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Vicki Langer
Vicki Langer

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Who can be a Programmer?


Coding is for everyone and anyone, regardless of our differences.

I’m not so good with math though

Coding doesn’t require you to be a math wizard. That doesn’t mean understanding some math won’t make things easier. At the very least, a basic understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and remainders from division will be helpful. If the below example makes sense, you will be more than fine learning to code.

2 + 2 = 4
5 - 2 = 3
3 * 3 = 9
10 / 2 = 5
10 / 3 = 3 with a remainder of 1 left over
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I should’ve started learning years ago, right?

No way! You can learn to program at any age. There is no right or wrong time to start learning anything new, including coding. Some people are introduced to code when they are young and some are not. Either way, you aren’t more likely to be good with code just because you started younger. Starting younger just means you may have had more time to practice.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" -- Chinese Proverb, Laozi

Everyone has to start somewhere, right? You’re reading this, so it looks like you are starting now. Congrats and welcome!

You may already be coding without knowing it!

Did you know things like knitting, crocheting, working on cars, plumbing, electrical, and so so many other things all share commonalities with programming? I'll explain some of these similarities in the next post.

Am I smart enough? Am I technical enough?

Absolutely. Whether you believe me or not, trust me, you are plenty smart enough to learn how to code. What’s the last thing you learned how to do? Did you know how to do it before you started? My guess is that you had to start somewhere. Before you started, you didn’t know how to do it. Now that you’ve tried, you’re learning and getting better at it.

Programming works the same way. If you want to learn, you have to just start. You don’t need to be a particular type of person to do it either. No one is born knowing how to program. Absolutely anyone can learn how to code.

There are tons of people, just like you, throughout the not-too-distant past and the present who have done and are doing amazing things with code.

People who have done and are doing cool things with code

photo of Timnit Gebru, an Ethiopian computer scientist wearing a beautiful red scarf
Timnit Gebru is a computer scientist who led a team on the ethics of artificial intelligence (AI). She works to remove bias that has been built into programs that make unethical decisions. She helps others make programs that are inclusive.

photo of Victoria Chávez, a Latina computer scientist wearing a pretty burgundy shirt standing next to a lion thingy
Victoria Chávez took a coding class in school and was hooked. During a hackathon, she built an app, SNAPy, that helped people find out which stores accept food stamps. She’s also helping disabled people have better access to programming.

photo of John Henry Thompson, an Jamaican computer scientist sitting at a table with a laptop
John Henry Thompson created a whole language that makes visuals in computer software. He basically made video games, modern cartoons, and web design possible

Photo of Raúl Rojas González, a hispanic computer scientist standing next to one of his robots
Raúl Rojas González led a self-driving car company. He has also won a Robot Soccer World Cup competition with a team of small AI robots. He also created a prize for scientific achievement.

Photo of Raj Reddy, an Indian computer scientist wearing smart blazer
Raj Reddy has done many things with robotics and AI. He laid the groundwork for us to have the voice assistants like Siri, Google Home, Alexa, and more. He also founded the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

lots of squiggly arrows pointing at the word "you" in the center of a square
You are reading this and are about to create so many cool projects. Whether or not you pursue a career with code, you will have learned many new ways to think about things. You will go on to do big things with your life.

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