Talk: Exploring the World of Programmers

Exploring the World of Programmers

It’s World Programmers Day, a day specifically chosen as the 256th day of the year and which represents a very important number (2 raised to power 8), the number of distinct values that can be represented with a byte (8 bits), a value well known to programmers. Also happens to be the highest power of two that is less than 365 (number of days in a year).

At Africa tech radio, I was on air with Gloria Olufeko, where I was privileged to discuss the World of Programmers – Programmers day, what coding is and what differentiates it from Programming, how to start a career in programming, etc.

The Conversation

Below is a summary of how the conversation went.

Gloria:

Let’s start from why Today, Sept 13th has been chosen as the Programmer’s Day. The entire idea is The number 256 is a distinct number for programmers. This number marks the 256th day of the year, so we celebrate today. Emmanuel explain as simple as possible the logic behind the 256 as a number and why it is so important to programmers.

Emmanuel:

The number 256 (2 raised to power 8) was chosen because it is the number of distinct values that can be represented with a byte (8 bits), a value well known to programmers.
256 is also the highest power of two that is less than 365 (number of days in a year).

Gloria:

Now many people refer to programming as coding. So when you hear “I code”, it means you are a programmer. How true is that? Is Coding the Same as Programming?

Emmanuel:

Coding is a part of programming that deals with writing code that a machine can translate. Programming is the process of creating a program that follows certain standards and performs a certain task.

Gloria:

For a beginner in this field,  they might be wondering what is programming and how does it work? So what goes on in the world of programming. Briefly explain

Emmanuel:

Programming is the process of developing an executable software program that is implemented without any errors. It is the programmer’s job to analyze a problem in the code and provide solutions.

In order to come up with an application, you will need to carry out a few steps including:

  • planning the application
  • designing it
  • testing its features
  • deploying it
  • maintaining it after it’s finished

Gloria:

Looking at Programming in Nigeria, how well do you think Nigerians and Africans are opening up to this aspect of technology.

Emmanuel:

I believe Nigerians and Africans are really opening up to this aspect of technology. Back in the day, programming was something just a few sets of so-called special or talented people do. Something that seems very difficult and challenging. Something that you probably have to go to school or study Computer Science to do. But here we are today, for a lot of reasons, people are opening up to the possibility of them going into this aspect of tech because people are no more ignorant of the fact that anybody can do tech or go into programming, once you have the zeal to do it.

Some of the reasons for the opening up:

  • It’s becoming even more lucrative
  • It’s something you can do in the comfort of your home
  • Lots of free resources to learn today
  • More awareness about tech

Gloria:

To anyone looking to start a career in programming but has little or no background in computer science, how do they start?

Emmanuel:

First, anyone can start a career in programming even without a computer science background.

  1. Research the different career paths, the tech and soft skills needed, the jobs out there in the industry and identify which areas spark your interest.
  2. Find a mentor that you can rely on.
  3. Learn the right programming languages.
  4. Continue learning but start working on my portfolio.
  5. Apply for jobs early, even if I don’t feel ready.

Last words

  • You need to be passion-driven and self-motivated, cause at the beginning you’d need all the motivation you can get and at that point that you probably aren’t earning from programming yet, you might need some more motivation than just money.
  • Learn how to learn. Know what works for you when it comes to learning. You understand yourself more than anyone.
  • One of your greatest assets is time, use it wisely.
  • Network and make meaningful connections.
  • Be open-minded and understand that you may not get the result (getting a job that pays well) you wanted immediately.

Check out Africa Tech Radio for more interesting tech conversations like this.

Cheers! ✌🏽