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5 Coding Myths Debunked

20 May 2021Written by Coder Academy
Jo Dunham explores the truth behind common coding myths so we can witness the diversity within the coding community. Break free from the misconceptions that coding requires exceptional math skills or that creative individuals or women make terrible coders. Understand how coding is a creative problem-solving skill, accessible to anyone with a knack for breaking down problems and explaining solutions. Discover the role of coders in shaping social media apps, online games, streaming platforms, and more. Embrace diversity, challenge preconceptions, and embark on a rewarding coding career that can make a real difference in the world.

Coders are a diverse set of people – old, young, women, non-binary, men, all colours, sizes, religions and creeds. Some love sports, some love music, some love arts and crafts, some love reading, some love a barbecue and a beer with the crew on the weekend. We are people with a diverse set of likes and dislikes, like any group of people. Forget all the preconceptions you have ever heard and read on as I try and de-bunk some of the more common coding myths.

1. You need to be really good at maths…

Do you remember that sin2 + cos2 = 1? No? Well fear not, your coding career isn’t over just yet! Maths and coding are actually very different skill sets. How often in math class did you have to come up with different ways to solve something? Almost never? Me too! You learnt the way to solve the problem, and you did it that way. In coding there are as many solutions to a problem as there are people trying to solve it. Coding is a way of thinking, far more than a specific skill you need to learn by rote; it is a problem solving kind of skill; a way of seeing things from different angles; even a creative skill set. Did I just say creative? Yes! Which brings me to my next point…

2. Creative people make terrible coders…

You could not be more wrong! Coding, and coding well, takes a lot of creativity! Sometimes things just don’t work and you are left scratching your head as to why (anyone who has ever played with CSS* knows what I’m talking about). You need to come up with another solution, and maybe another, and another. If there are 20 different coders working on a problem, you will get 20 different ways to solve it! And the best solution will probably be a mix of these solutions, as we need all kinds of different people and diversity to come up with the best solutions. Logical people make great coders, and so do creative people. They may code differently to each other, but neither is better. Coding needs creatives! Coding needs all kinds of people! Which again leads to my next point…

3. Women make terrible coders…

Garbage! Once again coding is all about diversity. Diversity of thinking, and diversity of solutions. We need all kinds of thinking and all kinds of solutions to come up with a complete answer. Women, non-binary, men, and everyone else can make excellent coders. As I said before, coding is a way of thinking, and that way of thinking is not exclusive to any one gender or sex. Coding is all about breaking down problems into teeny tiny bite sized pieces and explaining to the computer exactly what you want it to do.

4. You need to be a genius to be a coder…

If you can break something down and explain it to a small child, you can program a computer. Computers are basically small children that take everything you say literally. If you say, “Can you grab me a drink” a small child probably won’t know what drink, or where from, or how much, and you’re likely to end up with milk all over the floor. If you tell a small child to go to the cupboard, grab me the pink cup, fill it up halfway with orange juice, put the juice back in the fridge and don’t forget to close the fridge door – you’re far more likely to get your drink. That’s all coding is – you need to tell the computer exactly what you want. You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to break everything down into tiny little problems, then solve each one.

5. Coding is for anti-social nerds

Anti-social you say? Who do you think made all your favourite social media apps? All those meetup and dating type apps to help you meet people? Who coded up the ability to play online with your friends in all your favourite online games? These were all coders who thought it would be a great idea to bring people together! There are plenty of extroverts among us! The word ‘diversity’ ringing any bells here?

And nerds you say? These people also created your favourite streaming apps like Netflix and Stan! They created Spotify, Reddit, Imgur and TikTok. Basically all your favourite popular pastimes, that all the cool kids are into, were created by these “nerds”. Coders basically made your life liveable while you were locked away in 2020. Imagine lockdown without coders! No thanks!

So there you have it. If any of these myths have been holding you back from starting your career in coding then I hope I’ve debunked a few and you might consider taking the leap. We need you, the world needs you! Coders really do make the world go round.

* Yes I know CSS isn’t a coding language, but you know what I mean, and if you don’t, once you get into coding you’ll know what I mean.

Written by Jo Dunham.

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