"Everyone should know how to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think." -Steve Jobs

In today's world filled with technology and technical devices, we may feel at times that we are living in the future or straight out of a science fiction flick. However, have you ever stopped and thought about the work and consistent effort it takes to create operating systems, computers, and software? If you're like me, it's not likely.

Maintaining and keeping operating systems running smoothly is mainly due to the tireless efforts of computer programmers. 

Programmers/coders are computer whizzes who have taken the time to study computer science and know-how to fix the apps, websites, and software that everyday users, such as yourself and I, love. And, since advancements in technology are showing no signs of slowing down, we should all be interested in learning more about computer programming and coding.

Who knows, in the future, knowing a bit of code might be a standard requirement at all jobs. 

Without further ado, in today's article, we shall discuss the best skills and abilities that an aspiring computer programmer should hone to become a master in their field are.

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The Top Eight Abilities Necessary to Become a Masterful Computer Programmer

As is the case in all professional sectors and job positions, there are specific skills in computer science that are required. Not only does honing special abilities make completing job tasks more accessible, but it also makes you more eligible for future career advancement.

So, what are the most considerable skills that a computer programmer can have and should work towards honing? Let's take a look at eight of them!

Language Skills

Those who have no previous knowledge of computer programming may sound a bit bizarre that language skills are valued and should be honed. Nonetheless, it is essential to state that since programmers must familiarise themselves with multiple coding languages that are different from the next, having the facility the quickly comprehend foreign tongues is a transferrable skill that is greatly favoured amongst computer programmers.

Aspiring computer programmers need to learn at least one coding language to be eligible for work; start with baby steps to avoid getting overwhelmed. We powerfully suggest picking up common coding languages such as Python, C++, Ruby, and JavaScript.

Attention to Detail

Do you have the eye of a perfectionist who can quickly recognise errors and tell if the frame in the living room is crooked? If so, that attention to detail will be greatly esteemed as a computer programmer.

The best computer programmers are not those who have years of professional schooling under their belt but rather individuals who have improved on their skills such as attention to detail through constant practice. 

Nonetheless, it is highly recommended for those who have to hone attention to detail skills never to review code and systems programming when you are tired or lethargic after a big meal. Also, when you notice repeated errors, write them down to catch them for next time. Remember to never trust too much in your abilities since you may become overconfident and forget to notice some essential aspects of programming that need fixing.

Patience

Ever heard the term, 'patience is a virtue?' Well, that saying couldn't be more true when it comes to computer programming. How's that? There's no beating around the bush, coding is complicated, and at times, especially in the beginning, you will want to throw in the towel and give up.

Many programmers look at their frustration as a way to motivate them while working on their patience. 

However, to make a career out of computer programming, you must work on your patience and recognise that most coding issues may take days to resolve since you need to sift through various lines and lines of code to determine where the problem is. Don't let yourself get too discouraged, and remember that there are many victories when working as a computer programmer.

Problem-Solving Skills

problem solvers in computer programmers
The best computer programmers have outstanding problem-solving skills. (Source: Unsplash)

Another essential ability that a computer programmer must possess is that of problem-solving. Without the skills to solve different coding problems, a programmer is doomed. How's that? Well, in essence, code is created and written to solve problems. Programmers need to be well aware of their ability to recognise coding issues and find the most efficient ways to solve them via programming.

Independence

Do you crave human interaction and look forward to the daily conversations in the bullpen with your fellow workers? If that is the case, you will not survive as a computer programmer! Why's that? Well, the bulk of computer programmers work is completed in solitude without other people around.

So, if you already thrive at working independently and prefer it overhearing the same sad stories from your coworkers, you'll do great working with code daily. It's worth stating that working independently has its perks since you can stay at home, get the job done more quickly since you're free of distractions, and avoid micromanaging bosses.

Self-Motivation

Since a lot of the work of a computer programmer is completed solo, there is no boss man in the flesh pressuring you to finish your tasks by a specific date; therefore, a lot of motivation is needed to keep yourself working at a steady pace and to ensure that you get the job done.

Also, since computer programming is a growing field that shows no signs of slowing down, programmers need self-motivation to continue learning new aspects of the trade and avoid getting stuck behind. An added motivator is that the skills you continue to learn will help you accomplish your coding tasks more efficiently.

Communication Skills

Since, according to most people, computer programmers are known for writing code in dimly light basements, why would it be essential to learn communication skills? Though it sounds contradictory, a computer programmer with good communication skills is a highly valued member of any team. Why's that?

Many employers require their programmers to speak amongst themselves to develop strategies and talk about more significant projects that they are working on together. Excellent communication skills are honed through earnest practice and contribute to a more robust working team and a better relationship with the client.

independent working in development career
Those who work independently already will have no trouble transitioning to computer programming jobs. (Source: Unsplash)

Organisation Abilities

No matter how much experience you have as a computer programmer, some days can be extremely daunting, overwhelming, and downright discouraging. Therefore, computer programmers need to organise their time wisely and break up large work tasks into smaller segments to make everything more manageable.

Also, if you're not organised, you will waste time trying to keep track and remember what you were doing and what you were working on—staying organised means knowing which problems you need to solve and how.

If you work on all eight of the previously mentioned skills, you will enjoy a successful and prosperous career in computer programming.

Do You Need to Be Good at Maths to Become a Programmer/Coder?

Before even learning or becoming accustomed to the necessary aspects of computer programming, many individuals believe that they must be experts in maths. Is that true? Does a computer programmer need to have good maths skills? Yes and no.

While it is true that a knowledge of basics maths skills is suggested and a great asset, aspiring programmers do not need to fret about being maths geniuses to be good at their job, in many cases, a solid foundation of maths aspects such as algebra and arithmetic is necessary to take part in various parts of coding.

Also, it's worth stating that being good at mathematics hones logical skills, which are well-received and used in computer science and technology. 

If you're considering a career in computer science and programming, we remarkably suggest paying attention to your maths skills. Nonetheless, to be eligible for various coding jobs, you might not need more than the maths you learned during secondary school.

Tips to Become a Better Computer Programmer

using YouTube to learn programming
As a computer programming amateur, we recommend taking a look at YouTube tutorials to enhance your skills and get better. (Source: Unsplash)

No matter how many skills you possess that are relevant to computer programming, there are various tips and tricks that anyone can put into practice to become better at coding. Aspiring programmers are wise to apply the advice they hear from more experienced computer science workers. Such as?

Without further ado, the following are three tips to become better at computer programming:

  • Write Code Every Day: one of the best things a beginner computer programmer can do is write code every day. Since practice makes perfect, beginner coders will slowly become better at writing and reading code if they practice regularly. Dedicate to at least 20-30 minutes of writing code per day.
  • Stay Balanced: computer programming is an extensive sector that continues to expand every single day due to the improvements in modern technology; therefore, from the beginning, it is essential to develop a realistic view and recognise that it will take years to become a masterful programmer. By being honest and balanced, you'll gradually become a better computer programmer without feeling any pressure.
  • Take Advantage of Learning Resources: since computer programming is a prevalent employment position, there are plenty of online resources available for learners that make the process of learning much more enjoyable. Consider reading blogs, watching YouTube videos, and joining forums that discuss coding and programming.

In conclusion, we are confident that by honing the appropriate skills necessary to become a better programmer, you'll turn into a valuable member of any employment position you are offered.

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Brentyn

Avid movie-goer, reader, skier and language learner. Passionate about life, food and travelling.