What Are the Advantages of Self-Taught Programmers?

The world we love and enjoy today was largely built by software developers who turned an ordinary idea into something truly great. Think about it this way, three self-taught programmers gave us Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. These apps are used by millions every single day. What is it about self-taught programmers who end up becoming successful in their field? Is it sheer grit and determination? Or the fact that they had to work harder to prove themselves? Let’s look at self-taught programmers and find out about their many advantages.

What is a self-taught programmer?

Being self-taught doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t go to college, but rather that you were on a path of learning and discovering and chose to propel your career much faster than college would. Self-taught programmers are extremely hard-working, and hardly ever rest when they have a new idea. This is not a career path to be taken lightly: it requires a lot of dedication, long hours, and time to master your craft. There is also a lot of patience involved, with mistakes made along the way to a successful outcome.  

They’re always exploring

A key characteristic of self-taught programmers is the fact they are always willing to explore different avenues and solutions. They’re open to different ideas and are often called upon to come up with said ideas. They’re not set in their ways, and can easily flip the script to come up with something truly groundbreaking.

They know the ins and outs of programming

Any programmer will tell you that choosing a suitable programming language is vital to becoming a success. You don’t have to know all of the languages, and it may help to specialize in one or two. Some of the major programming languages include Python, Java, C++, PHP, and Swift. These tools are your greatest strengths in programming.  

They learn by doing

No matter your career choice or what you do, you learn when you complete a task yourself. The same can be said with programming. Self-taught programmers consistently read and research new things about the industry. Many of them have adopted a lifelong-learning approach which has paid off over time. While reading books is not enough to teach you everything you need to know in life, coupling it with actually completing a task sets you up for success. You must remain consistent, though: truly successful self-taught programmers know that consistency is the key to remaining on top.  

They solve problems

Programming is about solving problems, and often complex ones at that. And while not everyone is born with problem-solving capabilities, it is certainly something you can teach yourself. And if you’re committed enough, it can happen relatively quickly in programming, because you must think on your feet and come up with solutions on the spot. However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes even the best in the business need time to discover or create a worthwhile solution.  

They work consistently  on projects

Whether the said project is a minor or major one, self-taught programmers are always prepared to attempt it, which also helps to keep their skills on point. Let’s take this example. You have this major project at work, but this project is so complex that it will take you about two months to complete. During this time, you might find yourself losing motivation because you’re solely focused on this one project. This is where things can become quite tricky. Most successful programmers will tell you that in this scenario, they will create their mini-project at home to keep going, which helps to keep them motivated.

Are self-taught programmers better than college-educated programmers?

There’s no clear answer to this question. However, the biggest asset to being self-taught is that you take the time to perfect your craft at your own pace. Self-taught programmers often work harder and longer, while also consistently developing their skills. This is precisely what sets them apart from the rest. While we won’t say one group is better than the other, self-taught programmers could certainly be said to use their abilities and skills to better themselves at every point. Self-taught programmers are often happy to help fellow programmers on the way up. There are countless tips and hints from self-taught programmers to be found on the internet, some of which will even show you how to land your next job! There are also many cool and inspiring stories out there from phenomenally successful self-taught people in the tech world. But to sum up, whether you’re a programmer with a college degree, one who dropped out and self-taught their way to the top, or even a bit of both, there’s no doubt that however you learn your craft, programming is hard work, but also extremely rewarding.

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