Computer Programming: Debugging 4 Common Myths


By Staff Writer Published on June 16, 2017

Let’s face it. Computer programming doesn’t exactly have the greatest public image. Programming is often seen as a mysterious and impenetrable job field that only the gifted can enter. In addition, some people see programmers as antisocial introverts born with the innate ability to magically transform thousands of lines of code into cool video games or nifty mobile apps. In other words, you either have the knack for it, or you don’t.

Unfortunately, these false ideas about computer programming are preventing many potential rock-star programmers from learning how to program.

The truth is, programmers, like most professionals, aren’t born—they’re made. No matter what your background, if you have an interest and you’re willing to put in some serious effort, you could probably learn computer programming. Not only that, but you could learn how to do it a lot faster and a lot more easily than you might think.

Let’s take a look at and debunk four universal myths about computer programming:

Let me ask you something: Do you need to be a genius to learn how to read? How to communicate? How to do basic math?

Believe it or not, if you can learn how to do any of these things, you could probably learn how to program a computer, too. Most programmers aren’t geniuses. Nor are they necessarily super-geeks. For the most part, they’re just normal people like you. There’s nothing special that separates people who can program from people who can’t. If you have the desire, you could probably learn computer programming.

Is learning a programming language like learning a foreign language? Kind of. Not really. But, it’s understandable why some people might think so.

Considering that you can type, “How do I become fluent in,” into a search engine and get the names of programming languages mixed in with languages like French, Spanish, or Chinese, it’s easy to see why there’s some confusion on the subject.

In reality, the term programming “languages” is somewhat misleading. Programming languages aren’t languages so much as they are simplified methods for telling your computer what you want it to do.

Look at it this way: if you didn’t know Chinese but wanted to learn it, you would have a few obstacles to overcome. Specifically, you’d have to learn:

  • A completely different writing system
  • Thousands of new words with difficult pronunciations
  • Strange new grammar rules
  • How to listen to and understand native speakers

 

That’s a lot for anyone to learn. Fortunately, this isn’t the case with programming languages.

First of all, programming languages use the same words as an existing language, which is almost always English. If you speak English, you already have a big head start!

Learning the syntax (grammar) of a programming language will perhaps take a little more effort, but it’s not necessarily difficult either. Learning the syntax of a programming language is really nothing more than taking those words and symbols you already know and arranging them in an order that will produce the result you want to achieve.

Some would-be computer programmers hesitate to start learning how to program because they’re afraid they’ll learn the wrong programming language. There are literally hundreds of unique programming languages out there, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

However, there truly is no such thing as the “best” programming language. There are simply different tools for different jobs. And most professional programmers can easily learn how to use many different programming languages, depending on the demands of their career.

This isn’t to say that certain programming languages can’t do more than one job, but some of them will do certain jobs better or more easily than others.

The key is to get some basic skills in programming and programming languages, then you can branch out as you need to.

While it can take a lifetime to master the art of computer programming, you can actually learn how to program a computer relatively quickly.

At Stevens-Henager College, for example, you could earn your associate’s degree in Computer Programming in as few as 20 months. This degree program is designed to teach you many of the basic programming skills and the fundamental knowledge you need to launch a better career in the IT field.

In addition, if you’re looking for increased skills in computer programming, Stevens-Henager also offers a bachelor’s degree program in Computer Science with an emphasis in Software & Mobile Applications Development. This program will help you learn valuable skills for today’s world of software development and can be completed in just 36 months—much faster than similar programs at a traditional university.

Find out if you qualify for a Fresh Start Scholarship,* which could save you up to $5,000 on your degree. Awards are limited, so don’t wait to find out what you qualify for! If you’re interested in learning more about computer programming, request information here.