Introduction

Time to dispel some pesky programming myths. You may have heard - or even believe - some of them. Well, you're in luck, because they're simply not true.

Let's go

Do you need a degree?

Myth: You need a computer science degree to get a job as a developer.

Fact: This just isn't true. Period.

There is so much demand for developers that companies can't afford to overlook people without CS degrees. And why should they? As with any job out there, having a degree doesn't guarantee that the person will perform well at their job. That's why most companies rely on coding interviews and sample tasks to check your skills. If you can deliver the goods, you'll get the job. BTW here are some useful free resources that will help you learn programming on your own.

Do you even google?

Myth: Real developers don't use Google to solve problems.

Fact: All developers, regardless of experience, google stuff all the time.

If you're fresh out of school, you'll be used to memorizing stuff for exams. Having a job isn't like that at all. No one expects you to know everything or to have some topic completely memorized. Most of the time you'll just have a vague idea on how to approach a task and then you'll google the hell out of it. Google will probably lead you to Stack Overflow. So, if you look over a programmer's shoulder and there aren't at least 10 Stack Overflow tabs open, he's probably not doing any important work at the moment.

What about math?

Myth: You have to be good at math to be a programmer.

Fact: In most applications, there's very little math required.

Sure, if you're building you own physics engine or writing machine learning algorithms, you'll need some serious math. However, 99% of development jobs require just these two: check if a number is even or odd and calculate some simple percentage. Even if you encounter something more complex, there's a very good chance that someone's already written code to do it. Just google it.

Is one programming language enough?

Myth: You need to be 'fluent' in several programming languages to get a good job.

Fact: You can make big bucks writing Rust. Or you can be a full-stack developer with JavaScript. Or you can develop apps for Android, iOS and Windows using C#.

It's better to know one language really well than to be mediocre at multiple. However, you'll need to be familiar with various different technologies and know how to connect them in a meaningful way. For frontend development, JavaScript is useless without HTML, CSS, and some frontend framework like Angular, Vue or React. And almost any language is basically useless without technologies such as HTTP, RESTful APIs, JSON, databases, Git etc. But the good news is that you don't need to know how they work under the hood. You just need to learn to use them.

How to get to 10X?

Myth: Learning some magical programming language will make you a 10X developer. Other languages are too slow / built poorly / not strict enough.

Fact: Solving real-world problems in a maintainable, efficient and scalable manner is what makes you a 10X developer.

As long you don't pick an esoteric language like Brainfuck or Piet, you can get the job done. When starting out, however, it helps to pick a popular language. This will make it much easier to google your way out of problems when you get stuck. If you can't decide which one to pick, check out this post.

Any other programming myths?

If you have some other beliefs that are holding you back from jumping into learning programming, feel free to leave them in the comments. We'll do our best to answer your questions and give you honest feedback.


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