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16 Myths About Programming


As someone who has been working closely with programmers for many years, the first thing that came to my mind when I decided to write a blog post was to write about the most popular myths about programming.


Although I do not know how to write code, I think I have enough experience to understand the language and nature of programmers in business life. I’ll explore some of the misunderstood topics below based on my observations and research.


1- Programming starts and ends on the computer. You must be continually writing code at the computer to be working.

In fact, before the coding phase, programmers spend serious time identifying the problem and deciding on the solution. It is the part in which the mind works more than the hands, which means it is possible to find the answers while drinking coffee, talking to someone else, or reading forums.


Therefore these statements are not rightful: “What kind of programmer is he? He has not touched the keyboard for hours.” or “You, programmers, are surfing the internet all day, what an easy job!“.


2- Coding is boring, and developers can never use their creativity.

Most of the programmers are doing this because they enjoy it. You can say that programming is the creative way engineers express themselves.


If you like solving big and complex problems by breaking into small pieces and building something new by trying different methods, coding is not dull.


How can you get bored seeing the syntax you wrote using logic work and solve a complex problem?


3- You have to be a mathematician to write code.

Yes, being good at math is a huge plus. But if you don’t plan to write your algorithms, games, etc., it is enough to know the logic, analyze the problems by dividing them into small pieces, show interest, be patient, and know which libraries to use and where to look for answers when stuck.


4- You should have learned to code at high school or college.

Of course, we cannot ignore the importance of starting education at a young age. But your passion and determination are much more critical for you to be good at something. I’ve seen examples of this many times.


If you say you’re going to do it and you have the intention, you’re taking the time to research and learn; there is no reason why you shouldn’t be a good programmer.


5- The best programming language is, of course, X.

Basically, programming languages are tools that you use to solve a problem. Depending on your problem, the language that suits your needs may change. Besides, you can love a programming language more if you feel more comfortable with it or that language is more suitable for you.


But it is not logical to make a superiority ranking among programming languages and rewrite your working system in another language because it is “hype” without foreseeing any benefits.


6- To be able to write code, you must have an IQ higher than 160.

No, you don’t need to be a genius. I know many programmers who are not.

It is enough that you are an analytical thinker, and you go at it.


7- Only adults can learn programming languages.

According to studies, learning is fastest between the ages of 5 and 20 years. If you start teaching coding to your children at an early age, they also learn to think creatively. The most recent example is Samaira Mehta. She has been writing code since she was six and caught the attention in Silicon Valley with her boardgame CoderBunnyz. She created it at the age of 8 to teach other children how to code. Here‘s the news.


8- All programmers are nerds and lonely people. In their leisure time, they write code for extended hours again.

Yes, some programmers are like that. But I also know many programmers who are nothing like this stereotype; they like to spend time with their family, do sports, make music, dance, socialize and give importance to work-life balance.


9- It is necessary to memorize all the syntax to become a good programmer.

Today, it seems that there is no more need to memorize anything thanks to the advanced tools, libraries, and the internet. If there is no bet on the table, I think no one writes code from scratch by opening a blank page. Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt if you wish to memorize.


10- Women cannot write good code.

Of course, they can. Even the first programmer of the world, Ada Lovelace, is a woman.


The software industry is currently male-dominated, but the number of women is gradually increasing. The reason for the low number of women is not that they cannot write code, but they are more interested in other professions and their socio-economic conditions.


11- The fastest programmer is the best programmer.

The most important thing is not to be a 10x programmer, but instead to solve the problem at hand and work effectively.


12- Instead of hiring senior programmers, you can hire many junior programmers and complete the project at a lower cost.

In my opinion, this is not right as it adds many technical debts to the project. Of course, there are parts of a project in which junior programmers are useful. However, underestimating the importance of senior programmers who take on substantial responsibility is a huge mistake some companies make.


13- It is sufficient to learn a single programming language and be an expert in it.

It is excellent that you are an expert in a programming language. However, you may miss the chance to work on some projects because some languages are particularly preferred, and you don’t know that language. Additionally, keeping your options open by learning new languages prevents you from being helpless when your tech stack becomes obsolete (such things happen) in the future.


14- You should use the best tools to write the best code.

Using the right tools helps you write code and saves time. But tools can’t write good code on your behalf. As a programmer, it is still your job to add the code pieces into your project, so competence is required.


15- You don’t need to communicate with anyone when you are a programmer.

Except for the times you focus on coding, you often need to communicate with other programmers, project and product managers, and even sales, marketing, and customer relations departments. Sometimes you also need to attend customer meetings.


16- It’s a given that programmers can solve hardware problems.

Even if your programmer friends and relatives are inclined to computer-related issues, they may not be able to help you with computer formatting, modem installation, virus removal. Please don’t force them 🙂


P.S.: In this article, I used the word programmer, but if you prefer words like software developer or developer, you can read like that.


Author: Gizem Terzi Türkoğlu

Published on: Nov 16, 2018