Programming as a Life Skill


I love computer programming so much that I consider it a life skill such as swimming or riding a bicycle. The main reason why I wanted to get into programming when I was a kid was because it was the first step to becoming a game developer. I did not turn out to be a game developer (yet?), but I don’t regret at all the many hours I’ve spent in front of the computer screen hacking away at my pet projects. Now that I’ve spent some years at this hobby, I now realize how lucky I am to have the amount of knowledge about computers and programming languages.

If you are able to read this post, you are very lucky, because it means that you are able to read English. English is the primary script used to write most programming languages today. And many quality books on programming and computer science are written natively in English.1

Programming is the art of telling computers exactly what to do. But the complexity of the code you write is, by definition, only as complex as you can comprehend it enough to write it in the first place. That is, programming is akin to laying down a sequence of thoughts in your head, and then translating it to a language that the machine can understand. In other words, programming is the art of creating copies of yourself to perform some arbitrary mental task. Isn’t that cool?

Reasons Why You Should Learn to Program

Things to Help Your Journey

  1. Donald Knuth’s The Art of Computer Programming is the standard reference for computer scientists/programmers.↩︎