5 Common Programming Misconceptions Which Prevent Students from Learning It

5 Common Programming Misconceptions

Pro­gram­ming might seem hard­er than it is. Espe­cial­ly, if you’re a begin­ner who is just start­ing out.

If you’re new and have seen the first block of code, then pro­gram­ming might appear repelling to you. Those char­ac­ters don’t look inter­est­ing at all. They’re enough to scare off a kinder­garten child.

To be hon­est, pro­gram­ming itself looks quite an over­whelm­ing con­cept at first.

If you’ve got famil­iar with some basic key­words, syn­tax and the work­ing of direc­to­ries then you’re less prone to the fear of code, as you’ve already learned that pro­gram­ming, after all, isn’t as bad as you thought it would be.

Oth­er­wise pro­gram­ming will look bor­ing and unat­trac­tive to you.

Sure you’ve escaped that stage when you couldn’t stand the sight of a screen over­flow­ing with code. Yet, even after pro­gram­ming thou­sands of lines of code, you’ll feel less con­fi­dent and still shun pro­gram­ming.

Your ini­tial atti­tude might be due to fear or your lack of inter­est in pro­gram­ming. That tick­lish feel­ing nev­er goes away, It stays with­in you. How­ev­er, the good thing is that you get used to it when you keep prac­tic­ing and become capa­ble of deal­ing with it.

This is why programming seems hard

When you step in the world of com­put­er sci­ence, you’re both curi­ous and fear­ful. You enter a world which is yet unex­plored by you.

You know less about how you’ll deal with what you’re being taught as those new sub­jects remind you of your weak­ness­es.

You feel left out while all oth­ers are quite sure about what they’re doing. Soon, you begin to think of your­self as a non-pro­gram­ming kind of per­son.

Maybe pro­gram­ming isn’t for me,” you say to your­self and begin to lose your enthu­si­asm. That’s when you might be actu­al­ly under­es­ti­mat­ing your poten­tial.

There aren’t any born pro­gram­mers. They’re made — after prac­tice and con­sis­ten­cy.

In col­lege, you’re still at that stage where pro­gram­ming is a new con­cept to you. It’s up to you to love it or hate it, but it’s too soon for you to decide whether you’re fit for a pro­gram­ming career or not.

So what should you do?

Here’s a com­fort­ing truth – pro­gram­ming isn’t as hard as you might think.

All the mas­ters whom you have seen turn into great pro­gram­mers are the ones who kept alive their spark and slow­ly tried to dis­cov­er and learn new things they didn’t knew about.

Per­haps, you’ll suck in the begin­ning. You’ll even fall behind and feel like a fak­er who isn’t sure about what he’s doing – that’s nor­mal. Every­one feels the same. How­ev­er, don’t let these tem­po­rary feel­ings decide whether you should choose a pro­gram­ming based career or not.

You shouldn’t expect your­self to per­form mir­a­cles after a cou­ple of months as the whole process takes time. Yet, it slow­ly affects you. You become a bet­ter pro­gram­mer – each day as you prac­tice more.

Your inse­cu­ri­ties fade away as you get bet­ter and then your come to know sud­den­ly that “Hey! I’m not that bad either.”

You set out your­self towards becom­ing a bet­ter pro­gram­mer each time you put effort towards being one instead of run­ning away from pro­gram­ming.

Sim­i­lar­ly, apart from the var­i­ous inse­cu­ri­ties and fears which can pre­vent you from learn­ing pro­gram­ming, there are cer­tain myths which are wide­spread among begin­ners.

Not only these myths can stop you from learn­ing pro­gram­ming but also fill your head with lies which make the process of pro­gram­ming even hard­er for you.

You begin to believe those lies you keep telling to your­self, and also the ones which you assume or lis­ten from oth­ers.

We’ve explained below the most com­mon pro­gram­ming mis­con­cep­tions among stu­dents. You can fig­ure out whether you’re believ­ing any of them. After which you’ll be able to code more joy­ous­ly the next time you sit in front of your com­put­er.

Get rid of these mis­con­cep­tions and grab a pro­gram­ming book with a hope a becom­ing a bet­ter pro­gram­mer.


1. Programming is all about maths


Maybe you feared this word dur­ing high school as you might have got some bad grades in the past. You might be won­der­ing why this dread­ful thing is still fol­low­ing you to col­lege. Is pro­gram­ming a lot about maths?

In one word – no.

Yes, pro­gram­ming con­sists of maths – it’s an insep­a­ra­ble part of it. How­ev­er, it isn’t sole­ly about maths. In fact, it doesn’t even con­tain those com­plex equa­tions and expres­sions unless you’re work­ing on a high­ly sophis­ti­cat­ed project.

Most of the time it’s much about basic log­i­cal rea­son­ing, alge­bra, geom­e­try and cal­cu­lus – which indeed are var­i­ous forms of maths which you’ve already stud­ied in high school, but not as hard.

In short, there would bare­ly be any new kind of math which you’ll need to learn. Also, you don’t need to deal with maths much often since most of your work only con­sists of writ­ing the code and focus­ing on the log­i­cal parts.

2. You’ll have to learn a lot of new languages

It depends.

But the need to learn a lot of lan­guages isn’t the actu­al con­cern.

What makes most begin­ners rest­less is the thought of hav­ing to learn and try a cou­ple of new pro­gram­ming lan­guages every semes­ter. It seems dif­fi­cult and a hard mile­stone to accom­plish, although it’s not.

It’s obvi­ous that you’ll need to learn a lot of new lan­guages – but what’s wrong is the myth that learn­ing new pro­gram­ming lan­guage is can be a tir­ing process.

Although pro­gram­ming may be a new con­cept to you in the begin­ning, it doesn’t change much once you fig­ure out the basics. If you observe close­ly, then you’ll learn that all the pro­gram­ming lan­guages share sim­i­lar char­ac­ter­is­tics and dif­fer only by a few fea­tures which can be eas­i­ly grasped.

You don’t need to put in any addi­tion­al sig­nif­i­cant effort when learn­ing a new lan­guage as most of the lan­guages resem­ble a sim­i­lar struc­ture and ele­ments which are com­mon to those lan­guages which you’ve learned ear­li­er.

Also, sev­er­al oth­er ele­ments remain the same so you just need to con­nect the dots, get used to some new key­words and syn­tax changes, and then you’re ready to learn anoth­er lan­guage in detail again.

It’s usu­al­ly about imple­ment­ing the same con­cepts again and again. So if the thought of learn­ing numer­ous lan­guages makes you cringe, then don’t let that thought stop you from step­ping out of your com­fort zone.

You get used the pro­gram­ming tech­niques and skills after a few days of prac­tice, after which learn­ing new lan­guages won’t be a prob­lem for you any­more.

3. Learning programming is tough

Pro­gram­ming is easy.

Often, pro­gram­ming is regard­ed as some­thing that would require sheer amount of intel­lec­tu­al capa­bil­i­ties and an IQ of 190 by the stu­dents who are new — but there’s no such thing.

Pro­gram­ming isn’t mere­ly exclu­sive to a bunch of uber-bright peo­ple. Any­one can learn pro­gram­ming. How­ev­er, it’s mas­tery over skills which requires time.

Yet, you can still be a basic lev­el pro­gram­mer soon­er than you think by tak­ing up sev­er­al cours­es, or even by learn­ing inde­pen­dent­ly.

Achiev­ing the sta­tus of a pro def­i­nite­ly takes some time and per­sis­tence, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start some­where. You don’t have to be the genius who under­stands every­thing about what he does.

Once you begin and set out your­self on a road to enhanc­ing your abil­i­ties, you keep get­ting bet­ter.

4. Programming is only meant for geeks and nerds

Not exact­ly.

Geeks have their own quirky likes; pro­gram­ming is one of them.

How­ev­er, that doesn’t mean that pro­gram­ming is only meant for the geeks who keep tin­ker­ing the com­put­ers since they were 9 years old, or who pro­grammed in high school and lat­er decid­ed to fol­low their pas­sion.

Often, the peo­ple who become pro­gram­mers or web devel­op­ers come from com­plete­ly irrel­e­vant fields which are in no way tech­ni­cal. Peo­ple find a way to get into pro­gram­ming as it inter­ests them.

If you feel like you’re a mis­fit among all the oth­er techies then you don’t need to think so; pro­gram­ming is for every­one. It only sur­pris­es you as long you’re a dis­tant observ­er.

Once you start doing it your­self, you real­ize that you were only being too seri­ous. Noth­ing much.

5. Programming isn’t fun

Who says so?

Or at least, don’t believe that pro­gram­ming is an awful task unless you do it your­self. After that, it’s up to you to decide whether it’s right for you or not.

Like any oth­er job, pro­gram­ming too has its own pros and cons. It’s isn’t always fun and is filled with a lot of moments of frus­tra­tions.

It’s easy to lose con­fi­dence when you fail to achieve the results you’re aim­ing for or when you find your­self inca­pable of han­dling cer­tain prob­lems. You need enor­mous patience while tweak­ing and revis­ing code.

Again, you might be won­der­ing what it’s like to pro­gram for a liv­ing. There’s no one uni­ver­sal answer — because choic­es vary.

Your inter­est in pro­gram­ming depends much on your per­son­al pref­er­ences rather than pro­gram­ming itself. If you enjoy cre­at­ing some­thing new using your pro­gram­ming tal­ent, then it’s fun. Oth­er­wise it isn’t. Sim­ple.


The myths which your believe about pro­gram­ming cre­ate an inner resis­tance which acts like a bar­ri­er and pre­vents your from learn­ing any new skills. It only makes hard­er for you to har­ness your poten­tial by dimin­ish­ing your tal­ents.

The soon­er you get over these lies and start act­ing on what’s true, the greater you chances of suc­cess will be. You can sure­ly be a great pro­gram­mer, but for that to hap­pen, you’ll need to aban­don these lies.

What are some oth­er pro­gram­ming myths and lies which you think pre­vent stu­dents and from learn­ing pro­gram­ming? What makes it look hard­er to the begin­ners?

Share with us in the com­ments.

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