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Do you have to be a genius to be a computer programmer?

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October 22, 2010 2:44:55 PM

Do you have to have an IQ of 150+ (particularly a math genius) to be a computer programmer? Do you have to have a degree in mathematics?

I have very poor math skills and was given a lot of assistance with the subject in high school, so programming probably isn't a good option for me.
October 22, 2010 2:58:02 PM

Nope, just have good skills at figuring out a problem and the maths will come.

Being honest, I suck at maths, but I am a qualified Pascal, C/C++, VB and Cobol programmer.
November 14, 2010 7:03:01 AM

Curious + Creative + Patience = Everything follows
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November 14, 2010 3:57:29 PM

programming is easy...you only need two numbers...1 and 0. All what's left to learn then is add et voila you are writing programs
November 15, 2010 1:55:06 AM

I'd say, "No."

November 23, 2010 6:04:11 PM

You'd probably need to do more work than a person of IQ 150+ would, but you could still achieve your goals, you get out what you put in.
Maths is all about practise, if you have the patience and you persevere enough you'll become an excellent programmer :) 
November 23, 2010 6:34:39 PM

I don't think so,
30% of self learning, 30% of school learning, 30% of experience and 10% of layziness.... the last one made the three others works faster to go back to do nothing ;-)
November 23, 2010 6:36:21 PM

Oh before I forget ... You also have to understand this little tes:

only 01/10 person understand binary" yes or no ?
November 23, 2010 9:40:07 PM

^ that 'test' is illogical.
November 23, 2010 11:22:31 PM

ambam said:
Do you have to have an IQ of 150+ (particularly a math genius) to be a computer programmer? Do you have to have a degree in mathematics?

I have very poor math skills and was given a lot of assistance with the subject in high school, so programming probably isn't a good option for me.
No, you don't have to be a genius, the work mostly involves patience, repetitive behavior, and the ability to discern non-repetitive patterns in repetitive code.

If you like pattern games, it might be a good job. Most people can't stick through it.
December 20, 2010 11:21:33 PM

IT depends what you want to work on, if you want to program complex algorithms for compression or want to do game engines, then yes math can be a big plus. For most programming jobs, it will be almost useless. The only math part I find a bit more useful on a day to day basis is statistics when you try to benchmark stuff.

I think the basic traits a programmer need to have is patience, perseverance, precision and logic. Creativity can also be a big plus at it will help you "think outside the box".
December 22, 2010 10:54:33 AM

Zenthar said:
IT depends what you want to work on, if you want to program complex algorithms for compression or want to do game engines, then yes math can be a big plus. For most programming jobs, it will be almost useless. The only math part I find a bit more useful on a day to day basis is statistics when you try to benchmark stuff.

I think the basic traits a programmer need to have is patience, perseverance, precision and logic. Creativity can also be a big plus at it will help you "think outside the box".


December 22, 2010 7:25:01 PM

Nobody likes a programmer. Don't be one. :) 

If you can understand logic, you can be a programmer. Math is based on logic. Depending on my teacher, my math was reflective of their ability to teach whatever subject.

If you can step through a process, you'll be able to program. For example, write down each step in how to prepare something like toast. Look it over. If you have "put bread in toaster" you'll not be a good programmer. :) 
December 22, 2010 9:23:11 PM

i agree with riser

programming sucks, glad others do it.

i would or could not stand sitting around programming for hours then spend hours going back there to discover a mistake was one . instead of a , or vise versa.

i think you'd need patience, i'd love to know how to program quickly and be an expert as access too but i look at the basics of the stuff and just scratch my neaderthal head
December 22, 2010 10:44:13 PM

You don't need to be a genius to be an average programmer. You do need to be able to follow logic, not be afraid to seek help, and comment your code. Of course if you're not as smart then you do need to study more :D . Making some application that follows simple formulas for taxes and commissions as well as keeping inventory can be done by any low level programmer who understands the basics and can learn how to use visual basic. I'd say you need to be of at least average intelligence and willing to repeat things till you get them.

Now if you want to be able to write assembler code that can get the most out of a complex multi-threaded machine (evil Cell CPU), without waiting for slightly less efficient tools like everyone else then yeah you need to be a super genius :D . Currently I mostly do PHP, and often you generally don't need alot of brain power for it especially if you have pre-existing code you've built up to shorten dev time ^_^. Of course, making some of my more custom functions and classes take a bit more effort.
March 31, 2011 9:28:19 AM

I agree with megamanx00.

To be a good programmer does not mean you have to be in the top 3 of Mensa! If you are really interested in coding and creating something from nothing you would naturally pick up the code quicker. Remember the functions etc a lot easier. By knowing the language you would find doing stuff is a lot simpler then constantly looking for the correct functions and expressions to use.

I mostly think if the "curios and interest" factor is missing, you would definitely get bored with it. It's like maths. Those who like maths are good at it. Those who don't... well, it goes without saying.

So I think you need to take one step back and ask yourself the following questions :

1. Am I interested in coding and learning new languages?
2. Am I willing to spend copious amounts of hours looking at code?
3. How much patience do I have?
4. Do I enjoy troubleshooting?
5. Will my kidneys and liver handle the vast quantities of coffee consumption during a 10hour work day?

my 2c :) 
March 31, 2011 12:43:11 PM

I would say that having the right mindset is more important than actual intelligence. It takes a special kind of person to develop code.
April 8, 2011 7:28:50 AM

Most programmers I know are borderline retarded when it comes to anything outside of programming--even when it comes to general computer use. Not all are, certainly, but my personal experience has been that they are extremely specialized and lack everything else (particularly the ability to communicate on a human level). Reminds me a lot of the kids that have applied with me from ivy league schools.

Math skills are certainly a plus. Most people really aren't cut out for it. It's not that they aren't smart enough, it's that you have to love staring at code for ten hours a day.
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