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kethmars
kethmars

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Can anyone become a developer?

A couple of days ago I made a comment in Youtube referring that anyone can become a developer. My thought was tested by another user, who claimed that you also need talent. Otherwise, everyone would be working as a developer, making 100k per year.

I believe talent does help in learning things faster and achieve the very top of any field. But I also believe that everything can be learned if you:

  • have a strong "why"
  • the correct resources for learning(based on the individual)
  • dedication

In my view, it doesn't matter how good you're in maths, logical thinking, communication etc. It does help, but if you want it and put in the hours, you'll get there.

It applies not only to programming but also other activities in life like singing, learning an instrument, sports, stock trading etc.

What do you believe? Can anyone become a developer?

Discussion (31)

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alainvanhout profile image
Alain Van Hout • Edited on

That reminds me of a great quote from the movie Ratatouille

Ratatouille

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johnadan profile image
John McLem Adan

Totally agree with this. I think it also applies in becoming a developer.

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kethmars profile image
kethmars Author

That's beautiful :)!

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belinde profile image
Franco Traversaro

Yes, anyone could become a developer, but he will spend a very miserable life if he wouldn't love his work. I always say that if you don't have some kind of spark inside you, the work as developer is really the hell.

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jethet profile image
Jethet

'He' will, probably. 'He' is the standard, after all. It is 'his' work ... poor 'he'.

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belinde profile image
Franco Traversaro

I'm not a native English speaker. Neologism like "xe" sounds really bizarre and stupid to my ears. Using "it" seems equally bad. Using "she" is unnatural for me because, curse me, I'm a male.
An example of how I should rephrase is really appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚

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jethet profile image
Jethet

It has become good practice to use 'they' when talking about people in general. So if anyone can do something, they can do it and it is their opportunity to do it.
This may seem like a detail, or nit picking, but what if you would read a text like:
"In the world of tech, developments go fast. Anyone who wants to work there, has to up her game. She will have to work hard to keep her knowledge and her skills relevant, and she will have to invest her time in that". Sounds very different, doesn't it? If you think about how this changes the impression of the audience it is directed at, maybe it means that one half of the audience thinks it is not directed at them.
The national broadcaster in my country has started to look for spokespersons who are female when it comes to interviews for items about government policy, economics, tech, agriculture, whatever. This makes people think, you know. It is almost strange how the 'standard' is male when 51% of the world population is not male. And then I have not even mentioned people who identify with the LGBT+ community!

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belinde profile image
Franco Traversaro

Thank you for the suggestion, I'll try to use the plural form in the future. That didn't cross my mind because in Italian we have different sex form even for plural form, so that doesn't do the trick for us. Using a male form when addressing a group of mixed people isn't just a convention, but a grammar rule, and our grammar is way more strict than the English one. Even the more extreme LGBT activists follow that rule, because we don't have a viable alternative that can be understood by anyone. We should create a new rule, but such a synthetic approach is bound to failure in the real life.

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brogrammerben profile image
Ben

Can anyone be an actor? Can anyone sing? Can anyone perform surgery? Yes to all of these. But are they good at it. And in once instance, are they so good at it that someone trusts their life in their hands. Or, in the developer world, someone trusts their entire corporate business on the platform that is built. So, can anyone become a developer? Absolutely. Can anyone become a competent developer? No.

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terabytetiger profile image
Tyler V. (he/him) • Edited on

Can anyone become a competent developer? No.

I don't think this is true. As with the other activities you listed, practice is what makes someone better at a thing. That's why singers have voice coaches and Doctors go to medical school.

Sure, some may pick certain things up quicker than someone else, but just because the journey is different doesn't mean the destination also has to be.

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msk61 profile image
Mohammed El-Afifi

You're simply not considering the possibility of trying to learn something and fail. And yes here I'm talking about learning something, not just passing an exam to get a certificate(as most of us did at one time or another throughout our lives).

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terabytetiger profile image
Tyler V. (he/him)

This seems irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

This thread is specifically referring to someone that is interested in learning programming, not someone trying to pass a class they aren't interested in. I firmly believe that anyone that passionately wants to learn programming for any reason can become a competent developer.

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bcronce profile image
Benjamin Cronce

Define "competent". The industry average is nearly complete failure. Yes, anyone can, but the fact of the matter is that few do. From my research on the topic, this is actually quite normal in many industries.

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ghost profile image
Ghost • Edited on

I think is a moot question, the real questions are: should anyone assume s(he) can't? no; should anyone feel bad because s(he) can't? no. Should everyone try, only if necessary or are interested in. Is there any way to predict if someone can or can't? I don't think so. So if anyone can become a developer, I think, is irrelevant.

To empirically test it is unfeasible and believe one of the other has no benefit, in my opinion, the only way to know is try. And after all as others commented even if anyone can doesn't mean they will make a good job, enjoy or make something with it.

And that is not even getting into the difficult stuff, does outdoorsy people can? even if they get depressed in from a screen too long? can someone how enjoy adrenaline and adventure?, can someone who love something other thing and feel miserable doing something else?, can someone who find really hard to focus for more than 1min in front of a screen?

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jcolag profile image
John Colagioia (he/him) • Edited on

I've come to look at this from two perspectives.

First, almost all of us go through school learning to write, paint, play soccer, speak a foreign language, and probably a bunch of other things I've forgotten in many years out of school. We can all do those things, but few of us actually do.

Similarly, look at driving. Most of us can drive, if we're in a certain range. We need some minimum capability and minimal training and people let us barrel down the road in a cartoonishly dangerous device. But few of us are earning a living as cabbies, bus drivers, or truckers, because the work of driving--the frustration and drudgery of doing that work all day every day for forty years--isn't appealing.

It's the same with programming. Almost anybody can do it (probably really anybody, but I suppose there's probably some obscure chronic brain condition or other that would make the work impossible), but it takes a special kind of person to enjoy an environment where you're always either failing or transitioning to the next task to fail at. The "talent" is just being willing to stick with it.

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mevratm profile image
Mevrat Mashasha

Yes everybody can be developer.
Not everybody should be wok as developer, I think that a person that work with (not developer) computer need some degree of coding skill to help him to automate repeating task in dayliy job

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jethet profile image
Jethet

And yet, a 'person' could be someone who is not 'him'.

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adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him)

Well, this comment is a little bit late since it is after a week this post got published but let me tell you how I feel about this question.
Honestly NO! Not everyone can become a developer. This doesn't mean that developers are aliens or they are special people, no! Developing needs passion - needs love and of course time!
Lots of my friends who were fascinated seeing me coding tried to learn to code and asked me if they can learn it well and I was like YES OF COURSE WHY NOT? Yet most of them failed because they were feeling frustrated by all the things they don't know! They had no passion to learn.
So being a developer is a special task that only people with passion can claim to be.

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kethmars profile image
kethmars Author

Thank you Adnan!

To be honest, this is also how I see it. Technically, anyone can become a developer, but there are so many other factors that come to play like the wish/motivation/suitability of the field etc.

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thatonejakeb profile image
Jacob Baker

Yes.

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dev_sky profile image
Sky

Yes!
I believe in the saying โ€œ where thereโ€™s a will thereโ€™s a wayโ€.. even if you donโ€™t have a passion for it or the genetic skills , you can acquire them.
Weather they turn out as a good or a bad developer is up to them and their path.

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yujiri8 profile image
Ryan Westlund

I think it's absolutely true. People can do almost anything if they're determined. Most often, they just shoot themselves in the foot by telling themselves that they can't.

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dougaws profile image
Doug

I firmly believe most people can create a crappy web page or app. Does that mean I agree with the statement?

The first step is to define both "anyone" and "developer". I doubt most people less than 6 years of age or more than 80 years of age would qualify. Throw out those who cannot concentrate for more than 5 minutes, those who don't have access to a computer (likely 1/4 of the earth's population), and so on.

So what is a developer? Someone who writes at least one line of bash or Windows BAT?

So the answer is an emphatic no. Why don't we see "Can anyone become a novelist?" It's similar in scope. It takes time, dedication, and the resulting product might be something no one wants.

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elmuerte profile image
Michiel Hendriks

No. Everybody can write, but not everybody can be a writer.

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alvaromontoro profile image
Alvaro Montoro

Everybody that can write can be a writer. They may be better or worse writers, but they'll be writers... And with practice and training, they may become great writers.

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao

Nope but they should have certain system mindset & skillsets to help them to automate work, research & overcoming failure.

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developarvin profile image
Arthur Vincent Simon

In this age of mass amateurization, anybody can be a developer.

But not everyone can be a professional developer.

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ahferroin7 profile image
Austin S. Hemmelgarn

Something to consider: There's a difference between being doing something, being good at doing that thing, enjoying doing that thing, and doing that thing being good for you long term.

Most people are, with the right training, able to do almost any job they choose. That is not the same as them being good at that job, or that they would actually would enjoy doing that job, or that job being a good choice for them long term.

Looking at this a bit differently, if I wanted, I could almost certainly quit my current job, enlist in the army, and be a soldier. I might have some difficulty with basic training at first simply because I'm not exactly in great shape, but I'm fairly confident I could get through it. However, I'd be a horrible soldier (I hate confrontation of any form, don't do well under stress, and have poor eyesight), I likely wouldn't enjoy it much (with the possible exception of becoming an armorer or mechanic), and it would be a generally poor career choice for me long term (it would involve a pay cut and significant increase in personal risk on a daily basis, and I already have enough trouble relating to people without dealing with stuff like PTSD).

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kethmars profile image
kethmars Author • Edited on

Thank you for your thoughts!

Usually, people enjoy things where they are good or where they can see progress(which motivates to move forward). And maybe every person has a ceiling after which they can't get better. But at least from the perspective of software/web development world, I don't believe this ceiling is low.

I also like your example of the army. And it nicely illustrates that even though you wouldn't be the best soldier, you could still be one. If you wanted, with proper training in psychology, communication and fitness, chances of you becoming a good soldier rise. Whether swimming against the current is sensible in the long run, is another question.

I've actually been in my country's mandatory defence forces for 11 months. I'm not someone who enjoys confronting people or stepping into arguments(as I'm not very good in articulating). Nevertheless, the time there taught me that with proper preparation, I'm able to stand my ground.