Is Programming Easy? The Honest Answer

As we move further and further into a digital world, it seems everybody wants to learn how to become a programmer. However, most people believe they simply do not have what it takes to become a coder. So, is programming easy to learn? How smart do you have to be to become a programmer?

Is Programming Easy?

The short answer is no, programming is not easy to learn. It will certainly become easier with time, practice and persistence but the concepts surrounding programming will be very difficult to grasp at first. After you spend many hours learning how to code, you will start to notice it getting easier. The more you practice, the more programming will feel like a natural extension of yourself.

Becoming a competent programmer has much more to do with your work ethic and much less to do with your general intelligence. So never trick yourself into thinking you’re not smart enough to become a programmer!

That being said, being a software developer is a lot more than just learning how to code. There are specific paradigms and methodologies to creating code that you must learn and every programmer has their own subjective opinions about what makes code good and bad. Making it hard to follow a linear path to writing quality code. 

In addition, solving problems in a business domain, working with legacy codebases, creating algorithms, trying to stay on top of new technologies and frameworks, working collaboratively, testing code, and the mind-numbing bug hunts are a few of the many reasons working as a software engineer is a lot more difficult than just coding up a piece of functional software.  

Does that mean that becoming a software developer is an impossible goal? Of course not. It just means that the road to working as a professional software developer is a lot longer and harder than just learning how to code.

Why Do Some People Say Programming Is Easy?

There is a good chance you will, at some point in your life, find someone who will tell you that programming is very easy. There are many reasons why someone might say this.

The most likely reason is that this person simply forgot how hard it actually was to learn how to code. Maybe they learned at a young age or did what most of us do and completely block out that part of our lives due to emotional trauma – just kidding (kind of). Another possibility is that this person simply wants to stroke their own ego and sound intelligent. 

The important thing to remember is that this person was not nearly as competent of a programmer when they first started. Despite what they might say! So this should never be a deterrent for you to decide you can’t code. 

Can You Teach Yourself How To Code?

I really do love answering this question. Yes, you can definitely teach yourself how to code. How do I know? Well, because I taught myself! Although going to a college or a boot camp can be a much easier way to learn how to code it is a lot more expensive. The other major downside is that you may spend thousands of dollars and multiple years in school just to find out that you actually don’t really like the field of software development. Not a great position to be in. 

With all the free courses available from Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and other top schools, it has never been easier to learn how to become a programmer. If you’re looking for a free way to get a well-rounded education, or just dip your toes into web development, check out this free complete guide I wrote.

Closing Remarks

So there you have it, programming is not easy to learn. Even after the initial phase, there is still so much that goes into being a software developer that can make it a very daunting goal. Yet it is a very achievable and fulfilling skill to learn. With a little perseverance and hard work, anyone can learn how to program!

Grant Darling

Grant is a full-stack / frontend software developer passionate about writing & coding. He has many years experience working in the tech industry both as a freelancer and as an employee.

The Code Bytes is all about providing people with honest information about programming. To learn more about Grant, read his about page!

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