Programming Myths You Need to Ignore

Melanie Moore
March 15, 2019

Programming Myths You Need to Ignore

Hi there!

There are tons of misconceptions and myths when it comes to the tech industry. I was lucky enough not to hear any when I first started majoring in software engineering, but that isn’t the case for most people. In fact when doing research for this article, I found that a lot of people hold these myths as true. This can not only discourage certain people from getting into the industry, but it can also make it harder for people already in it. So today, I’m going to tell you about programming myths you need to ignore.

You’re Not a Real Programmer If……

No matter your gender, race, age, ability or otherwise, no one has the right to tell you if you are or are not a “real” programmer. There is no one size fits all image of a programmer. There are no prerequisites a person has to fulfill before they even touch code. Programming is something that everyone can do as long as they are willing to put in the time.

You Will Be Working Alone Most of the Time

According to Google, a very common stereotype around programmers is that we’re all loners who don’t talk to anybody unless necessary. Not only is that very untrue, but I can guarantee that you probably won’t last long at your job doing that. Most of the time, you will be working in a team setting which means that you will have to communicate with people quite often. Along with this, you’ll also be looking at and editing each other’s code. Choosing to isolate yourself or make decisions without discussing it will not only cause confusion, but it could also completely set the team back. If want to improve your communication skills, there are tons of courses you can take for free online and on Youtube. Building up a soft skill like this now will vastly benefit you in any field you decide to go into.

If You Have a CS degree, You Are Guaranteed a Job

This is perhaps one of the biggest myths out there. Just because you graduate with a computer science degree, doesn’t mean you’ll find a job easily. In fact a lot of students have trouble finding jobs months or even years after they graduate. This could be explained by several factors whether it be a lack of personal projects or courses not preparing students enough for what workplace life is like or any other factors. No one has a clear cut answer. However, if you are a computer science major there are ways you could help yourself avoid this before graduation. You can build up your portfolio with meaningful personal projects, go to programming events in your area, or even start a tech blog like I did. I can’t guarantee this will get you a job, but it will give you a fighting chance.

You Should Only Apply to Jobs at Big Tech Companies

While companies like Google or Microsoft have great opportunities for developers, you shouldn’t limit yourself to only these. In fact there are tons of companies, including ones not based in technology that have fulfilling programming and IT jobs. For instance, I went to a job fair last year where medical and insurance companies were taking applications for their developer internship roles. You shouldn’t limit yourself to only big name tech companies. There are plenty of smaller, non-profit, or even non-tech companies that have jobs they are just waiting to fill.

Programming Should Be Your Only Hobby

Your goal should be to code something every day for at least an hour, but it shouldn’t your only hobby. In fact that is an easy way to burnout. While coding can be rewarding and life changing in some cases, it can also be frustrating and headache inducing at times. If you are doing that all day long from early in the morning until you go to bed, you can easily grow sick of it. You need something to help you relax and take your mind off of all the projects and syntax errors. I personally like to play mobile games like Temple Run and Fruit Ninja, but do whatever works best for you.

You’ll Always Be Satisfied With the End Product

Imagine this scenario. You’re working on a personal project and you’re about 98% of the way done. You’re pretty proud of it, but there’s just that one tiny detail that you have to fix and then it will be perfect. From there, that one detail will turn into two, then four and then before you know it you will have spent hours picking this project apart. And do you know what the worst part is? You probably still won’t be satisfied with it- and that’s okay.

For the record , I’m not talking about bugs or glaring layout errors.

I’m talking about small imperfect details that seem like they never end. I’ve been through it and the process of tweaking these little things can seem endless. It’s enough to drive any perfectionist, including myself, insane. However, I recently realized that it’ll probably never be perfect. There will always be some detail you want to fix or upgrade in project whether it be a real estate app or to do list. However, you shouldn’t keep going back to the same project over and over again to fix it. You’ll only be holding yourself back and wasting time you could be using to learn other things. If you find yourself stuck in this cycle, follow the words of my mentor Cimone. Once you finish a project and commit it to github, go back to edit it once and then leave it alone. It will save you time and sanity.

Conclusion

Jumping into an industry that is growing as fast as the tech one is can be intimidating, especially if you hear or are told any myths that discourage you. However, if you are passionate about what you do and willing to put in the effort , then your work will speak for itself. And that is something no one can take away.