Is coding hard? — Top 5 tips to become a one of a kind programmer

  • Reading time:14 mins read

You have probably asked the question before starting to jump into learning programming. How big a challenge is this going to be? Is coding hard to learn?

In this article, we are looking for an answer to this question — do you have to be a math genius to learn to code, or is it easy? What factors affect the difficulty of the challenge?


Is coding hard?


Is coding hard? The short answer

There are many different levels of programming, and we use many programming languages to achieve many different things.

It is not at all difficult to start learning any of them, so you can try them to see whether you want to learn more about them or not, or to choose the path most interesting to you.

Even children can start to learn to code because it is easy to get a sense of success very early on.

Intermediate or advanced levels of coding prove much more of a challenge, as you need to understand complex concepts and processes. It cannot be objectively stated whether coding is easy or difficult to learn.

If you are interested in this field, you should try it. Learn the basics, and you’ll be able to decide for yourself if it is difficult, or if it is interesting enough to get past these difficulties.



Coding as a generic term — What is programming?

People often use the words “coding” and “coders” generically, as in “is coding hard?” or “what does a coder do?”

Programming is more complex than this question implies, so it is difficult to define it. Coding can be used for many different things, by learning different aspects of it.

If we hear someone is a coder, we can already guess a lot about the complex, interesting work they do. But we can’t know exactly what they do, what their days look like, and what tasks they need to complete.

Programming is a very diverse field, so it is more like a generic umbrella term, that can be separated into many smaller fields.

But all fields are the same in one thing—coders always communicate with computers via programming languages.

Think about how many tools, applications, interfaces you use each day: websites, mobile apps, games, desktop applications, programs of smart appliances and other tools, and we could go on and on.

In order to create and maintain these, coders have to write programs (that means writing many lines of code in some programming language) — so this is what coders do.

Sometimes they also need to be able to do higher-level design and to test, debug, document and communicate with clients.


Is coding hard?

What makes coding difficult for you? Why is coding hard?

Motivation and interest are the two factors that you need to keep in mind if you think coding is difficult.

Things we are interested in seem less difficult to learn, and even if there are challenging parts, we get through them more easily, finding answers and applying what we have learned from them.

If you like solving logic problems, you will most likely like programming too.

Finding coding difficult can also depend on which programming language you choose as your starting language.

There are languages that are closer to human languages, making them easier to learn as a beginner, and there are more abstract, difficult-to-learn languages as well.

You can read more about this in our article titled Which Programming Language is Right For You?

Is prior knowledge required?

Prior knowledge can be advantageous, but it isn’t required. If you like math, engineering, or you have always wanted to work in IT and see the processes behind tools we use every day, learning coding will be a bit easier.

However, everyone can be a coder — just read some of our student’s stories, and you will see that interpreters, stay-at-home moms with children, and fitness trainers can all become coders.

You can start learning coding at 10, or even if you are over 60.



What is your goal, and what tools will you use? – “Easy” and “difficult” programming tasks

There are many areas and subtasks within programming that are not difficult, but it may take a long time and a lot of effort to practice them.

It won’t take a long time to learn how to do something for your hobby projects, to make some statistics for your thesis, or to handle databases confidently.

Learning enough to create a website also won’t take long, and it is not difficult, even for beginners. However, web development can be as complex as you want it to be, and you can do very special things with it on an advanced level.

In order to get a job in development, you will need to solve more difficult tasks, even as a junior coder, but these are also things that you can learn with hard work and practice.

What are the biggest challenges when learning to program?

Everyone with a computer can start to learn to code. But if you want to get on a level where you can create basically anything on your own, you will need to practice a lot, and learn for months if not years.

Programming is a complex system of processes and subtasks. Learning the steps might not be difficult, but understanding everything, and using what you know to reach a goal is a challenge.



What skills do I need to develop if I want to learn to code?

Why is coding hard, and how can you make it easier to learn? If you want to study programming at a university, you have to know that you will need very good math skills to get a degree.

Courses, bootcamps and learning individually can be successfully completed if they don’t focus on theory (i.e. no high-level math), but instead on practice.

You will, however, need to be able to think logically, analytically. To understand algorithms, consistent, analytical thinking is required, but you can do it without very strong traditional math skills.

There are some basic concepts that you need to know, and you have to understand basic programming operations. You should practice these from time to time so that you can use them confidently.

You can learn in your own language — e.g., at CodeBerry courses, you get explanations and examples for every topic in your language, however, it is recommended to learn English as well.

English skills will help you when you get stuck — you can ask people in forums, watch tutorials, and read articles, mostly in English.


Developing skills via programming

When you learn to program, it’s not just your programming skills that will develop. You will also develop:

  • Your analytical thinking
  • Your problem-solving skills
  • Your planning skills

For example, when you are working with others on a project, you will learn how to cooperate with them, and your communication skills will also develop.

If you are developing a complicated piece of software or a computer program, you will need to document your work precisely.

Learning to code does not only mean that you are putting words one after another on the screen, but also that you completely transform your way of thinking. This skill is valuable in any area in our modern world.

Is programming really for me?

This is the part where you have to go through the advantages and disadvantages of this profession.

You might have some idealized views on programming, and haven’t thought about what programming really is — a profession just like any other. You have to practice it and put some effort into it if you want to succeed.

But, if the following are true for you, there is a great chance that you might like each and every second of it.



Signs that show that programming is FOR YOU:

  • Your mind is creative and analytical
  • You pay attention to details
  • You equally like to work alone or in a team
  • You understand written English
  • You love solving problems
  • You love learning new things
  • You adapt to changes well
  • You like organizing information and automating processes

Signs that show that programming is NOT for you:

  • You are interested in financial opportunities and not in computers
  • You don’t like to sit in place for a long time
  • If you see a page of code, your eyes glaze over
  • You type relatively slowly, and you make a lot of mistakes

In short: programming is a well-paying profession that requires a lot of patience enthusiasm, and attention to detail. (You can learn more about salaries in our article here: How Much Can You Make as a Programmer in 2021?)

If you want to learn new things, have motivation, and think that you can do it, you will find success—regardless of your prior knowledge.

In our article Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Learning How to Code, we also wrote that there’s no point in being intimidated or wondering if you’re smart enough.

Of course, the more complex or extreme a task, the more skills you will need to complete it. But this is the same in any other field as well.

If you’d like to see more programming tutorials, check out our Youtube channel, where we have plenty of programming video tutorials in English.

In CodeBerry Programming School’s “Basics of Programming” series, we discuss programming-related topics and everything you need to know to get started. Stay tuned for new articles and find the answer to every “what”, “why”, and “how”, you may have had about coding!

Basics of Programming

Would you like to learn how to code, online? Come and try our first 25 lessons for free at the CodeBerry Programming School.

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