Why is it so hard to become a programmer?

    For about six months now, as a voluntary "laboratory assistant" I have been participating in the work of the club of novice programmers. I want to share my results of these observations and my own thoughts about why not everyone is able to master this profession. I once read that no more than 9% of people in any society are able to engage in IT-technologies. When our club was created, I had a real opportunity to refute or confirm this thesis and understand why there are so few IT people.

    Study Environment

    Everyone is welcome to visit our club. The bulk learns about it from advertising courses for novice PC users. Many come from there. These are very different people and all of them, of course, have heard about high salaries in the IT industry and are enthusiastic to master such a financially profitable profession. But reality quickly cools the fervor of most of them.


    Studying programming is not easy.

    Programming includes a set of complex disciplines, the development of which requires an extensive amount of specific knowledge. For the IT specialist, this is nothing new, but for neophytes this is surprising and unpleasant.
    It turns out that despite the enthusiasm and great desire to make good money in the future, in order to assign one variable to another, to master a couple of operators and perform some actions with them, many do not need a couple of hours, but several months. Moreover, they go only to an understanding of these very, at first glance, rather primitive actions.
    Why is this happening? I think because it is not easy for people who had no previous business with logic, mathematics, and programming to rebuild their own thinking. Usually, after all, a person gains experience by studying his external environment and starting from existing knowledge. But in this experience there is no place for conditions, cycles, binary, and much more that is required for programming. In everyday life and ordinary life, all this is not used in any way. That is why some of the "novice programmers", faced with completely incomprehensible things, drop out of school in the early days or even hours.

    It is necessary to learn how to use the tools of nuclear physics, to recall all your meager knowledge of mathematics (and many, in principle, do not use it, unless, only for counting notes), to expand them to the required level. Yes, and this is only at the "start". Next, you will have to master technologies based on the chosen programming language. I am already silent about the need for English, at least at the technical level. That is why the chances of the applicant, who does not have special abilities, was not interested in computer science at school and did not encounter programming at the university, are very small.

    Of course, there are talented people who are given new knowledge fairly quickly. But, as my observations have shown, this is a rare case. Before my eyes, many potential "specialists" passed through the club. None of them reached the finish line. The vast majority of new students, after a month or two of intensive study, realized that programming was not their subject at all. And the most capable people understood this much faster.
    Of the approximately two hundred people who have passed through the club, so far only two talented and persistent technicians have succeeded in retraining as programmers, who have been pressed by life. This is only 1 percent, not 9, as the study I read once said.

    So what is a club?

    The club continues to work, it turned out to be a great place to meet and chat with people who would like to learn something new without too much stress. For example, an elderly scientist came, already retired, who decided to take up the development of programming languages. There were mothers with children, married couples - young and not so, laboratory assistants and university professors, acting special services officers, factory engineers and even athletes. Who was not there! But for most, I repeat, programming was difficult or not, at all. However, no one bothered too much. Homework, for example, was ignored in principle. After a while, most people quit classes.

    Why is this so?

    Everything is quite simple. It seems to many that they will be able to master a new profession in passing, having worked out for a month or two in an easy comfortable mode. Almost no one can or do not want to work and study seriously, spend months or even years of his life on mastering a new business. Here is such a picture.

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