Over the last two years, I’ve been teaching myself to program. Yet, it wasn’t until I began class with Tech Talent South that people started to ask me about programming. Some of the questions I’ve been asked have surprised me and made me aware of the perceptions people have about programming and application development. Here are a few of those questions and my responses:
Q: Do you really understand what you are doing, or are you confused all the time?
A: I understand more than I could have imagined before starting the class. With that said, I have learned that you have to be okay with not having an in-depth understanding of everything that goes into an application. There are very few people that do anyway! To be an expert in anything takes time.
Q: Is there a lot of math?
A: I haven’t had to solve an equation at any point so far. There is very little math in that sense. There are, however, a lot of patterns and relationships that work together to make an application function. Most of the time these patterns and relationships use words, not numbers. Luckily, when numbers are involved, it’s not a high school exam- you’re allowed to use a calculator or search the internet for reference!
Q: Oh, you program? Can you make a website for me?
A: Yes, I can confidently say that I can build a website either from scratch, using bootstrap, or any content management system. But a programmer has got to eat, so step into my office and let’s talk dollars…
Q: Oh, you program? Can you build a mobile app for me?
A: (Honestly, everyone and their mother has an idea for a mobile app that they want someone to build for them!) Sure! I’ve never done it before, no one has showed me, but I can figure it out! I have a better understanding now of what resources are out there. More importantly, I know how to ask better questions to get better answers. I can learn new things faster than I could before.