Nathalie Lussier joins the 54th session of Smart Brand Marketing.
A small town girl who wanted to become a programmer. Nathalie has built a number of plug ins and sells them on her website.
- Pop up conversions
- Why programmings
- Great way to list build
- Online courses
- Challenges of a software business
Programming and Why You Should Learn at Least One Coding Language
If you ever mention the word “programming” to anyone who does not know it, you can bet that the reactions would range from confusion to downright aversion. It’s as if, by the way a lot of people are treating it right now, programming is one of those dirty jobs that Mike Rowe loves to feature on his show; minus the stink and grime, of course.
However, there is always the option to learn programming and, better yet, base your entire business around it. The question is, is there a point to learning it in the first place? The short answer is yes.
Why Learn Programming?
There are actually a lot of benefits to learning at least one form of programming language, as there are many out there right now. Here are some of them:
- 1. The Prospects for the Field are High (Even if You’re not THAT Skilled)As of now, computer and internet related skills are on a high-demand in various markets. As a matter of fact, there are more job openings for information technology professionals out there than there are actual information technology professionals. This only means that shifting towards a programming-heavy career or service is going to be lucrative for you; at least for now.
And don’t worry about the demand for “IT Professionals” because that can range from someone who can develop AI in just a few days to someone who knows basic programming languages. This means that, if you have the barest minimum of IT skills, you can find no shortage of clients to service in the market. Of course, improving on your skills will allow you to remain competitive for as long as possible.
- 2. It Helps You Learn….How to LearnIt can’t be helped but programming teaches you to adopt a more effective way of learning due to how structured, analytical, and methodical everything else is. When you enroll at an online course, which is the best way to learn programing online now, by the way, you’ll find out that the best modules out there teach you to find the most correct methods and techniques for your own while laying out the basics. This creative yet grounded on the basics approach to learning should help you absorb information faster which should help you excel in other non-programming fields as well.
- 3. Becoming Logical and Detail OrientedIf you break everything in programming down to their most basic of concepts, you’ll find that programming is just an advanced form of mathematics. With that in mind, it means that programming courses should help you think in a more logical and precise manner.
Simply put, everything that you will encounter later on will be a mathematical problem that you will need to break down into smaller, manageable sections, and then solve them piece by piece. Of course, it should help you find a way to consolidate all your solutions so that that they form a larger, more effective solution for the larger problem on hand. So, yeah, it’s basically Voltron if Voltron dealt with numbers and coding.
Another advantage with programming is it helps you focus. Precision is a quality honed by the best programmers out there as you can’t become good in the field unless you can quickly home in on the root problem, single it out, and then address it. That’s a plus for any job you will take later on
- 4. The Sources of Income Here are Nearly LimitlessThe ways you can monetize your programming skills is quite broad. For starters, you can use your programming as a side project of sorts, maintaining blogs and small websites here and there or even creating your own website where you can sell your business’s products and services.
On the flip side, you can go full freelance, taking in programming projects that range from creating websites to even mapping basic or advanced AI programs. It all depends on the skills that you have accumulated, really. The more skills you have when it comes to Information Technology and Programming, the more ways you can earn from them.
- 5. It’s Open for EverybodyDespite how demanding things can be, the one thing that programming will never be is this subject that only a brave few can learn and master. It doesn’t really care if you are an IT nut or just a regular Joe that has never done any programming in their life. So as long as you have the interest for it, and the basic tools, then you can learn it.
There are quite a number of online courses out there that teaches you the basics as well as the more advanced stuff. It’s up to you find out which programming skills and languages you should learn first and the build on your portfolio of specializations from that point on.
What are the Challenges that Programmers Face?
So, since Programming is this in-demand skill that opens up a ton of opportunities for everyone skilled in it, does that mean that venturing here is easy? The answer is one big, fat, NO.
When you venture into here, you will find that there are a ton of hurdles you will have to go through just to keep your services relevant. In fact, there are some mistakes that almost every newbie programmer makes. Here are some of them:
- 1. You Need to Produce…ConstantlyBecause programming is an accessible field, the competition here can be fierce at certain areas. This only means that you should be able to constantly produce quality results in your work for companies and clients.
The need for constant quality here is quite high that you will find a drop in demand for your services the moment that the quality in your work drops. Luckily, since there are more jobs than programmers right now, there is still a bit of leeway for you to correct your mistakes before being replaced. If you do get called out for subpar work, at least you are given the chance to improve the quality of your work.
- 2. Coping with Changing Rules and PoliciesInformation technology is not as rigid as you might think it is. It often changes with every new technological advancement which, in itself, brings new programming languages, tools, and techniques. This only means that your skill set should never remain static for long if you want to remain competitive here. A constant learning of new skills should help you keep your services in line with standards as soon as they change.
Aside from industry changes, you also have to deal with the business end of things. This means different client personalities, office politics, and corporate deadlines. For most of the time, you will find yourself clashing with clients as there is a gap between what they think you can do and what you want to or can actually do. With that in mind, it’s best that you brush up on a bit of social etiquette as you learn programming since a little diplomacy can help you keep yourself in your client’s good graces.
- 3. Figuring Out Which Languages to Learn Now we come to a problem that all programmers will have to face from time to time. There are just too many languages out there that you can find yourself stumped as to which you should learn and when. Do you have to learn Swift or Ruby on Rails? How about the 20 other programming languages that are virtually similar to each other? Do you have the time to find out what makes them different from one another?
Lastly, there is that concern that some languages will be rendered obsolete once new ones are introduced. If you try to learn them now, you will find your efforts wasted in the future. There is no proper way out of this problem but only through establishing your mastery of the basic programming languages first and then exercising a bit of wisdom in the future when weighing the pros and cons for each language that you planned to learn.
- 4. DeadlinesFirst of all, scheduling a project can be difficult as there are too many variables in the middle of the process that can cause delays. Sure, you can set a deadline to push yourself to meet goals but there is always that uncertainty as to when everything will be ready.
Next, there is the fact that projects are never really over even if you have completed all the goals. Updates will have to be made and there are the bugs that have to be made.
There is also the fact that clients will have their expectations regarding when you can finish your work. Just take for example the current state of the videogame industry. Publishers like EA and Activision set deadlines for developers so that their product can be released at certain periods of the fiscal year.
This has led to rushed development schedules which eventually resulted in subpar products. Worst, even patches have to be promised for a game a few hours after the first copies are sold. Just look at what happened to Mass Effect: Andromeda which was filled to the brim with errors and game-breaking bugs on Day 1. Another example would have been the PC port of WB Games’ Batman: Arkham Knight which the developers had to cancel downloadable content for just to fix the most basic of issues.
Publishers call this a “games as service” model. Gamers, on the other hand, call it “lazy” and “cash grabbing”. Developers, as such, are trying to find a balance between meeting the standards of their employers and the expectations of the market.
- 5. Moving Through the RanksAs a newbie in programming, you might that the room for error is quite large for you. Simply put, you are allowed to correct yourself here since you are still, well, naïve and untrained in the ways of the industry.
However, once you have built a name for yourself, you will find that that room for error gets smaller and smaller. Also, you have the option now to take lead in a number of projects which, although rewarding if you pull off that project right, will also open you up to a number of risks if done wrong.
More often than not, programmers who make a name for themselves often have to deal with an insurmountable expectations for their work and, in the case of videogames, extreme hype for it.
This is even more pronounced if you strike out on your own and set up a programming service/business. Now, you don’t have a company to fall back to and any mistake you will make will be magnified.
Just take a look at game programmer John Romero, for example. He might have hit it big with the market with Doom but once he struck out on his own and established Ion Storm Games, things went downhill pretty fast.
First, there was that poster for an upcoming game called Daikatana where he promises he will make everyone “his bitch”. Then, the game shipped after numerous delays and was bombarded with negative review after negative review.
After the whole debacle, Romero would take on a more restrained approach towards marketing his companies but the damage to his reputation has been done.
The moral of the story here is that it will take a lot of caution and diplomacy on your part to maintain a healthy relationship with your clients if you go fully independent with your
Programming has its up and downs. Most of the time, you will have to go through the grind to get on top of the market and you will make a lot of mistakes in here.
However, what cannot be denied that programming can help you expand on your skills and even open yourself up to newer, better-paying opportunities in the market. All it takes is for you to constantly learn new things while also being creative enough to address problems that might pop up in your work.
Have you learned programming yourself? What other challenges and opportunities have you faced as a programmer? Let us know in the comments below!
- Nathalie Lussier
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