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Discussion on: Why Programming?

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Richard C

Reading your post is slightly eerie in that in it feels like I'm reading my own history!

I'd always enjoyed working with computers, but when I didn't understand a programming book at age 10. I too thought I didn't fit the stereotype of a programmer (the only "code" I'd write would be the command to run "Castles of Doctor Creep" on a Commodore 64). We owned a Macintosh LC in my younger days which I used lots.

It was only in my mid 20's where my wife pointed out to me how I always answered our family/friends' computer questions, and suggested I should look into technology as a career, to improve our quality of life (too).

I used similar web sites and the new (at the time) online Stanford SQL course as a start. Then began studying for a degree, got a job in Software Support, and 3 1/2 years later I was a dev.

Honestly it was so weird to read your post due to its similarity, but certainly glad I'm not alone in my realisation later in life that programming was for me!

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Harleigh Abel Author

Ahhh, you were lucky I didn't discover it until my thirties. I started with Harvard CS50 on Edx. I worked my way through the usual sites Codecademy, Treehouse, Coursera, Khan Academy, various textbooks, countless hours scanning over Stack Overflow questions, weekend coding workshops, programming meetups, and graphic design Bootcamp before settling down at Flatiron online for their full stack dev class. I am in my third and final year of self directed study and ready to make the big jump! According to StackOverflow 2017 survey statistics, 3 years seems to be the average time for self-learners. I wish somebody had told me that when I started, I would have felt a lot less frustrated that I didn't master it in a month like so many sites and schools claim to be able to teaach. I bet you don't regret putting the time in to make the transition!

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Benjamin Bond

I'm really glad I read this article and your comment. I discovered a love for programming in the last year after having studied nothing but humanities in undergrad, and I was worried I'd missed the boat as far as getting a degree in computer science and having a career in technology. I'm not a mathematical prodigy or anything so it almost felt like I shouldn't even bother trying. It's great to see other people have followed similarly winding courses towards computer science and have found success- it's very encouraging!