Author
Ipek Binnaz Ünsal
July 14, 2021

How accurate are the representations of software developers on screens and in the society? Do they all sit across multiple monitors coding without any connection to the outside?

There are many more myths about Software Engineering that may prevent some people from entering the field. In our Software Newbie’s Hangout, we discussed some of these through the eyes of both software engineers and software newbies. Let’s debunk these myths together!

Myth 1: You must be good at math to be a good programmer and a software engineer.

Coding skills can be learned regardless of whether you have a math background or not. You don’t have to understand the underlying advanced concepts of math or how they work to be a good programmer. In Software Engineering, if your product by definition doesn’t require complex calculations or geometry, you will be using only 4 basic operations and nothing more.

When you’re building software, you need to think things through, keep track of the relationships between each structure and build things on top them not breaking anything. What’s more important than math is your ability to work through problems, and learn from mistakes. These skills will see you through life and serve you wherever you go, not only in your career but also in your life.

Myth 2: People with math skills are better at learning programming.

There is a recent study from the University of Washington that suggests otherwise! It turns out students from linguistic backgrounds are better at programming than people with mathematical backgrounds. The study points out that “A natural aptitude for learning languages is a stronger predictor of learning to program than basic math knowledge or numeracy.” While having mathematical skills won’t hurt, you may have a better chance of achieving your goal in programming if you have strong linguistic skills.

Myth 3: You must have a Computer Science degree to become a software engineer.

Majoring in Software Engineering is not a requirement for starting your career in the field. While we were discussing the myths, no one in the Software Newbies’ Hangout held a Computer Science degree! Your college major might be something completely unrelated to Software Engineering, or maybe you never went to college at all. It is not an obstacle that would get in the way of starting your career in Software Engineering.

At Coyotiv School of Software Engineering, our students come from a variety of backgrounds. We have had nurses, artists, and people with political science backgrounds who transformed into software engineers after completing our course. ⁣All you need is a passion for technology, a willingness to learn, and a desire to solve challenging problems.⁣

Myth 4: Software engineers are nerds who sit in dark rooms by themselves for hours with no connection to the outer world.

While the typical image that comes to mind when one thinks of a software engineer is the isolated programmer type who sits in front of their computer for hours on end, the reality is that some work in teams, in project groups, and on teams that deal directly with the public. Most software developers cannot just be isolated from the world because they need to collaborate and communicate with their colleagues to produce high-quality products that meet the needs of its users and the other teams in the company. Clear communication is vital in the tech field—that’s why we have designed our curriculum in such a way that our students graduate with the technical and social skills they need to become tomorrow’s software engineers.

Myth 5: Coding is all software engineers ever do.

Coding is only one aspect of Software Engineering. While it is an integral part of the field, there’s so much more to the Software Engineering adventure! Before software engineers can start coding their projects, they need to understand the subject area and have some domain knowledge. Since they are faced with new technologies every day, they have to keep up with the latest programming languages and trends.

After all the planning and research is done, they start writing the code. The code is never perfect when it’s first written; problems occur. For this reason, software engineers spend a lot of time finding out what that problem is by debugging the code. It is also crucial that they document their work at each step. The code can become quite complex especially with different developers working on the same project and it may cause software engineers to lose track of what they had written down. By documenting, they will save time as they work on developing their code. They will be able to understand the written code better when a part needs to be edited or added in.

In addition to all of these, software engineers may give conferences on software and even travel to different countries just to participate in one! Some developers also create content for newcomers such as YouTube tutorials, blog posts, and GitHub repos.

Myth 6: The age you start Software Engineering matters.

If you are passionate about coding and would love to build a fulfilling career in tech, it doesn’t matter what your age is. What matters is how determined you are to be a successful software engineer, and how willing you are to put in the time and effort to do so. With a lot of hard work and determination, you can turn your career into something you never thought was possible.

Keep in mind that you might have already learned the skills that you can transfer to Software Engineering such as communication and soft skills. These are equally important as your technical ones. When you take the plunge and decide to start a career in Software Engineering, Coyotiv School of Software Engineering is there to help you master all the necessary skills you need to become a successful software engineer. You will leave the course with the confidence that you can bring value to the table, knowing no obstacle can stop you from achieving your goals.

Conclusion

There are many myths that may discourage you from entering the Software Engineering field. You do not have to start coding at the age of 5, and you do not need to be a math expert to thrive in the field. You don’t even need a degree! Hopefully, debunking some of these myths helped you clear some of the misconceptions that you might have had before. What are other myths you can think of? Share them with us!