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  • Writer's pictureTim Buchalka

Do You Need To Be Smart To Become A Software Developer?

So do you need to be smart to be a programmer? Let's talk about that in today's video.

Again, the question again was, “Do you need to be smart “smart” to be a programmer?”

Now, I’m putting the quotes up there because being smart, or the word smart, to me is a subjective thing.

What does smart mean?

Does it mean that you’ve got an IQ of 500? Does it mean that you’re a rocket scientist? Does it mean you can turn a computer on? What is smart?

So, in general I would say that no, you don’t need an IQ of 500 to be a programmer. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist. You need to be, you need to have certain skills, yes, but I wouldn’t necessarily say you need to be smart in that sense so, again, smart’s a very subjective word but let’s go through some of the things that I think you need to have to be a programmer.

Number one, I think you need the ability to think logically so you need to be able to look at a problem. It’s very common for a programmer to get presented a problem. You need to have a structured, logical way of thinking, if you think, “Okay, I’ve got this problem, how do I go about learning that?” And to go through it step-by-step thinking logically and thinking critically. I think they’re good skills but they’re skills that are learnable and also, the more you work in programming, you tend to acquire some of those skills.

Not to say there aren’t different levels. Some people are actually more logically and structured in their thinking by default but you can get there if you believe you have, that we don’t possess those skills at the moment so very important to have those skills. Another important one is persistence so you need to realise that you are going to hit roadblocks.

That’s the reality of being a programmer. There’s gonna be times where you’re feeling frustrated, you know, you’re overwhelmed, you don’t know where to start, you can’t get something to work, that’s just the nature of programming. It hits everyone, beginners, intermediate, experts, gurus, whatever, everyone hits that level from time to time.

That’s just the reality of being a programmer and the great thing is that if you realise that and realise that that’s a temporary situation and work through that, you’ll come out the other side a better programmer. So that’s gonna be the reality. It’s not always gonna be a bed of roses. You’re not always gonna be able to skip through a field and programming’s easy and it’s just, you know, you’re just raking in the dollars and there’s no stress, You will get that stress.

So if you accept that and realise that’s part and parcel of becoming a programmer and being a programmer, then you’re halfway there already. Next you have to have the ability, this sounds a bit funny, but you need to be able to use a search engine. Very important as a programmer and I’ve got videos on all these topics actually so check out my channel, other videos on this channel for more information but I’ve seen lots of people, particularly beginners, asking questions that if they just typed that question as is directly into Google or any other search engine, they’d probably get the answer they needed so you need to be self-sufficient and be able to use a search engine.

Now, that doesn’t go with asking simple questions like, which programming language is best? That’s a subjective thing anyway so it’s a little bit hard to answer. More specific things, like if you get an error while programming, copy and paste the error into a search engine, usually Google, and you’ll get the answer to that. It’s highly likely that you’ll get, you’ll basically get most of the, you know, the gist is what I’m saying to be able to solve that particular problem. So very critical for you to have the ability to use a search engine and next you need, really one of the most important things, is to realise that you’re not going to get to a certain area where you never have to study again. No one programmer knows everything.

No programmers usually memorise codes. What the get good at is some of the areas that I’ve talked about in this video but also being good at documentation, another video that I’ve talked about before so in other words, let’s assume you’ve got the basic tools as a programmer, someone comes to you and says, right, I need you to write a stock trading application.

I want you to use this framework that we’ve purchased to do that so you’ll need to go ahead, go away and learn how to use that framework, so, documentation, you need to go through the processes, have a look at the application programming interface, have a look at how it works and learn to use that so you won’t always get the answers given to you on a plate, unfortunately and once you get over into the real world and you start programming, you’ll be expected to solve problems yourself.

There won’t be anyone, necessarily, always to go to to get those answers so getting good at your search engine, getting good at learning to read documentation, to test, think logically, realising that you only get distracted so persevering, these are all the skills you need to make you better and that’s, but what I believe is people who possess these skills, they are the smart people who will succeed as a programmer but also in general, will succeed in virtually anything they play their self, and play themselves to.

I hope that helped. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

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