How to be a programmer?

I want to completely destroy the following stereotypes right here and now:

"You have to be a professional in mathematics in order to program."

The most popular stereotype I've heard and it's one of the most false ones. No. Your skill at mathematics does not affect when you can learn programming. I don't even know where this came from, but think about it - computers are infinitely better at math than humans. Humans are infinitely better at solving tasks creatively. Computers cannot do anything without instructions. Of course, if you plan on joining the industry in a sector that's specialized in mathematics, like companies that create massive reports or otherwise do a lot of number crunching, then of course you will need to know math.

Knowing math is useful in any life situation, but it definitely is not necessary to learn programming. If you will need it, you can learn it along the way (in case you want to do it right this moment, is an amazing learning platform that has a lot of material on math for free, they've turned learning math into a game).

"You have to attend university to learn programming."

Yes and no. Yes, because universities are ok when you do not know what you want and someone is ready to pay for your uncertainty. No, because most universities do not cover real life situations in programming. Students are not instructed to solve real life problems in real life situations, instead they are fed a bit from everything in hopes that something will stick, spreading their knowledge far and wide, and not supplying them with enough of practicality.

I, personally, would suggest to learn off of the internet (like you are doing now, good job!) and when you have something to show, join an internship, a bootcamp, a meetup, jump into the real life programming environment and have professionals around you as soon as possible. Only people with real life experience will lead you into the right direction. I self-learned myself into joining an internship, then I was hired full-time. You can do it too!

"You have to be real good with computers to learn programming."

I find this one pretty true, because obviously you have to know the machine you're going to be writing poems for, but it's not fully true. In reality the minimum of what you need to start is:

  • A computer connected to the internet.
  • An uderstanding of the English language (there are learning materials in other languages, but English has the most).
  • Curiosity.
  • Notepad.

That is all. In order to start learning programming, this is the minimum requirement list. With so much information on the internet about pretty much anything, the information you want to learn about computers is most likely just one Google search away. Even if you are not professional with computers as to how they work inside, you will learn this on the job.