Top 10 Common Misconceptions About Computer Programming

Since computing is a broad subject, it is easy to jump into conclusions based on hacker-based movies you may be watching. It doesn't take a geeky genius in order to master programming, and if programming happens to be your hobby, you might consider yourself lucky stumbling upon this list. This list will debunk the following myths and misconceptions about programming in general.
The Top Ten
1 Most programmers know how to hack "I'm in" intensifies

This is a generalizing statement among people who tend to be unfamiliar with the tech field. Technically it takes a bit of coding in order to hack something, but most coders are not hackers. There is a slight difference between these. A hacker usually has a strong grasp at networking and social engineering - one who exploits vulnerabilities and penetrate through systems, though most coders in general do not have those perks, and have no interest on exploiting programs or penetrating security holes. So the answer? Some of them, but "most"? Definitely not.

Only the most elite programmers know how to do this.

2 If you program, then you are smart You don't have to be a genius in order to code. Anyone can get into programming, though learning a coding language is constant so no matter how fluent you are, you still have to keep that steady momentum. All it all, it depends on your motivation and the patience to learn in that subject. Keep in mind that it is impossible to learn all about the things of programming - as technology is continuously shifting as old programming languages are left out on the dark and new programming languages start to emerge.

Most of the code they ask you to write in college can be found online. You can simply copy and paste it, then modify it to fit your specific goals.

I've recently gotten into coding, and although I consider myself a smart person, I know that this is a misconception.

3 Programmers can code in any language This is something that not many people know - which is probably why some people tend to hold abnormally high expectations on programmers. Just like the languages we speak in the world, programming has its own diverse set of languages. Though some programming languages like C# or C++ seem similar to each other, they are slightly different though they can be quickly learned depending on the motivation of the programmer. It's not like a programmer can master Java or CSS within a day (though note that learning a programming language can make it slightly easier to get immersed to another language)

Most programming languages are similar, but they each have their own differences. Once you've learned C++, for example, you won't be able to code immediately in C#.

4 Programmers can fix all kinds of computer problems Though programmers usually tend to have basic knowledge on solving other computer-related trivial problems and troubleshooting aside from code, people who lack exposure to the technology department tend to hold high expectations on programmers - asking questions such as "Oh hey, can you fix the dead pixels on my laptop screen?" or other unrelated questions, as some programmers aren't familiar on troubleshooting hardware problems than software problems. Not many people realize that computing can be a broad topic.

If it's a hardware issue, then programmers generally can't help. Information technology specialists might be able to address it, but even for them, it can be a hassle.

Just because someone is a programmer doesn't mean they can fix all of your computer problems. They search on Google like everyone else.

5 A programmer must be young in order to code It is good advice to start fresh and young to immerse yourself in a constant hobby such as programming, as you are more likely to get opportunities later in the future. However, your age doesn't determine whether you should immerse in that field or not. Your mind may be sluggish compared to others, but the most important thing is that you are never too young nor too old to start programming.
6 You must be good at math in order to program Generally it doesn't take some advanced calculus to solve errors in code. Although math and coding have some similarities - such as problem solving. All you need a good grasp at basic algebra and general math knowledge and you are all set. Note that this depends on the language you are programming and/or what kind of project you are planning to make.

They make you go through advanced calculus just to even get into the introductory classes, which is absurd because the only really new concept they introduce in math is the modulo operation. Or binary, but that's not really important.

7 Programming is about fast typing This mentality seems to be common among people who are exposed to programming-based movies. Simply the answer is no because programming involves a hefty amount of thinking, instead of aimlessly typing garbled code in order for the program to somehow magically work.

The opposite is actually true. The only important thing is knowing how to type properly on a keyboard.

8 You need a computing degree or get into a university in order to be a programmer Today, programming is easily accessible if you have a laptop or other devices. There are many websites, books, and online resources to get immersed in the programming world, and even young kids can immerse themselves into programming anytime. Nowadays it is possible can get occupied with a job even without a degree; you don't need a piece of paper in order to get a job, but it is your determination that is a factor of getting that job (though some may disagree).

Degrees are increasingly meaningless nowadays, unless you're looking for status or something similar. There are too many online tutorials that teach you how to code for free, and questions on Stack Overflow are almost guaranteed to get answered.

While there are plenty of tutorials available for learning coding on your own, attending college is often necessary if you're aiming for a job in the field.

9 Women cannot program / women programmers do not exist Most people tend to jump in this conclusion since many male programmers tend to be more dominant and more superior than female programmers. Mindblowing fact: the first programmer in history was actually a female named Ada Lovelace - a mathematican who wrote a coding algorithm on paper before a computer was built. You may not believe it, but males and female programmers have their fair shares on their contributions on the field.

Women do exist in this field. However, it's true that most people interested in computer science are men. In my college program, there were around four women in the entire course.

10 Programmers wear glasses

Ever wondered why many programmers wear glasses? Because they can't C#.

The Contenders
11 Programmers are bad at socializing or are anti-social This is not only a misconception but this is often stereotyped. The short answer? Extroverted programmers exist, though they seem to be overshadowed with the more quiet ones. Collaborating with other coders is mandatory when it comes to projects.

Most people I've seen in my class had no issues with chatting, asking questions, or anything like that. However, I'd say most are calm by nature.

12 Programmers are virgins
13 Programmers are nerds
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