By essence, a programmer is someone who creates computer software and is a specialist in one or many areas of computers. While a professional programmer can be tied up to making money from such skill, true professionals are those who have a set of qualities that, when combined, reflect professionalism. Since its inception, this profession has grown exponentially in terms of popularity, and its demand is expected to rise over the next decade or so.
Do you want proof why programming is – and will always be – a big thing? See the different tasks people are doing today thanks to computer programming:
- Buying and paying coffee using Apple
- Booking vacation through AirBnB and Kayak
- Chatting with remote employees via Google Hangouts and Slack
- Getting a ride to a certain destination with Uber
- Ordering lunch through the use of Foodler
- Watching movies and/or TV series on Netflix
Ten years ago, it is almost impossible to perform the aforementioned tasks (or even do them in a very different way). There is no doubt that software is eating the entire world really quickly, and this is great news for up-and-coming developers or programmers. This profession has become a means of creating stuff for a world that has become more dependent on technology. That is why the demand for programmers worldwide will only increase more and more over the next 10 years or so.
The Life of a Programmer
Like any other profession, being a programmer is not an overnight process. It is something that you cannot just learn from the get-go. You need to undergo a plethora of rigorous tasks, master a variety of fundamentals, and learn to implement them accordingly. Still, it is a very promising profession that pays really, really well provided that you put your heart into it.
In general, a programmer utilizes a variety of languages, including C++ and Java, which are used in writing software programs. He is in charge of manipulating program designs into a language that computers can follow and understand. Of course, this also means expanding and updating different current programs, while doing run testing in order to find bugs or errors. By doing so, a programmer is able to confirm that the software can run smoothly and correctly.
There are different types of things that you will learn at programming. For starters, you will be taught about some basic programming and computational concepts, which are designed for those who have little to no previous coding experience. But as you go through with these, you will eventually develop confidence in your ability to apply different programming techniques. Think of these as your gateway to programming. On the other hand, you will be introduced to a particular programming language, such as Java, Python, and Ruby just to name a few.
In case you are wondering, there are at least 3 different (basic) types of programming. They are as follow:
- Object Oriented (OO) Programming – This bundles data with subroutines and consolidates them into structures called classes, which are basically templates for building objects.
- Procedural Programming – This one here builds programs out of subroutines, but still requires as much data as OO programs. Nonetheless, it has no enforced mechanism in terms of associating data with a particular set of subroutines.
- Functional Programming – While it still builds programs out of subroutines, this type of programming is where subroutines process data in some sort of chain. Note that subroutines here do not necessarily store any data in every run.
Practice Makes Perfect
Do you really think Bill Gates became a programmer without pouring any amount of blood and sweat? Of course, he did! And look where he is now – one of the world’s richest persons. Before he came up with the Microsoft operating system, he endured countless trials and failures. But do you know what kept him from falling? He never underestimated the power of practice. Yes, that is right – practice is vital to becoming a successful programmer.
Make sure that you try to code every single day, even if it is only for hours (it is better than doing nothing at all). Doing so will help you stay sharp, and it is something you should be passionate about if you are a beginner. And since you will be digesting vast new information at once, you need to practice regularly in order to prevent losing your programming skills which you just built. This could mean setting up time aside on your daily routine to practice. Or perhaps, you and your friends could set up a “hackathon” and code together. However you decide to practice, just make sure you do not let the habit slip away. Remember: This is your single most important tool in becoming a successful programmer.
Being a professional programmer is not just about writing codes. From learning to communicate to being a team player, it is almost impossible for you to make it to the major leagues without owning a toolkit for other critical assets and skills.
Conquering Programming Homework
There is no doubt that programming courses are not a walk in the park. They are not that easy to pass, so to speak. And unlike before, most programming languages nowadays are integrated into compulsory courses in multiple practices and institutions. In fact, these courses are leaning towards more practical exposure than theoretical aspects. Hence, major programming assignments are becoming more difficult even for the brightest of individuals.
When an assignment or requirement becomes too huge to manage, students automatically look for help. And it is very likely for you to face such feat one day, especially when an assignment is too high-ended or tiring for you. Apparently, though, there are different sites that can help you with your homework. They have become incredibly accessible online that you do not even have to have the need of leaving your room.
Your Final Exam
Remember that the outcome of an exam is heavily dependent on how you have approached your studies from the beginning of the year. With well-developed time management skills and self-disciplined, you will always have a bigger chance of passing your final term paper.
As expected, your final exam will be very much related to math. In some cases, however, you will be asked to perform several programming exercises, which may contain “human compiler” type of exercises. Meaning, you will be required to evaluate some written code and even write functions of your own. And mind you, you will be doing this without the assistance of a debugger; hence, you will have to write code without any existence of a single error. It has always been a common misconception that all you need to do in this type of courses is code crunching. No, not really. While it is vital in experiencing close-to-real-life programming, it is not always the case.
Regardless, your chances of passing your final exam are in your hands. Start by attending lectures and taking notes. Do not just sit there and passively listen. Take notes and make sure you digest them. From there, learn to apply them on a daily basis and include them in your practice routine. If you do not seem to understand a concept or two, ask questions. Do not be scared by the idea of asking questions, as it is a much better thing to do than being clueless. Furthermore, make you study and work on your previous exams as well as review solutions or answers. Work them all out!
Programming is a career that is very much up with professions such as doctor, engineer and lawyers, among others. It has become so big that most companies are falling all over just to acquire great programmers. In other words, learning programming – and being really good at it – opens you up with a successful future.
But like any other professions, programming also requires time and effort. You need to have the time to study and incorporate all fundamentals involved and you also need to exert effort in coding different structures just to get better.
Remember: Programming is not close to be a spectator sport – you do not learn just by looking at a code; you learn programming by, well, programming. Who knows? You might just be the next Bill Gates!