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Khoa Pham
Khoa Pham

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Is it true that programming is easy to do?

Is it true that programming is easier to do, easier to get a job and easier to get decent salary than other professions?

Top comments (9)

gsto profile image
Glenn Stovall • Edited

Depends on how you define "easy".

Is writing easy? Most people know how to string together a paragraph, but they wouldn't be able to get a job as a writer.

Is running easy? Most people can put down a mile or even a 5k, but they wouldn't be able to race competitively.

So, how "easy" is programming?

Most people could follow a tutorial, study the syntax, and get the gist of it. But that doesn't make you employable, despite what boot camp after boot camp tries to sell you.

I don't say to discourage anyone. Many people have learned coding skills and gone on to find jobs. Some with great salaries and some without. In that regard, programming is easier than, say, medicine, which has more stringent requirements when it comes to schooling and licensing.

As far as salary, I'd say the average starting salary is higher than many others. Breaking six figures is the rule, not the exception when you get up to the senior level. In that regard, programming is easier than being a waiter or a teacher. Harder perhaps, than working in something like qualitative finance.

Is programming easy? Yes, except when it isn't.

Sloan, the sloth mascot
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mvasigh profile image
Mehdi Vasigh • Edited

Maybe it's something that you're doing? I noticed you only have one script available on your GitHub. Perhaps work on and publish a bunch of side projects? I've not had a job search last longer than a month and I don't have a CS degree.

The things that get you hired are your professionalism and your code, in that order.

keptoman profile image

I think it depends on where you live.
In Quebec, Canada, it's 3 years in college then you almost immediately get a job. Everyone who wants a job can get one when they finish school (and sometimes even before).
Biggest problem here is breaking through the first time. But, everyone is so short-staffed that they often hire juniors for jobs that require more experience. That's what happened to me.
The pay ain't bad for 3 years post secondary education, but I don't have kids, a car, or debts. If you find the right place, you can get a pretty high pay compared to the current cost of living (which is kinda low here).

Is programming easy? Again, it depends of who you are, where you learn it and how you learn it. I've had amazing teachers but I've known people who never got their "Oh, I get it!" moment.

kspeakman profile image
Kasey Speakman

I would say programming has a steep learning curve, depending on the area. E.g. front-end programming has HTML, CSS, JS, and spaghetti tooling at a minimum. This is one of the reasons why imposter syndrome is so prevalent in our industry. And this is probably also why you see companies wanting experience for entry-level jobs -- they don't want to spend the money to train.

Once you have crossed the learning threshold, the salaries are above-average for office work in my country, and it seems that there are a lot of jobs available. Perhaps if there wasn't a funnel at the learning curve, the jobs would eventually pay less and be in less demand. Although creative work (rather than process-based office work) might still demand a higher salary.

Is programming as a job easy? I think understanding and solving the user/customer's problem is still challenging after 18 years. Good software does that rather than just solving technical problems.

rinisimon profile image
Rini Simon • Edited

whatever you can do or good at is "easy", whatever you love or enjoy doing gets "easy". It's not about if something is easy or hard. The question is do you want to do it, do you have the passion or desire for it.

If you want to do it then learning makes things easy.

mvasigh profile image
Mehdi Vasigh

Regardless of profession, if you think that what you do is easy to do, it may be because you've become stagnant and are no longer challenging yourself. As a programmer, if what I do has become easy and I don't see a way to challenge myself more (tedious work and meeting unrealistic deadlines aren't challenges) that's a signal that maybe I need a new job.

larsklopstra profile image
Lars Klopstra ⚡ • Edited

If you enjoy it, yes! It has quite a learning curve but when you know the general concepts you're unstoppable! The key is having fun :)

qm3ster profile image
Mihail Malo

Idk about jobs and salaries, but one would assume yes because there's a lot of demand.
But I do feel like it is easy "to do" for me, being one of the few things I (think I) can do "well"(given appropriate tools).