Is it Hard to Become a Programmer?

We could ask that same question for everything. And if we “think” beforehand that something will be “hard,” then guess what? It will be. We know this by now with all the information out there on how to “overcome” negative thinking.

But what we’re talking about here isn’t that general of a topic. Programming is complicated, and you must have what it takes to commit to this STEM career path.  

Programming has a reputation for being one of the most challenging disciplines to master. Considering how different it is from traditional forms of education, including college degrees in computer science, it’s not hard to see why some people have difficulty learning how to code. 

However, there are ways to make the learning process easier.

  • You can start by finding the right resources and using them to improve your understanding of the concepts
  • You could find online courses and boot camps that will teach you how to code.
  • You can stay motivated by setting achievable goals and keeping a positive attitude                                                                                                                                              

It will certainly be demanding, challenging, and you’ll face many obstacles along the way, no doubt about it. However, that does not mean it can’t be done.

First things first. You must understand what programming actually is. Programming is a process of speeding up a task or action by creating a set of written instructions for running a specific sequence of commands or tasks. The process is also known as coding.

Now that we have a basic understanding of programming let’s get into how hard it is to become a programmer. The demand for programmers has increased big time in recent years due to the digitalization of our society. As a result of the increased demand, the barrier to entry for becoming a programmer has never been lower. But again, just because the demand is high and the barrier to entry is low doesn’t mean that everyone has what it takes to become a programmer.

Programming is not for everyone. It requires a particular type of person to be successful. To be a good programmer, you must have strong problem-solving skills, be able to think abstractly and to be detail-oriented. You better be able to work independently too and, have a great deal of self-motivation. That one is a hard one for me! As a writer, we need to also be self-motivated like programmers.

If you don’t have these qualities, becoming a programmer will be difficult. In fact, if you’re unsure whether or not you have what it takes, the best way to find out is to try coding and see how you do it. If you can’t code or if you don’t enjoy it, then programming is probably not for you.

How long does it take to become a computer programmer?

A bachelor’s degree with significant coursework in computer programming typically takes four years to complete. However, achieving a certificate program can take months, depending on your work pace and your ability to pass the required exams.

For example, if you start at a community college by earning an associate of science first,  it will take two additional years to receive your bachelor’s degree. Then, if you decide to pursue a master’s degree in computer science or a related field, it could take an additional two to three years.

Therefore, the minimum amount of time it would take to become a programmer is four years. However, most people who are successful in this field have put in many more years of study and practice.

Programming computers is all about learning specific languages. Just like learning any type of foreign language, it is not necessarily easy to master quickly, but it is not impossible to make significant strides in a short time. Most computer programmers learn every time they sit down to do work.

An essential factor in becoming a programmer is not how long it takes to learn the basics of coding but whether or not you have the aptitude and desire to keep learning new languages and concepts.

As mentioned earlier, demand for programmers is high, so many opportunities are available for those willing to put in the time and effort to learn. However, it is important to note that becoming a programmer is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes years of hard work and dedication to build a successful career in this field.

Computer science fields of study

Areas of research in the field include:

  1. Architecture
  2. Artificial intelligence
  3. Computational biology
  4. Database systems
  5. Graphics
  6. Human interaction
  7. Machine learning
  8. Natural language processing
  9. Programming languages
  10. Robotics
  11. Scientific computing
  12. Security
  13. Systems and networking
  14. Theory of computation
  15. Vision

Other related fields include:

  1. Algorithm design
  2. Information theory
  3. Numerical analysis
  4. Operating systems
  5. Software engineering
  6. Statistics and Probability
  7. Discrete mathematics

There are many different types of programming languages as well, each with its own syntax and rules. The most popular programming languages include:

  • C++
  • Java
  • Python
  • SQL
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • PHP
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Objective C
  • Swift
  • C#
  • Visual Basic .NET 
  • Perl
  • Delphi/Object Pascal
  • Assembly language
  • Racket

This list above is by no means exhaustive, but it gives you an idea of the variety of languages that are out there. To become a programmer, you must learn at least one of these languages.

Do programmers make good money?

Computer programmers make great money, but salaries depend on education and experience, as with many industries. For example, even entry-level positions for web developers can be $50,000 per year, which is competitive compared to other industries. But, add on a few years of experience, and that figure can rise dramatically.

Computer programmers made a median salary of $89,190 in 2020. The best-paid 25 percent earned $116,220 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $67,370.

The job outlook for computer programmers is quite positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in this field will grow by 21 percent between 2018 and 2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is being driven by the increasing demand for new software applications and the need to maintain and update existing ones.

With the proper education and training, you can become a computer programmer and start reaping the benefits of a high-paying career in this growing field.

Is it hard to become a programmer?

To summarize, yes, as with all other aspects of life you engage in, a career in computer programming will be gratifying. It requires dedication and effort to achieve great success. However, with the current demand for programmers, the prospects for anyone willing to do the work are excellent. So if you have a passion for computer programming, don’t let anything stop you from pursuing your desired career. Go for it!