Many people decide to go down the route of computer programming without much thought. After hearing about how lucrative and in-demand it is, it’s understandable that it piques lots of people’s interest. It’s not something to dive into without thought, though, as you need great skills and lots of drive to become a successful computer programmer. If you’re up for the challenge, here are eleven traits you should possess.
A Love of Learning
Any computer programmer must genuinely enjoy learning. If not, then what’s the point? Computer programming involves a lot of education – and not just the kind you get from teachers and textbooks. You must commit to a career that requires lifelong learning, as software, code, and programs are constantly developing.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree and you want to get started, a data science online masters is a flexible course. With such flexibility, you can even fit computer programming experience around it.
An Excellent Communicator
You might imagine a computer programmer spends the entire day isolated at their computer. While it’s true that a lot of time is spent writing code at a desk, that doesn’t mean you don’t also have to communicate with others, which requires being a great communicator. Whether you’re a freelance computer programmer or you work for a specific company, you will need to speak to the people you work with to relay information and understand their specific needs.
More often than not, these people won’t understand programming and code as you do, so you must also have the ability to turn your technological knowledge into succinct and easy-to-understand words.
When dealing with numerous projects, it helps to be as organized as possible. You should stick to your deadlines, always show up prepared, and aim to be early. Time management is a crucial part of being organized, so make sure you know how to schedule your day. Some simple ways to improve your overall organization skills include:
Getting an Early Start
Have you noticed that your day always runs smoother when you’ve had enough time in the morning? It can even impact how your day goes in the afternoon. To make sure you don’t keep that rushed mentality for the entire day, aim to always get an early start.
Keeping a Diary
A diary will keep you on track even when you feel overwhelmed. Whether you keep a physical one in your pocket or use a phone app, make sure you write in everything you need to do that week, so you don’t forget a single obligation.
Being Realistic with Goals
Telling your boss or client that you can get a project done in a week when it’s more likely to take two is a bad move. It might impress them at first, but when you’re rushing at the end of the week and asking for extra time, they won’t be so happy with your time management. Plus, it’ll throw all your other projects out of whack. Be realistic with your goals, and your projects will go much smoother.
Brilliant Math Skills
There is no computer science without mathematics. To succeed as a computer scientist, you must brush up on your math skills. This will naturally come up during your learning years, but you should also put some time directly into mathematics if you’re a little rusty. That way, that lack of skill won’t hold you back when writing code or learning a new program.
A Great Team Worker
There’s a common misconception about computer programmers – that all of them work alone, but that isn’t always true. If you work for a company, you’ll find that you need to integrate yourself with multiple people working in different areas of the business. To be a great team player, you’ll need to be able to listen, collaborate, and contribute to discussions so that everyone comes out of the meeting with a clearer idea of a project.
Computer programming is not a creativity-free career. While you might not be painting blue skies or writing a horror story, coding still requires a certain amount of creativity. After all, using code to come up with new programs means using your imagination.
Unlike creativity, the requirement of being tech-savvy should come as no surprise. After all, computer programmers spend their entire day working with technology to design, build, and fix programs. Whether you’re creating a software program or app, you must be extremely comfortable with technology and how to use it.
A Need for Accuracy
This is where computer programming greatly differs from other creative pursuits. While it does require a certain level of imagination, there must also be high levels of accuracy and ticking boxes while coding. Without that, you could end up building a piece of software that doesn’t work at all just because you got a couple of numbers wrong. For this reason, it’s important to be someone who always strives for accuracy.
Computer programmers spend a lot of their time solving problems, whether that’s a problem they’ve created or one that a business needs fixing. That’s not all, though – they must also be able to tell computers how to solve problems through coding. It makes sense, then, that problem-solving skills are a must.
Some jobs barely shift over the years, whereas others are difficult to keep up with. Computer programming is constantly evolving. With the career being so focused on tech and creating new software, computer programmers must have the kind of mind that looks toward the future. To be successful, it’s not enough to know what has worked – it’s important to also think about how to make it better. Otherwise, your skills could get left behind.
Without a true passion for technology and computers, there is no point in pursuing a career in computer programming. No matter how tempting the pay is, it’ll be tricky to keep up with those who genuinely care about the subject. If you have passion alongside the skills, though, then you have the potential to go far.
Computer programming isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t exciting, enjoyable, and genuinely interesting. If you possess these eleven traits, then you have what it takes to make a real impact with your programming and coding skills.