Shattering 9 Programming Myths that Non-Techies Believe

"For some reason, most of us still believe the typical media portrayal of geniuses wearing glasses and killing the buttons on their keyboards when we think of programmers."

Debunking popular programming myths

Discover the truth behind common programming myths! This informative article reveals and shatters 10 misconceptions that non-techies often have about programming.

Many myths about professions in programming and software development are spread by those who aren't familiar with the field. To make things worse, these beliefs have the power to impede someone's plans to become a programmer occasionally. So, let's debunk them.

"For some reason, most of us still believe the typical media portrayal of geniuses wearing glasses and killing the buttons on their keyboards when we think of programmers."

In the famous words of Karl Popper, “Science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths”.

And that’s true to some extent. It all starts with a myth and then the critical minds get onto it in order to dissect that myth and end up finding a logical, approachable solution.

It starts with “Why this can’t be true” and ends up with “This is the only way it can be true and here it is”. It’s a fine balance between the diagnostic and the critical minds upon which the world and technology run.

But in this article, we won’t be tolerating any myths, as these myths have the tenacity to set people’s careers behind.

“Why don’t you learn to code?”

And you can get a variety of answers like, “But, I heard that’s..” to “I don’t want to be a nerd”

For some reason, most of us still believe the typical media portrayal of geniuses wearing glasses and killing the buttons on their keyboards when we think of programmers.

They’re mostly shown to be these odd, socially inactive geeks confined in their rooms in movies and shows like Hackers and Mr. Robot.

But we know that’s not entirely true. According to Evans Data Corporation, there are around 26.9 million software developers in the world in 2022, and this number is expected to reach 28.7 million by 2024. If we were to believe the myths and the media portrayals of programmers, close to 30 million people will have the same typical appearance, characteristics, IQ, and work habits.

A lot of youngsters get influenced by these misconceptions and choose not to get into the software field, which is a highly productive industry in itself.

So, let’s put an end to some of these most widespread programming myths once and for all-

Myth 1: You can become an expert programmer in X months with Y course

First things first, there’s no specific timeline to becoming an expert at programming. We provide full-time and part-time courses in full-stack web development, and we’re telling you this.

No institute can promise to make you a coding genius in  6 months or 7 months. Programming is an ongoing process and you get better and better with practice and solving different types of problems. There’s no set bar where you can call yourself an expert, is there?

Even if you’ve been coding for 5-6 years, certain problems can get the better of you and you’ll be left scratching your head. So, you should accept that it’s an evolutionary process and you should focus more on enjoying the journey rather than reaching a certain destination.

Funny illustration telling you can't be an expert programmer in 21 days

On a serious note, you can learn the basics of coding and become a decent developer in 6-7 months if you learn consistently in a structured manner.

Here’s a step-by-step guide you can follow-

  • Familiarize yourself with computer architecture and data basics
  • Learn how programming languages work
  • Practice command-line basics
  • Learn HTML and CSS
  • Start programming with JavaScript
  • Further your knowledge with Java and Python
  • Track code using GIT (Version Control System)
  • Store data using databases
  • Learn about web frameworks and MVC
  • Start building projects, contribute to open-source projects, do internships

Now, all of this might sound complicated right now, but as soon as you take the first step, things will start making sense.  

Myth 2: You need to be a math wizard to learn to code

Mathematics is a subject that will help you in everything you do in almost any field of work, be it banking, business, investing, architecting buildings, launching rockets, whatever the field- you name it.

That being said, you don’t really need to be a math whiz to start programming. If you can write a meaningful sentence, you can learn to code.

You will face some functions that operate similarly to mathematics. But you can surely learn them on the go. Simply put, if you’ve made it through middle and high school, you are equipped enough to get into software development. There are exceptions such as data science and machine learning that require you to have extensive knowledge of mathematics.

But to build general software or code web interfaces, you only need basic math abilities, along with technical and problem-solving abilities.

Most of the time, you’ll be using libraries or built-in functions that implement the algorithm for you. The true application of maths lies in understanding what certain algorithms, formulas, or shapes are doing.

Does Java need math? <Meme

Sure, having those advanced maths skills can take you a long way in programming. There are people who write code that needs much more than basic arithmetic and algebra. Think NASA.

But in a nutshell, your math anxiety can’t be a reason to not choose a career in coding.

Myth 3: Programming is only for people with 150+ IQ

This is the biggest myth of them all. Do you think all 30 million people could have an IQ of 150+? Learning programming is not that hard, it has just been blown out of proportion.

If you can read and write, you can code. It’s that simple. Programming languages are also based on the natural languages we speak like English. Programming is just a medium of communication between humans and computers. It’s a bridge between our language and the binary language(01010111000) that the computer understands.

If you understand the basic mechanism behind it, it’ll be easier for you. Learning to code takes time, consistent effort, and perseverance. These aren’t just words. Once you start learning, you’ll know their value. You can’t expect to become a professional developer in a few weeks. You might just be able to write basic programs such as a snake game or a program to find the value of a cone.

It’s equally crucial to start learning from the right resources, as some introductions might make it seem like an uphill task.

Myth 4: XYZ language is better than ABC language

There’s no such thing. Every language has its own complexities and use cases. It depends on what projects you want to work on, where you want to work, and how easy you want the learning process to be.

For example, Python is an excellent language to pick up since its syntax is the closest to the English language. It allows you to learn the fundamentals of coding without worrying excessively about the tiny details that are crucial in other languages. At the same time, it also requires more testing.

Whereas C is a rather difficult one to start with, it can be the best choice as almost all programming languages are implemented in it. Once you learn C, you’ll easily learn other languages like C++ and C#. Learning C is fantastic for teaching you how a computer works because it's a middle-level language i.e. it binds the gap between a machine-level language and high-level languages.

As we said, your approach matters. Whether you want to start with the difficult one and get all the fundamentals clear from the get-go or you want to pick up an easy one and then grow into other languages gradually.

If you want to see quick results in front-end development, JavaScript could be the preferred option as it interacts with DOM(Document Object Model) and can change CSS/HTML elements' properties dynamically.

You can’t strike multiple birds with one stone, can you? It’s also important that you learn multiple languages after you’ve learned one. You wouldn’t want to miss out on opportunities to work on projects because certain languages are highly preferred and you don’t understand that language. Keeping your options open by learning new languages keeps you from being helpless if your tech stack becomes obsolete (which can happen).

Myth 5: Programmers have to remember the code they write

This is not true at all!

The state of programming technology is rapidly evolving. On one of the days, you build Vue.js code, and the next day, React.js strikes, swiftly gaining popularity.

Besides, is it practically possible to remember thousands of lines of code in different languages by heart? It’s a ridiculous expectation and an equally ridiculous myth. There are far too many languages, each with its own quirks, to remember the inner workings of each one.

What do programmers do then?

They study the fundamentals of computer science and programming. Understanding the underlying principles of software makes it easier to apply them in a variety of different situations. It also makes you a better problem solver and an all-around software developer in the long run.

Besides, they read the documentation, learn from peers, build, and look for problem fixes on Stack Overflow and Google when it’s time to learn new technologies. Roughly 90% of developers use google and 80% use stack overflow for solving new problems.

Meme showing two states of a programmer

There is simply no need to use rote learning to remember the code you are using if you have good documentation. It's all there for you to use, and it's usually created by the same people who wrote the code you intend to use.

Myth 6: Programmers know how to fix a computer

This one is rather funny! If you say you’re a software developer, some people in the neighborhood would come to you with their computer issues. Like what?

No, software developers don’t necessarily have the skills to fix computers. Tasks like changing computer parts, troubleshooting, diagnosing, and repairing computer gadgets are all hardware-related issues and are out of the purview of a programmer.

It’s like asking a pilot to fix an airplane. Can he do it? Maybe maybe not. Is he mandated to do it? Not at all.

Although a few curious programmers might have the necessary expertise, it's advisable to speak with a computer technician. A programmer will typically look to YouTube for troubleshooting courses or Google for any technical support or guides when faced with hardware problems. Even then they can only fix less complicated hardware issues such as-

  • Increasing the RAM size of the system or
  • Replacing the in-built laptop battery

Programmers’ core responsibilities include writing and testing code for new programs, updating existing programs, finding and fixing bugs, rewriting codes for different operating systems, etc. It’s just not fair to expect a programmer to fix hardware or configuration issues.

A computer technician is a person for such jobs. Period.

Myth 7: Coding and Programming are the same things

While both these terms are often used interchangeably, there’s a clear difference.

Coding is just a branch of programming that deals with creating machine-readable codes. A coder’s job is to transform the project requirements into a language understandable by the machine. They generally work as per the received instructions.

While programming is the superset that deals with developing full-fledged software end-to-end. Planning, designing, testing, deployment, and maintenance are all required steps in the creation of an application. Thus, programming encompasses not only coding but also algorithm analysis and implementation, understanding data structures, and problem-solving.

A programmer needs much more skills, knowledge, and conceptualization than a coder. You can learn to code in a matter of months, but it takes years to become a professional programmer. We hope you got the difference.

Myth 8: Programming is boring and is only for nerds

Remember that media portrayal we talked about? Look what it has done. Now, people just take programming as a boring profession that doesn’t have to do anything with creativity.

Well, guess again! Programmers are the innovators that have shaped our present and future in a way. They express their creativity through programming. Coding is not boring if you enjoy breaking down large and complex problems into small pieces and creating something new by experimenting with different methods.

It doesn’t start and end on your computer. In fact, a lot of senior developers don’t even touch the keyboard until they have figured out the roadmap to a solution in their minds. They usually write the pseudo-code using pen and paper. They can get their Eureka moment and find the solution even while drinking coffee, talking to someone else, or reading books.

Is Programming boring meme

What part of solving big problems by breaking them down into smaller blocks sounds boring to you?

Myth 9: Developers will have no jobs in the near future

Last but not least, these myths have also infiltrated career prospects in software development.

“If people with basic or no coding skills can develop applications, why do we need developers?” These questions have come up with the rapid adoption of low-code and no-code platforms that allow users to create simple websites with minimal to zero coding knowledge.

So, will the demand for developers really shrink? Absolutely not! While the question might seem legit at face value, it doesn't have any substance.

Marcus Torres, GM of IntegrationHub and a subject matter expert had an interesting thing to say on the matter-

“The reality is development is a team sport. If you are an admin, if you're someone in operations, if you just know how to, you're fluent with Excel, the reality is there are platforms and technologies out there that allow you to do innovative things. It doesn't mean developers go away.”

It’s true that platforms like Shopify have been widely adopted in recent years, but the plugins and in-built apps on these platforms would only be built by programmers who understand all the technology layers.

In a nutshell, we'll always have one problem or another and there'll always be a need for problem-solvers in the industry. Only those who are well-equipped with the base layers of programming would be able to step ahead and innovate new solutions, be it in terms of building efficiency engines or other tools. There's no space for doomsday predictions like that.

And if Artificial Intelligence becomes really advanced and starts posing a threat to developers, it would do so to all other professions as well. So, we’re back to square one.

Myth 10: A graduation degree is required for programming

A prevalent myth about programming is that one requires a degree in technological fields because of the technical nature of the work. This is false since some really skilled programmers do not have a bachelor's degree in the subject.

You are free to pursue a profession in the programming field that you are passionate about, regardless of the degree you choose. If you enrol in the right online or offline programming schools and get competent coaching, you can succeed.

How do I overcome imposter syndrome as a coder?

Coders frequently experience imposter syndrome, especially newcomers. To get beyond it:

Identify it: Recognise the existence of impostor syndrome and the fact that many seasoned professionals also experience it.

Put learning first: Accept that you are still learning and that you will make errors and not have all the answers.

Seek assistance: Join a development community, attend meetings, and talk to others who can connect with your experiences.

Set attainable objectives: Divide your learning-to-code journey into smaller, more attainable goals, and acknowledge your successes along the way.

Impostor syndrome often fades with time: Imposter syndrome often lessens as you acquire expertise and confidence in your skills.

Wrap Up

Well, folks! That's it for now. We hope we were able to debunk any misconceptions related to coding, and programming in general. After all, myths should not deter you from your goals and ambitions. These myths are created by erroneous assumptions made by individuals who subsequently communicate them among their followers.

Once established, myths are not always simple to debunk. It is wise to start out with a firm grasp of them. The more individuals who are informed about these falsehoods, the simpler it will be for them to escape their harmful effects.

Therefore, it is preferable to separate coding facts from myths early in your career and avoid letting misunderstandings impede your professional development.

Now, if you're willing to learn programming the right way and become an industry-ready developer(and mind you, we don't mean an expert programmer), we offer part-time and full-time courses in full-stack web development that include multiple assignments and capstone projects. Towards the end of the program, you'll get to sit in interviews with big tech companies such as the likes of ShareChat, Meesho, Dream11, LeapFinance, and Swiggy among other 1400 partners.

Click here to check if you're eligible for the courses.

Other Resources:

9 reasons why you should learn programming

11 Programming languages for the future

Cheers and happy learning.


Which programming language should I learn first?

The programming language you choose will rely on your objectives and passions. Some of the popular languages for beginners are Python, JavaScript, and Ruby. Because of its ease of use and versatility, Python is usually recommended as a good alternative for novices. JavaScript is necessary for web programming, while Ruby is recognised for its approachable syntax. Start by learning a language that is appropriate for the tasks and job you wish to pursue.

Is it too late to start a programming career if I’m older?

No, regardless of your age, it's never too late to begin a career in programming. Many productive programmers started their professions in their senior years. Your views and experience may be valuable in the field. For positions in coding and similar sectors, IT businesses frequently look for experienced candidates since they respect diversity. You may pursue a profession in coding at any age with commitment and effort, although it might require some time to learn and adapt.