Well… 6 of the many.
Not everyone has what it takes to be a developer. Of course, you can learn how to code and get excellent at it if you put your mind to it, but it takes a certain mindset to make a living out of it. It is in fact absolutely possible to be amazing at programming but not be fit for a career in it.
There’s more to being a developer than just coding. You have to take a more holistic view of being a programmer, so if you’re undecided whether this road is for you, here are some helpful signs to consider:
1) You lack self-motivation
A good developer must be self-driven if he or she wants to get far in their career. When you look at the outer surface of additional detail, coding is basically repetitive. If you lack any passion or investment in the code you write, you’re going to end up being unhappy.
This rule is true for most creative undertakings (and yes, albeit what people think, coding IS creative). You must find joy in the act of coding and enjoy the process just as much as you enjoy walking out alive with your finished project.
2) You’re not creative
Going back to what has said above, coding is creative and logically mesmerizing. It requires heavy thought and a creative edge. A new program is like your blank canvas, and your utensils consist of libraries, frameworks, and so on. You’re building a masterpiece out of 1s and 0s and that takes guts and artistry. There’s no one-size-fits-all in code and that’s what makes it so exciting.
3) You are not able to sit for a long time
The act of programming will keep you glued to your computer for lengthy periods of time. There are some health problems that accompany a mostly sedentary lifestyle and sitting without moving for long can be detrimental if it’s not accompanied by some exercise outside of work, but a true developer does not take mind in spending most of his or her day in front of a screen. Not only does one have to not mind sitting a lot, he or she must like it, and not fall for distractions or productivity drops while in front of the computer.
4) You’re not into solving logic puzzles
Developing is every bit just about correcting as it is about creating. As other creative undertakings involve revising, tweaking, and editing, programming is about building all while fixing bugs that arise from logic-based errors. This, of course, is the act of debugging. So, if you like repairing things, like a good puzzle, and love to dissect the inner processes of systems and programs, this is the job for you.
5) You want to earn loads of cash, fast
In the past, developing may have been a very profitable endeavor. Nowadays, those exceptional characters who get rich quickly with some breakthrough talent or invention are more of a rarity than the norm. If you expect to get rich fast as a developer, you’re bound to be disappointed. It takes hard work, grit, and time to make lots of money – if you have none of these traits, you might as well get into something else.
6) You’re looking for normal working hours
You probably know that developers fall into one of two categories – you’re either employed by someone or you’re self-employed. The world of programmers is peppered with deadlines and distinguished by long nights, copious coffee, and stress. This is perfectly normal during the famous “crunch time,” in which long coding sessions are what glues a development team together in the same room for what seem like days.
Even when working for yourself, it takes time and stamina to stay ahead of the competition. Heck, you’ll even be thinking about code during your free time and it may come up in your dreams.
A final word
Let’s say you read this article and find that the developer life did not choose you, don’t despair. Your coding skills are immensely useful in today’s job market and are absolutely transferable. Your time and skills will not be wasted, as good programming ability are rare to find and a good addition to any position in this ever-digitalizing world.