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5 signs that programming is not for you

Written by Shaf Younus ·  3 min read >

Computer Programming is not an easy thing as it apparently looks like. I mean yes, it looks cool sitting on a computer, typing at a fast speed and drinking coffee or an energy drink after a couple of hours.

It is a known secret in the tech industry that the computer programmer, aka developers, have a better shot for a higher place in the management, and they are on the good payment slabs as well. Well, they actually do, but at the cost of experimental creativity, late sittings and impressive technical skills, their job is easier said than done.

There’s a great influx in programming fields these days. Before you pursue a career in programming, it is very important to know some key signs indicating that programming isn’t for you. If you sincerely think that these traits are not within you, better look for other career lines in the IT field – but it doesn’t mean that you are a bad tech professional, you are just not a developer;

1. Your mind does not digest algorithms

The core architecture of the applications comprises of complex program sequences and structures. These are called algorithms. A tech professional who does not understand the construction, implementation and placement of the algorithms within the structure of an application, cannot be a good programmer. This skill is what makes good programmer stand out. Because creating algorithms to resolve problems, is actually part creativity as well. Remember the famous algorithm of “Facemesh” at the dorm room window of Mark Zuckerberg? Now imagine world without Facebook after that 🙂

2. You do not like logic problems

If you are given a simple test to calculate the Fibonacci series using any set of language (say C#) then how would you approach it? If you find making logics the most difficult task on earth, then you might need to rethink about programming as a career.

If your mind start thinking something like “who will use this application?”, or “what would it look like when finished?” then it is a red flag for you. The developer’s mind will take the dive into the Input, Process and Output sequences, determine the variables, construct the formula and identify the loops. Developing the right logic isn’t always enough. Testing modules and individual units is also programmer’s job. Testing and debugging requires fixing logic. As a matter of fact, programming is more about hunting and solving logic based faults. And that’s what your project manager expects you to do. The more complicated error you identify, the more skilled you are considered and rewarded accordingly.

3. You do not like mathematics

There are now several tools to help out developers in complex mathematical problems. In case if a formula oriented logic is to be constructed with several layers of calculations and logical decisions, these tools help out the programmers. But, if you are not a maths person, then no matter how simple that tool is, you will always have goosebumps while using it. Fact is, programming requires good methodical understanding. To develop algorithms, you must have a good understanding of basic mathematical concepts, trigonometric functions, factorials and etc. Even modular testing requires checking logic of mathematical functions applied.

4. Sitting in front of a computer is not your thing

Programming is done on computers and if you are to program something, it means, you will be spending a good amount of time in front of your computer screen. Neither you like computers nor spending time on them?! Well, then programming is not for you. Because as a programmer you will be required to sit on your computer screen and you already don’t like that. Don’t make your life miserable and think about something you enjoy doing.

You will come across many workplaces where developers are working till late hours in their own pace to get things done. A good number of developers are late sitters because they do their work, take break, develop logics and get back to development again. Development requires patience, persistence and not giving up attitude.

Visit any software house after 6 pm, and the most people you will find digging on to their screens and having a gulp of caffeine will be these geeks. It comes with the package, and the habit then evolve genetically inside the developers. During the critical phases of coding, testing and implementation the after hours are the after life for the programmers.

5. You are not self-driven

This can apply to other career domain as well, but for a kick ass developer, you need to have that creative germ inside your genes. Otherwise the combo cannot work that well. It will be like a dish served without the proper seasoning of the sweet and sour.

Programming is considered a highly creative job and that requires a great deal of motivation and attachment to whatever you do. If you are not self-driven and you do not have the desire to code, you should not plan a career in programming. Programming actually involves wrestling with your mind and you cannot enjoy it unless you have a passion for it.

Several other reasons are also in play beside the ones mentioned above. Sometimes, even the great programmers would want to shift their careers to something else because of burning out of work.

Edited by Arsalan Ali