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On programming being "easy" 

Programming *can* be rewarding, but it's not easy.
Programming is only easy as far as cooking is easy. If you like cooking, cooking is easy. But you quickly realize how difficult actually preparing a meal "at scale" is.
Honestly, you don't have to code. You don't even need to want to code. You're absolutely not missing out by not coding.
Building a shed for yourself can be a fun 3 weekends. Building sheds "professionally" not so much.
All I'm trying to say is don't worry about it. You don't need to code. Do something happier and more fun instead if you want to!

On programming being "easy" 

@talon Love this toot. But I would still like to learn coding. Hahaha!
At least at a "beginner" level.

On programming being "easy" 

@mms Oh absolutely! I didn't mean to discourage from trying to learn how to code.
I guess if I were to continue with my shed or cooking metaphor, it feels great to build your own shed or to make a kick ass meal. You've made it, you get to enjoy it, and you get to be proud of yourself, no matter how big or small it may be. But if you find that you're not enjoying yourself, don't push it. There are so, so many things one could be doing that aren't code.
I'd encourage people to try to code or script just like I'd encourage people to try to cook or build a shed. Don't go in with the mindset of "Oh this is it, I have to make this work for me, tech is everything and the future and if I don't know it then I'm nothing" because that's about as far from the truth as it gets in my opinion, yet it somehow seems to be a very popular mindset.

On programming being "easy" 

@talon I just would like to know the bare minimum to do a few things I need and want to. And to be able to follow some conversations without having to guess what's going on.

Beside that, building a shed also looks like too much effort. But I'm happy to cook for whoever would do it for me. 😆

On programming being "easy" 

@mms That's much more of the mindset that I think people should approach programming with. If you have a problem, you'll naturally want to solve your problem, especially if you're into solving problems. And it's much more likely to lead to results than "Everybody tells me that I need to know how to code and that coding is really easy so I guess I really must know how to code, and if I can't figure it out it must be a failure of mine because everyone keeps saying how easy it is".

On programming being "easy" 

@mms I really hope that made sense.

On programming being "easy" 

@talon It certainly does.

Even though, to be honest, I've never thought it would be easy to learn. I actually think it is quite hard and requires time.

But I guess that's me.

On programming being "easy" 

@mms Well, I wish you best of luck and hope you can get what you want out of it! :dragon_happy:

On programming being "easy" 

@mms I guess part of why this happens is the internet constantly telling you at every corner that "Programming is easy! You can do it!", when in reality I find this not to be the case. It's no more or less difficult than some other profession. It requires dedication, you absolutely will get stuck, you can't always Google for the right answer, and while building a little shed might be "easy", building a wooden house or even a brick house is a lot more complex, and it's no different for writing programs.

On programming being "easy" 

@talon @josias

But if you love it you can be very well compensated for doing something you love.

On programming being "easy" 

@captain @josias Of course, that's true. But in that case you do have some kind of affinity for it. But if your sole motivation is "This will pay me well and people on the internet said it was easy" then you're setting yourself up for failure I think.

On programming being "easy" 

@talon @josias

For sure. It’s easy to spot people with the affinity and yearn to grow in an interview and who is there to just get by. It takes both kinds to run a dev shop.

On programming being "easy" 

@captain @josias Yup, pretty much. I think what I was getting at is that people should not feel bad for not being able to figure out how to code. There are other things you could be doing instead, things that might come easier to you, and it's not a failure if you've tried and figured out that programming isn't for you. Programming isn't everything. :ms_smile:

On programming being "easy" 

@talon That's exactly what I tell everyone about writing novels.

On programming being "easy" 

@rickwayne I feel like this applies to most things. But I hear a lot of people saying that they wish they could code and they try again and again and again and it's just not fun, frustrating and goes nowhere, especially given that the internet is very quick to point out how easy programming is. Of course, I also do wish I could write, but I've tried and it just doesn't resonate with me as much as music or code does, and I know that writing isn't easy. All of these things take a lot of dedication, and nothing is as easy as it seems when you watch someone that's good at it do it.

On programming being "easy" 

@talon Yup, I think that's the long and the short of it. I think people want the romance of being a novelist, or a "hacker", more than the reality.

Coincidentally, I was writing about this just last week. Just FYI http://rickwayne.blog/2021/03/28/sunday-thought-anything-easy-to-read-was-hard-to-write/

On programming being "easy" 

@rickwayne Oh this was a good read. Yes. This is pretty much exactly how I feel. I suppose if you're dedicated and experienced in your field it might not be quite as easy to see where you came from and what it took to get here. I still regularly run into headscratchers where I sit for hours, maybe even days, completely clueless as to how to proceed, and sometimes even just scrap the thing and move on or start over from the top. We often hear about successes, but rarely about the failures.

On programming being "easy" 

@talon It seems like discouragement to some people, but it's not about discouragement. It's about encouraging people to find that thing that they don't have to force themselves to do, that will put them in the flow state.

On programming being "easy" 

@rickwayne Right. I also didn't mean my toot as discouragement, and more that I think that there are a lot of things that someone could be doing, and if what they're doing right now doesn't work to try to find something that will.

On programming being "easy" 

@rickwayne Seconding @talon : that was a great read! Thank you for writing it, and thank you for sharing.

On programming being "easy" 

@Mayana @talon Glad you liked it.

On programming being "easy" 

@talon Yup the hell out of this. :)

On programming being "easy" 

@talon Programming is a deep art. If you're going to code, don't assume knowing the popular language of today makes you competent or marketable.

Know less popular or even reviled languages, it shows you're serious.

I think everybody should learn Assembly, C, Perl or Raku, and Haskell in addition to Python and/or Java.

On programming being "easy" 

@profoundlynerdy I would say it's rather the broad understanding of both high and low level languages and their difference that make you a "serious" programmer. I understand how most forms of assembly work, but I couldn't be productive in it without actually diving deep into the particular architecture I would be building for. Especially modern assembler languages are very complex and I wouldn't fault anyone for not being proficient in one to consider them to be a good programmer, but I do think I understand what you mean. Ultimately though as long as you're productive in what you're building I don't really think I have much of a right to judge. It also depends on your situation. If you just do it as a hobby, writing little scripts or programs for yourself, then anything goes I think.

On programming being "easy" 

@talon You follow my intended sense. I just really bristle at what I see is a lot of thin knowledge in the IT industry as a whole.

And yeah, as someone who codes in 6502 assembly as a hobby: you're absolutely right. Modern assemblers and cross assemblers are pretty complex.

Also, different languages have very different default paradigms and it's important not to have monoculture on that front.

On programming being "easy" 

@profoundlynerdy Yeah, that makes sense. As soon as a substantial amount of your life is spent writing and reading code, it would probably be ideal if you looked beyond what you're doing to see what's out there and where it came from. I suppose for me that's natural as I love learning about different languages, the problems they tried to solve, and in which way. And I suppose it comes in handy when the abstraction leaks and you end up with errors that make no sense if you didn't know how those things worked in the first place. But that kind of proves my point. Programming ain't easy. :ms_cat_smile:

On programming being "easy" 

@talon @feonixrift to extend this metaphor:

While not everyone needs to be an excellent cook or find cooking fun, almost everyone will benefit by doing it at a basic level. While not everyone needs to know how to build a shed, a whole lot of people benefit by having a basic understanding of how to build things.

Learning the basics of programming is helpful in a lot of unexpected ways. My partner learned some basic scripting to save her lots of time and mistakes when combining data from reports at work. I learned programming at first to transform a text file with addresses into a CSV file so I could make labels without all the errors and time of copy-pasting every month. One of my dearest friends learned to program a bit to make simple websites for a charity.

You don't have to be a cook to make a meal. You don't have to be an engineer to rehang the door on your shed. You don't need to be a programmer to use code to improve aspects of your life.

On programming being "easy" 

@calcifer @talon @feonixrift to extend this metaphor:

Only getting things pre-cooked isn't likely to be good for your health

On programming being "easy" 

@calcifer @feonixrift Yes. If you rely a lot on computers to get your work done, being able to at least script a little bit can be a dramatic improvement of life, no doubt. I suppose my original toot was a bit vague concerning that.
I guess that metaphor applies universally, as well. If you have a bike, you should probably know how to do basic maintenance on it. You don't have to be an expert, but you should be able to swap out tires for example. I was more talking about someone trying to make a career work for them when they can feel that it won't.

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