Are you contemplating taking up a new skill, a hobby, or perhaps even a career in coding? If so, you may be wondering whether you will actually find coding a fun activity to engage in.
If you’re wondering “is coding fun?” and “will I enjoy coding?”, we’re here to help you figure out if coding is will be an interesting activity for you. After all, just like any other activity, coding can be fun for some people and boring for others.
In this article, we will help you decide whether coding is the right skill for you and how to pursue coding as a career in case you become interested in it as a potential future profession.
What Exactly Is Coding?
Coding means writing commands and instructions for a computer in order to make it behave in a certain way or make certain calculations.
With coding, programmers are able to create anything from a simple calculator or a solution to a mathematical problem to highly sophisticated programs that can assist company operations or control train routes.
Coding helps the world be more automated, saves time and human effort, as well as makes daily operations more precise and less prone to errors.
Why Coding Is So Fun
We certainly believe coding is a massively enjoyable activity. And there are several reasons for it.
Many people love solving riddles for the sake of it. Well, coding is very similar in that regard. With programming, you have to constantly solve problems and find creative solutions to various questions.
Moreover, you have to put your solutions in step-by-step instructions.
If you are a person who enjoys solving problems, you will likely find coding fun and fulfilling.
Applying logic/Intellectual stimulation
Programming requires the application of step-by-step logic on the way to finding the most optimal solution to any problem. If you like using your brain and are a fan of logical reasoning, coding will seem like a natural and satisfying thing for you to take part in.
Intellectual stimulation and critical thinking are prerequisites for coding and are the determining factors in a person’s satisfaction and success in the field of programming.
Creating something intelligent
As a software developer, you get to create something truly intelligent. It doesn’t need to be a model of artificial intelligence or a complex decision-making system either.
Just making something that can solve a certain problem in seconds, however simple, that would have taken humans minutes to hours to figure out, creates an exhilarating feeling of accomplishment.
The more complex your system, the higher the sense of achievement you get from designing it.
Seeing immediate results
As a computer programmer, you see the results of your creation immediately as you complete each step on your way to engineering your complete solution.
As a result, you get to experience the “small wins” and get positive feedback on your project after writing each block of code (provided that it hopefully works).
As opposed to laboratory science or business projects, where it takes months of preparation and execution to find out whether your efforts have resulted in anything useful, in coding you get to climb the staircase of your efforts in small increments, each time confirming you are on the right track.
Why Coding Can Be Boring at Times
While Coding is definitely a fun activity for many people who enjoy mental stimulation, there are also times when coding can seem monotonous and boring. We wanted to touch on these topics as well to paint a complete picture.
Looking at the screen for hours
When you are a coder for work, one way or another, you will be spending hours on end stating at the computer screen looking at lines of code.
While you may find it fun to come up with solutions to programming problems and not mind the ticking cursor while your brain is hard at work, there will be times when you just want to take your gaze off of the monitor and close your eyes or look outside the window.
Sometimes you may get away from this problem by simply taking a break. Other times, when you are on hard deadlines, you will just have to push through and keep at it.
Sometimes, it takes hours to get past a problem
When everything is going smoothly and you are on a roll solving problem by problem as they come at you, you may feel on top of the world and “in the flow”.
However, quite often, you will find yourself facing a difficulty you just can’t get past. You will spend hours on it trying to look at it from different angles, but it just won’t budge.
At times like that, you will curse the computer, question your life choices, and hate software development as a line of work. We’ve all been there.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do when you find yourself in a such quagmire. You can take a break and revisit the problem later, ask for a colleague’s help, or post your problem online hoping to get some feedback. Either way, no problem is unsolvable (well, almost).
Debugging is another hellish experience many programmers have to go through every day.
You’ve finished writing your block of code and are proud of the elegant and on-point solution you have come up with. However, instead of seeing the expected result, you get an error or an obviously incorrect solution. What has gone wrong?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question may take you hours of painful testing and debugging to find out. Quite often, it will be some simple mistake in syntax or a wrong variable that has wreaked havoc. And other times, the problem may be something a lot more complicated. Either way, finding out will likely not be a pleasant experience.
How Do I Know if Coding Is Right for Me?
You like problem solving
Do you enjoy solving problems in your daily life? Are you good at finding elegant and effective solutions by using logic? Congrats, as you may indeed be a great candidate for a career in programming.
People who have inherent problem-solving abilities are at an advantage when it comes to coding, and they also seem to enjoy programming more, too.
You enjoy puzzles
Do you like solving puzzles? Are you good at them, too? Coding is all about finding solutions to puzzles of various difficulty. If that sounds like something you would enjoy doing on a daily basis, then maybe coding is a fit career for you.
You are an organized person
Are you a person who likes to sort things, organize their shelves, and prepare things in advance? Coding requires a lot of housekeeping, step-by-step thinking, and patience. If you have these qualities, there is a higher chance that you will find a programming career fulfilling.
Try it out
Finally, the best and most guaranteed way to find out whether coding is right for you is to try it out! Take a course in programming for starters (there is a whole lot of them online!) and make sure to implement your new knowledge by building a couple of projects of your own.
This experience will provide you the best indication of whether you will find programming enjoyable and satisfying.
Is Programming a Good Career?
What about the objective factors pointing to whether or not coding is a good career? There are surely many things that make software development a good line of work regardless of personal preference. Let’s list some of them now.
Great salary & benefits
Software engineers command high salaries thanks to the value of their work, the scarcity of available talent, and the richness of the tech industry.
An average software engineer in the US makes upwards of $109,020 per year, which is twice the amount made by an average American.
Additionally, software engineers are known to enjoy amazing perks and benefits such as free meals, transportation reimbursements, and flexible hours.
Excellent job outlook
According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for software developers is great. It is estimated that between 2021 and 2031, the number of available job postings will grow by 25%, much higher than that of the average worker in the US.
As a result, software engineers are likely to remain in demand and widely employed across the industry.
Potential for side income
One of the other perks of being a coder is the potential for taking on side hustles that can make you real money in addition to your primary job income.
Software engineers only need a computer and perhaps a limited budget to create an app or a website that can bring them significant revenue, which many developers do.
Low stress and good work-life balance
Coding, in general, is a low-stress job and activity. The work environment (that often involves the comfort of your own home) is usually calm and peaceful with the exception of occasional bouts of increased workload close to deadlines.
Coding is fun if you’re into it
As we have mentioned before, coding is quite fun for many people. This, in contrast to many monotonous and stressful jobs, is a great reason to get involved in this line of work and have fun doing something you love.
After all, solving puzzles for a living is a dream for many intellectually-inclined individuals.
How to Become a Developer
Are you convinced that becoming a developer is a sound choice for you and your future? Then, let’s talk about how you can get there and enjoy all the perks of being a programmer.
First, you obviously need to learn how to code. While it is not the hardest skill to master, it still requires significant training and time to learn. There are several ways you could get the skills needed to become a software developer.
Have some time on your hands and don’t mind making your own studying program? You may want to opt for a self-taught route to becoming a developer.
Many coders nowadays follow online programs or make up their own curriculum and learn to code by themselves.
The obvious advantage of this is the low costs of education and the ability to set your own studying hours.
However, it may be difficult to cover everything you need to know on your own and absorb all the knowledge without guidance.
A coding bootcamp is an intensive, short-term educative program to help people with no previous coding background break into the tech industry and become job-ready fast.
College degree is the most traditional way of obtaining comprehensive all-round education for becoming a software engineer.
College degree is expensive and takes long to complete, but it gets you the most value in terms of knowledge and respect from potential employers.
In parallel to obtaining your education in coding, you should work on getting practical skills and industry experience that will help you gain advantage over other job candidates and peers.
One way to get job experience while still being a student is by doing an internship. Internships help you gain experience, network, earn income, and increase your chances of landing a full-time job.
Whether or not you do internships as part of your studies, you should work on your coding portfolio as a newcomer in the industry.
Once you have the skills and experience behind your back and a portfolio to show for it, you can get started with the job applications. There are a few ways of doing that.
One of the simplest ways to apply for jobs is through online job platforms. Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn are all great websites to start your search for work as an entry-level programmer.
Search and find positions you are interested in by using the search bar and filters and use the links to company websites to apply to them.
Beware, that you often need to send more than a hundred applications to land a few interviews and perhaps a couple of offers.
Look for jobs through your network. Utilize LinkedIn, email, and other forms of communication to contact peers and superiors who could help you find a job in the industry.
Networking is notoriously harder, yet often yields better results than applying to companies blindly.
Hopefully, this article has helped you figure out whether coding would be a fun activity for you and a good choice of career. Whether or not this post was helpful, you should try coding yourself before making any serious commitments such as enrolling into a coding bootcamp or applying for university programs in computer science.
Once you have made the decision to start coding, you can use the steps we outlined in this article on how to become a software engineer through a combination of getting education, experience, and applying for jobs.
We wish you the best of luck in your pursuits and to enjoy your future career as much as we do!
Elmar Mammadov is a software developer, tech startup founder, and computer science career specialist. He is the founder of CS Careerline and a true career changer who has previously pursued careers in medicine and neuroscience.
Due to his interest in programming and years of past personal experience in coding, he decided to break into the tech industry by attending a Master’s in Computer Science for career changers at University of Pennsylvania. Elmar passionately writes and coaches about breaking into the tech industry and computer science in general.