6 Signs That You Are Not Meant to Be a Programmer

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Not everyone is cut out to be a programmer. Sure, anyone can learn how to program, but learning how to program is not the same as making a career out of it. In fact, it’s entirely possible to be a talented coder and still be a mismatch for the career. It sounds strange, I know, but it’s truer than you might think.computer science computer science computer science computer science computer science computer science computer science computer science

I spent over a decade earning a degree in computer science and thinking it was the career for me only to realize that it wasn’t — and that’s coming from someone who enjoys the programming workflow and the associated challenges.

There’s more to it than the act of coding. You have to consider the entire picture. If you aren’t completely sure that you’re meant to be a programmer, here are some signs that may point you in the right direction.

Sign #1: You Lack Experimental Creativity

Despite being heavy on the logic, programming is ultimately a creative art. A new program is like a blank canvas and your paintbrushes are your languages, frameworks, libraries, etc. You’re creating something out of nothing and this is a process that hinges on experimental fearlessness.

Dogmatic coders will tell you that there’s “one true way” to write good code, but that’s not true at all. Such a statement is as nonsensical as saying there’s only one way to build a house, write a novel, or cook a stew. There are many ways to code software and you should be willing to experiment.

Without natural curiosity, you’ll develop tunnel vision and always approach your coding problems from the same angle. At that point, programming becomes rote work and loses much of what makes it rewarding in the first place.

Sign #2: You Are Not Self-Driven

All good programmers need to be self-driven and there’s no way around this. When you strip away all of the extraneous details, programming is fundamentally repetitive. If you have no personal stake or ambition in the code you write, then you’re just going to be miserable.

This is true of any creative endeavor (and no matter what anyone says, programming iscreative). Your motivation to write code has to come from within. You have to love the act of coding just as much as the potential for walking away with a final product. If you don’t love the process, you’ll never reach the product.

If you wake up in the morning and you don’t feel a burning desire to work on your project, perhaps programming is not the right outlet for you.

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