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Being a teen developer

talentlessguy profile image v 1 r t l ・3 min read

Why this article exists

I decided to write my thoughts for those who want to start coding at young age and also express my thoughts about the topic. I'm a teen a myself (15 y.o.) so this article can be considered as + / - true but at the same time, the whole article is subjective and based on personal experience so it may differ from others.

Pros

You understand how everything works

By learning HTML, CSS, JS, HTTP etc and other tech you gradually begin understanding how internet works. By learning Kotlin you understand how apps work. By learning C you understand how drivers work. When you know more, you have more power and you can build everything you want.

You have a bigger chance to get a job early

When you have knowledge and practise beforehand you get a higher chance to early receive a junior position in a company or startup.

Not all companies are like Google which require thinking out of the box, some of them just need you to do your work, write code.

Freelancing is popular among teens, I do it too from time to time. I didn't work for companies so I can't say much about it.

You try to find the most rational solution to problems

I know there are shitcoders (not teens only) that work just for getting money and don't like their job very much (some people who don't like coding / code for money only can also write good code) so they don't care how they write code, but "real" programmers (the ones who love their job and programming in general) try to optimize solutions so they look beatiful and work effectively.

You never get bored

IT world is extending every day. Get bored doing static HTML sites? Learn a UI library. Tired of web development? Try React Narive. You will always have an alternative to what you do in case you get bored of your current direction in programmning.

Cons

Your ken shrinks very much

Your "soft skills" slightly reduce. You spend less time on extending knowledge in other spheres, read less books, try less things because you think coding gives you everything which is not true in some cases.

School doesn't care about these skills

I don't know how in other countries, but in Russia being a teen programmer doesn't help you at all. You can build huge complex apps but in IT classes you solve boring primitive tasks using a 20+ year old and already dead language like Pascal (even though it is 2019 now!).

Also, as I said previously, programming makes you think rationally. School disrespects this, just solve the task like teacher says, not more effective or better, only one way. That pisses me off the most, in real life tasks have multiple solutions, not the only one is "right".

You spend (or waste) a lot of time

Some topics in IT take a huge amount of time to fully process, understand and practise it. In my experience, I lost a lot of time by learning basic things for a very long period. I know there are some fast learners but they write bad code or they don't completely understand what they do. If you learn things fast and properly - you're a superhero. Sadly, superheroes don't exist.

Conclusion

It is a hard decision to pick what you will spend your life and teen age for but if it is IT, remember the risks, don't just think: "I'll be rich!". Not all, even hard working, developers have a good salary. In total programming should be something more than a way to get money.

Posted on by:

talentlessguy profile

v 1 r t l

@talentlessguy

16yo nullstack dev, OSSer ⚡, expert in nothing

Discussion

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In my high school, they used to teach BASIC language. Literally wastage of time.
And now, in secondary school, they teach C. Actually, there's no problem with C but they order to keep using Turbo C, the 18th century IDE for C language😏

 

damn, BASIC is even older than Pascal. It looks like all the people who make programs for IT lessons are 50+ year olds. I wish more young people were in teacher industry...

 

In my high school, teen developers are seen as geeks. You have to code in your off-time if you don't want to be singled out as weird (especially for girls).

 

Oh... I thought that only happens in my country... But this is everywhere. I've always been told to prioritize my studies instead of programming. But I love to be a developer more than being a topper student 😏

 

yeah many think about me as a weirdo that constantly types some weird stuff in his phone like hackerman (I'm playing with Termux between lessons) but tbh I don't care much about it. At least I look smart, IRL I'm quite dumb and awkward.

I was in an IT camp and there were only 4-5 girls so it is ultra rare to see an IT teen girl. In my school there are no any coder girls. Maybe most of females prefer design / management over code (as I think).

 

Yup, I'm the only girl at my high school who does coding in this student group/club. Our advisor told me that some of the others feel threatened because I'm better at it than they are. I don't let it bother me since I don't see it as a competitive sport like some of them do.

We need more Girl-Programmers like you.

 

I am also Messing with Termux between classes but people don't understand what using the command line is. They have probably watched hacking movies where data and coding is constantly moving in the command line when people can't even code that fast or enter commands that fast. There many misconceptions between using the command line to learn(CASUALLY) and using it for hacking or for Cyber security.

not to sound like an elitist or smth, but I actually type quite fast, both on phone and a laptop.

some my class mates understand stuff tho, so they don't think I'm a magician

 

I thought it is only in my country that we follow some obsolete tracks of education and not appreciate the students trying to do something new or trying old things in a new way. Nice that you have started really young. I wish I had someone to guide me how to code or tell me how it all works at your age. All that I could do is to think that coding is for big boys watch Matrix Movies. Wish you all the best. Following you, hope to see you grow with your passion.

 

As a 15 year old developer myself there is definitely a lot that my chosen hobby/profession has opened up for me academically and otherwise.

Academically

  1. I have the most elaborate note system tailored to my brain (online notes, every developers vice)
  2. Some python can come in handy for math/physics
  3. The club I'm part of running will have a real cool website built with Gatsby.

Professionally/Misc

  1. Freelance work is something I'm getting into and I'm very happy with (what teenager is going to say no to about double minimum wage to do something I like doing... Lunch is on me ;) I might even "hire" some more kids from my school
  2. I've been able to use my skillset to do good. For example helping with sites and ads for local political campaigns I support.

Just remember to keep a good work/life (school?) balance ;)

 

Some python can come in handy for math/physics

I just solve all tasks I don't wanna write using JS (I even have Node.js on my phone installed) but python is cool too (I don't like it tho)

Just remember to keep a good work/life (school?) balance ;)

For me it is impossible to balance. If you do everything on average you'll never succeed in any of spheres.

 

In middle school we learned BASIC, In highschool C and html.
I was far more advanced in the topics than the teacher though. This was in the mid 90's. I loved computers and self taught.

My grandfather me a lot back then. GOt me books etc. He was big into radio in the 60's and then in 70's and 80's he was into the home computer scene

 

I'm a teen programmer but I don't really see much cons its been all pros for me,
The best advantage of being a teen programmer is the experience gained during the teen years, take me for example I started coding at 14, if I keep this up till I'm 20, I would have up to six years of experience in the field.