Is Coding Right for Me?
A computer programming career is one of the most lucrative career choices in the modern world. The internet makes it easy to get started learning to code—with hundreds of online courses, coding bootcamps, and professional certifications. But before you find the right method to learn, it’s important to ask whether coding is worth it for you. You might be surprised at how enjoyable it can be.
Should I become a coder?
If you like building things with computers, have a knack for solving problems, and enjoy logic games like puzzles, then coding is right up your alley.
Can anyone be good at coding?
Anyone can be a coder. Period. And with practice and dedication, anyone can become good at it.
It takes a lot of time to learn a new language. However, once you learn one programming language and understand some computer science fundamentals, you’ll be able to tackle some challenging problems and advanced programming language concepts. With hundreds of learning tools available, whether that be free online courses, intensive bootcamps, or online video games, you’ll find something that works for you.
How do I pick the right online coding class/bootcamp?
When looking at options, be strategic and ask questions to determine what methods work best for you.
- Is the learning program flexible; does it fit into your schedule?
- What programming languages do you want to learn?
- What computer skills do you want to learn?
With the right resource and a bit of motivation, you can transform yourself from a first-time coder into an expert coder.
Entry-level coders can fly up the ranks. Commit to a learning program. Once you’ve learned the basics, specialize and do what you can to gain domain experience and programming practice. To become great at coding, take extra courses, work on your own coding projects, find a mentor, and network with the right people.
How do I know if I am good at coding?
To get into coding, you need problem-solving skills. Once you’ve started programming, you’ll know you’re becoming good once you’ve gotten the hang of a few skills:
- Implementing algorithms
- Working under time constraints
- Basic math knowledge
You’ll also want some domain knowledge. For instance, if you want to get into data science, you’ll need to know advanced statistics; if you want to get into video game programming, you’ll need to know computer graphics; and if you want to get into app development, you’ll need to know a bit about how mobile devices and the internet work.
If you worry about being good at coding initially, just give it a try and see how you like it. There are many affordable tutorials online. Of the hundreds of options, you will find something that appeals to you.
What soft-skills do programmers need?
Programmers need soft-skills such as communication skills and time management skills when working in industry.
Communication skills help programmers work in teams. Even developers who don’t work in teams need to cultivate communication skills—while they might code largely by themselves instead of working in teams, even freelance developers need to meet with clients and hash out client needs.
Time management skills help programmers estimate task times and break larger problems into smaller, more manageable chunks. Especially in the age of work-from-home and flexible work schedules, programmers need to know how to manage their time.
Is it worth getting into coding?
Programmers enjoy comfortable salaries. Even in startups, software engineers in major tech hubs earn six-figure salaries. Not everyone gets the job just for the money, though—many programmers enjoy solving problems, working in teams, and setting flexible work schedules. If you enjoy these things, coding is probably worth it for you.
According to PayScale, computer programmers rate their job 3.8 out of 5.0 stars. First-time coders should know that this rating is higher than average—an overall good sign:
- Positive reviews mention the benefits of flexible scheduling and opportunities to learn.
- Negative reviews include limited time constraints and limited work-from-home benefits.
There is no such thing as a "perfect job,” but keeping these reviews can help you decide whether a programming career is right for you.
Discover coding with edX
There is no one way to discover whether coding is right for you. Ultimately, the best way to find out is to try it for yourself. Take an online programming course or find a coding bootcamp to get started today!