The catchphrase, “Anyone can learn to code,” has been repeatedly touted as a means to encourage people from all backgrounds to pursue careers in tech. While it’s true that anyone can learn to code, the advocates of this catchphrase don’t usually discuss how to know if you like coding, how to know if you’ll be good at it, or how to know if you should start.
We’ll do a deeper dive into the idea that “Anyone can learn to code” to see how true it really is and help you decide if coding is a good skill for you.
Is It Really Possible for Anyone to Learn to Code?
So, can anyone learn to code? The simple answer to the question is yes. It’s possible for anyone to learn to code with the right instructors and learning environment. But it’s not always that simple. Some people struggle more, some people take longer, and some people have mismatched expectations. Let’s take a closer look at why learning to code isn’t necessarily as straightforward as you might think.
Progress Isn’t Always Linear
Some people pick up languages faster than others, some are better at learning certain concepts, and some have more of an innate talent for coding. As with any skill, learning to code takes time and effort before you start seeing results.
Becoming a coder isn’t just about learning syntax. It’s also about learning a new way of thinking and solving problems. Anyone who tries will fail at some point — maybe many times — and that’s okay. This non-linear progress can discourage and frustrate some learners but motivate and invigorate others.
You’re Never Done Learning to Code
Learning to code isn’t a one-and-done process. In fact, it’s a lifetime of keeping up with the latest programming languages and frameworks, the new best practices, and the ever-changing landscape of technology. Can anyone learn computer science? Yes. But can everyone keep up with and maintain their knowledge of coding? Many people probably wouldn’t be interested in doing so.
It Might Not Mesh with Your Personality
Programming is a challenging task and one that requires a lot of patience and determination. Learning to code isn’t like learning a foreign language or memorizing the periodic table of elements. It requires a certain type of person with a good memory and attention to detail, but someone who can also handle sitting alone at a computer for hours on end. If you don’t have a personality that jives well with these challenges, then you might find yourself frustrated and overwhelmed with learning how to code.
How to Know if You’ll Be Good at Programming
So how do you answer the question, “Would I be good at coding?” There are a few traits that successful programmers share. If you have any of these traits, you may be a good candidate for learning to code.
Programming requires a lot of time spent thinking about how things work and why they are the way they are. It takes time to learn the intricacies of various programming languages, but it also takes time to learn how computers work and how computers interact with humans and each other. If you’re often wondering why things work the way they do, it may be worth considering programming as a career option.
Resourcefulness & Persistence
An interest in solving problems using resources and persistence rather than just trial and error is an indicator of a good programmer. The more questions that can be answered based on resourcefulness instead of random guessing, the faster a bug can be fixed or an application can be built. On the other hand, persistence is about having patience, focus, determination, and tenacity, which are essential qualities for any programmer when it comes to sticking to something, even if it gets difficult or frustrating.
Another important trait is patience. The ability to concentrate on a task for hours at a time without becoming too frustrated is essential for any programmer who wants to create complex solutions in their work life. Coding can be extremely tedious at times, and a certain level of patience is required to achieve great results.
Learning how to code requires a lot of self-motivation because there are no shortcuts, and it’s ongoing. Even once you’ve mastered basic concepts like syntax, there will always be something new coming out every day that will require your attention and understanding in order to be a better programmer. A motivation to improve your skills can help you come to terms with the constant need to learn and improve.
Programming is a creative process. It requires you to think of ideas and then find ways to implement them in software. This process requires creativity and critical thinking skills, which may not come naturally. However, if you enjoy thinking outside the box and solving puzzles, you may be a good fit for coding.
Attention to Detail
Those paying close attention to detail can notice the small things that are out of place. Programmers spend their days poring over code, looking for mistakes and places to improve. If you have strong powers of observation and can pick up even the most minor details, such as an out-of-place comma, then programming might be right for you.
Before You Decide to Learn to Code
Anyone can learn to code, but it doesn’t necessarily mean anyone or everyone should. If you possess the traits we’ve discussed, however, you may find that it’s a lucrative and enjoyable new skill.
You may be thinking, “Okay, I have all these traits, but would I enjoy coding?” The answer to this question isn’t always easy, especially if you’ve never tried coding before, but here are some steps you can take to try and figure it out before diving head first into learning how to code.
Self-reflecting is a great way to figure out how to know if you like coding and can help you answer the question, “Would I be good at coding?” Do you think you would be? Do you think you have the qualities that would help you succeed? Is it something you’re genuinely interested in? If not, don’t worry — there are plenty of other career opportunities for those who are interested in technology. But if the answer is yes, then it might be time to do some research.
Research the Industry
Take the time to learn more about coding and what it takes to become a developer. It can be easy to get caught up in the hype and excitement surrounding coding, but before making any decisions, it’s important to understand what exactly it is that developers do. If working for tech companies or in that sort of environment interests or excites you, then that’s great! If not, you might not be happy with your decision to learn to code.
Learn About the Tech Industry & Coding Careers:
- Software Engineering Career Paths
- Software Engineer Salaries
- Software Engineer Career Outlook & Growth
- Debunking 5 Myths About Working in Tech
Find the Learning Method That Works for You
There are many ways you can learn how to code. You can learn from books and online resources, or take classes at a local college or university. You might even consider attending a coding bootcamp. The key is figuring out your learning style and choosing the best method for you. If you’re the type that likes to get your hands dirty with practical application, a bootcamp program like one of App Academy’s programs offers immersive, structured learning that can take you from zero to software engineering in as few as 16 weeks.
Explore Your Options:
- Learn Coding: How, Where, When, and Why
- Coding Bootcamp vs. Computer Science Degrees
- Is a Software Engineering Degree Worth It?
- How to Become a Software Engineer Without a Degree
Set Your Expectations
Having realistic expectations about your abilities and potential career opportunities is the key to setting yourself up for success. This is a major reason why self-reflection and thorough industry research is so important. Yes, anyone can learn computer science, but your own qualities and learning abilities can guide you in understanding how quickly you’ll learn and what learning style works best for you. At the same time, having an understanding of the industry can help you set realistic goals in terms of a career.
Start Learning to Code with App Academy
If you have what it takes to learn to code, App Academy is here to help. When you enroll in one of our premier coding bootcamp programs, you can be confident that you have qualified instructors teaching you the most effective curriculum.
Interested in learning more? Explore one of our programs and see which one works best for you and your schedule.
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