When you decide to become a web developer, you become passionate and joyful about what you could do and become until you begin to hear a large amount of irrational arguments and long-standing myths which will threaten your desire to become a developer.
These myths are just what they are – myths. Designed to lead aspiring developers astray with their false assumptions and outrageous misconceptions about what you need to do, what you need to know before you can be considered a web developer.
Here are some of the web development myths you need to look out for:
1. You must learn coding at a young age
This is a popular misconception that believes that you have to begin early else, your chances of becoming good at web development will disappear. This misconception is fueled by the media due to the rise of young prodigies. There are tons of experienced web developers in their forties and fifties. The truth is there is no right age to start learning to program. The right time is whenever you believe you’re ready.
2. Web development is for geniuses
This is the funny one. You don’t have to be a genius with an IQ of 160 before you can become a web developer. If you have taken tests to determine your IQ in the past, this has no effect on what you can become or how far you will go in your chosen field. Becoming a web developer is about failing repeatedly and having the discipline to learn through the modules that you have been taught. But ultimately, you only get better by making mistakes and this basically how other developers have learned. Programming is a language that allows you communicate with a machine to initiate a certain action or purpose. If you can communicate in the machine’s grammar, you can learn web development.
3. You must have a university education
Another web development myth is based on the premise that before you can become a top developer, you need a complete master to guide you on the journey and at the pinnacle of that journey lies a guy with a label called Professor. With the help of the internet, you can go about learning anything with zero involvement from lecturers in the university. You can take classes on interactive sites like Codecademy or on sites like Nettuts+ that have made classes into texts and videos for easy review. If you run into trouble while learning, you can visit friendly community groups such as Stack Overflow or StackExchange to learn more and if gets really complicated, Google search is always available to help you. While there is nothing wrong with going to University to learn about web development and they could speed up your knowledge as regards certain areas of web development. We prefer you focus on mastering how to self-learn as the world of web development evolves regularly and your ability to learn by yourself will determine whether or not you can keep up.
4. Men are better web developers
This myth has no basis in the world whatsoever because the truth is women have played a lot of foundational roles in the tech industry. The first compiler was invented by a woman. A woman, Ada Lovelace is considered as the first computer programmer and a lady was part of the team that came up with the BASIC language. The tech industry might look heavily biased towards men and this is one of the reasons why some women think they can’t cut their teeth in web development. It’s just a bias and it shouldn’t be held on as truth.
5. You can learn and master web development overnight
This is a sales pitch or a tagline, if you may. Don’t believe it. It’s so sad to see a number of youths starting a programming language and then giving up some few weeks after only to find out they can’t create a MMORPG. This high expectation of what they can achieve within a few weeks is one of the reasons why they think they are not ‘good enough’ but you are good enough. You’ve just been sold on the ‘sales kool-aid’. Like most endeavors in life, web development requires interest, disciplined and patience. It takes time to master a programming language but if you take baby steps every day, you will get there in the end.
Kara Tan is a co-founder of Altitude Labs, a full-service app design and development agency that specializes in data driven design and personalization.