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  1. #1

    Question for (Experienced) programmmer's

    I thinking of studing to become a programmer at college.

    Thing is I have no idea If I am suited for it.

    So here's my question:

    What are good indicators for a person that this work is suited for him/her?

    I have never coded much, is this a bad indicator?
    Should I have gravitated towards it already?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Roxoff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Nottingham, England
    Quote Originally Posted by RJ. View Post
    I have never coded much, is this a bad indicator?
    Before I started writing software I'd never written any software before. But before I learned to walk, I'd never walked before, so that's not really a good indicator. Why don't you give it a go? You seem interested in this field of work, and the best indicator as to whether you'd be good is how much you enjoy doing it. If you enjoy doing something you're much more likely to keep doing it until you're competent.
    Linux user #126863 - see

  3. #3
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Either at home or at work or down the pub
    You can't know if you are going to like something until you try it. That's what they say (but I know I wouldn't like throwing myself from an aeroplane attached only to a giant handkerchief and I've never tried that!) so why not try a few on-line tutorials for a language such as Python to see what you think?
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  5. #4
    I will not say i am an experienced programmer as i have only been at it for 5 years but with some introspective thoughts i would only say is while coding somewhat important as in if you find it mind-numbing to code then you might have a problem but in general you do not need to code a lot as a beginner possibly looking to become a programmer. My rule of thumb is ,unless you are making a portfolio or doing a class assignment that produces a redundant or useless program, generally you only write a program when you need a problem solved. That being said some traits to look out for that could be signs you might be cut out to get a degree in programming. First do you like problem-solving. Can you think on a problem analytically? Creativity complements the analytical thinking. Can you think out side of the box to make a current program or algorithm more efficient. A love or at least interests / understanding of mathematics is useful also if you truly love math using functional programming languages might be up your alley. Finally some skills in writing is also very useful especially in commenting your code so it can be maintained.

  6. #5
    Linux Engineer drl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Saint Paul, MN, USA / CentOS, Debian, Slackware, {Free, Open, Net}BSD, Solaris

    Use the force. Googling the phrase personality traits of computer programmer provides a list of hits that may be useful. For example:

    A few IT researchers and writers have looked at personality and identified certain personality traits that they argue can be used as early indicators of success or failure in the field of computer programming broadly defined. Gerald Weinberg (1998) goes so far as to propose that personality is more important than intelligence because there are few people working in the field who are not intelligent enough to program (they’d soon be not working in the field) but there are lots of people whose personality is such that they really should be doing something else. Using work done by Weinberg and others, this paper will first look at some of the classifications of personality, such as the Myers- Briggs typology, and then discuss specific personality traits that seem to be critical for higher levels of success as a programmer.

    -- excerpt from , q.v.

    From the days when I worked at the University of Minnesota, my recollection of similar interests was: music, some things in common with CPAs, etc., and the interest in music was certainly the case for me (however, not even to the level of playing an instrument). You may able to find guidance counselors to give you tests that can show an aptitude for the work that programmers do.

    Best wishes ... cheers, drl
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