Programming is anything but easy. Programming is hard work. Programming is one of the most difficult things you will ever do in a life time. Programming is not trivial. On a scale of 1 to 10, programming is probably on 8 or 9 as far as difficulty is concerned. The geeks are also not making things easier, they have all these terms that are just there to make you as much more confused as you can be. An example SaaS, XML/RPC, REST. A closer look and a better understanding will reveal that those three terms are so closely related that some other profession could have just named them all as ONE. But not so here, you must be confused, you must know the distinction between a plus and a positive sign!!
Programming has a mystic quality that makes almost everyone wants to do it, or at least wants to be identified as a programmer. Programming has a mystic quality that makes everyone think they can do it. Programming has a mystic quality that makes everyone think those who do it are super humans on steroids. gods like Linus Torvalds aren’t making it easy at all.
Programming can not be learnt in 24 hours, nor can you grasp it in 7 days. Think of learning programming, think of a 10 year course! Even medical students spend 7 years learning the profession. And I am saying 10 years if you started early, if you started late? we are looking at say 15 years or more. You can not do programming as a part time job. You can not learnt it as a part time study. Most programmers I know don’t have a life outside the programming box.
You can not afford to make mistakes here. It’s like an incantation that must be said precisely as it is. Else the magic won’t work. Your code won’t compile, if they do compile, they won’t run, if they do run, they will have bugs. You talk of debugging? you are looking at a job that will cause you more headaches than a troublesome wife, especially if the code belongs to someone else. You won’t be happy all of the time, most of the time your code will depress you. You will sit at it far far late into the night, only to find out that you have spent 6 to 7 hours looking for a misplaced comma, or semi colon.
Code monkeys will come at your code while you sleep, things that have been working before you go to sleep will suddenly stop working. At times you won’t even know where the error is. And you will be forced to waddle through the code from the beginning. At times your codes will have ideas of their own, different from what you intended. You will be frustrated at times. You will spend the better part of your life not developing applications like Monster Truck, or GMail, or Facebook. The better part of your programming life will be spent writing, testing and debugging codes that may never make it out of your box. If you are lucky, you might have one project that will be widely used.
So you wanna be a programmer? These are few of the things they won’t tell you in college. Things that I think you should know before you start on this path. Things that “learn this and this in 24 hours” won’t tell you. Things that books won’t tell you. You want to be a programmer? Think again!