Programming and rules don’t go together

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How many times have you found yourself in a situation where somebody is speaking about programming and has this notion that every good programmer should learn and exercise programming in one specific way? I have heard it a lot and I’m sick of it.

There is nothing wrong with a suggestion, telling somebody who doesn’t know programming that a good start would be C, or PHP, or whatever else, that is some good information. But trying to tell them that if they don’t start the way you did, then they will never be a good programmer, then that is just stupid.

Programming is a way of thinking. You don’t need a mechanical keyboard to write code.  You don’t need to be writing 60 words per minute to write code. You don’t need a MacPro. You don’t need anything except your mind to write code.

Sure, a fancy keyboard is nice, a keyboard that will help you write faster will save you a little time if you have taken on a very big project. But however fast you type, if you don’t have a solid way of thinking, the code will not be better because you wrote it a little faster. Time matters, but having the right mindset will save you a hole lot more time, that a fancy little keyboard.

All that matters is having a solid way of thinking and a creative approach on the problem you are about to solve. Whether you learned one way or another doesn’t matter, what matters is what you know at the time you solve this problem. And off course, we don’t know everything, and you should always know that! That is actually the only thing you should know! If you don’t know how to implement something that you are thinking, then you can research it, learn something new, and do it. If you hide behind your belief that you started the right way, you learned everything you need to know, and you have the best tools, then you think too much about that and won’t actually be innovative.

If you haven’t started programming yet, don’t listen to people that are too close minded about their suggestion. Just research the basics of every language that you have been suggested, see what fits you best, and start learning. Don’t worry about having a MacPro, or a DasKeyboard or anything else. The cheapest laptop/desktop on the market and a Microsoft 200 is more than enough.  Leave the not-so-cheap toys for later on when you will actually know what you are after and make your own decision based on you needs.

Learn the more you can. But don’t learn because “You should know Assebly”. Learn because you want to learn, learn because some piece of knowledge is not in your toolbox. Sure, assembly will give you a better understanding of registers, but if you are going to be programming for mobile apps, I don’t think that will actually help you a lot. And worry more about actually writing code, creating applications, being creative, than thinking on what you should or shouldn’t do, what you should have etc.


Anastasios Barianos

Anastasios Barianos is a student in the field of IT, has an interest in a wide spectrum of IT, Computer Science and technology in general, but also in arts and other activities.

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  1. Abraham June 15, 2014 at 7:17 am

    yea those are true words man. lot of people scared me from programming because dey said ur mathematics need to be strong. but maths and programming dont have shit in common. its 100% design sense. code needs design

  2. Anastasios Barianos June 15, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    A mathematical way of thinking can make you understand programming a lot easier and be faster in what you refer to as design. But you can have mathematical way of thinking without being good with school standards at math, or even develop that way of thinking along with your programming skills. it’s better to jump in and learn that to be scared away because some people like to put criteria

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