can I expect a full career as a programmer?
If you dedicate enough time for yourself everyday to learn programming, then it’s really possible that you land a job after a few months of your learning journey.
You shouldn’t expect a huge salary as you won’t have a lot of experience, but it will be a great start and a great learning experience.
So yes, you are fully capable of landing a job in programming in less than a year. You just have to put in the effort, believe in yourself and hope for the best.
Who should learn programming?
This will be the final section in this article. While it might not be what you’re looking for in this article, it surely is a question that I really want to answer.
I believe that every person should learn programming. Learning programming isn’t just to make money and have a career. Learning programming can be fun, entertaining, and so much more.
When you learn how to write code, you look at things in a different way in life. You apply the knowledge that you have learned during your learning process to solve real life problems that you encounter.
If schools teach history and other useless subjects in their curriculum, it won’t hurt if they add basic programming to their curriculum as it will be an extremely useful topic for students.
It’ll help students improve their problem solving skills, it will teach students to TALK TO COMPUTERS. And that itself is a great thing to learn.
If you have read this far, thank you. If you like the article, feel free to subscribe to the newsletter so that you don’t miss any new articles. Have a nice day.