Q&A: You can only be a “good” programmer if you started early?
Question by Mike S: You can only be a “good” programmer if you started early?
Here’s a quote from Bill Gates: “No. I think after the first three or four years, it’s pretty cast in concrete whether you’re a good programmer or not. After a few more years, you may know more about managing large projects and personalities, but after three or four years, it’s clear what you’re going to be. There’s no one at Microsoft who was just kind of mediocre for a couple of years, and then just out of the blue started optimizing everything in sight. I can talk to somebody about a program that he’s written and know right away whether he’s really a good programmer.”
I’m starting to question what talent really is. I think most talent develops from hard work. I think there’s the illusion of natural talent because talent is often developed early in your life. If the passion isn’t there, you’re not really going to want to be great at it. Sometimes I wonder if I’d have more of a drive to be good at programming if I didn’t feel like I am a musician at heart. I think the issue is desire
I’m not sure if the issue with me is that I already feel accomplished as a musician and am not willing to have to deal with all the hard work in yet another discipline, if it’s that I’ve lost my curiosity, or if it’s just that I plain don’t enjoy programming. I’m starting to believe that I just can’t program. I don’t have the passion for problem-solving and logic that other people do, and even if I could become good at it, I wouldn’t be happy doing it.
Sometimes I wonder if having talent can be a detriment. You’re more likely to feel like you don’t have to excel at anything else, that you don’t have to work as hard. But there are tons of talented people out there, and some who aren’t as talented who want it more than you do. I think a problem a lot of people have is finding out what they’d be best at, and if they have the possibility of being great, why settle for a path that’ll be more difficult and less passionate but will make you more $.
Answer by CKH
You get to be a good programmer on your talent and experience, plus how much effort you put into it.
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!