So your child or friend or spouse has come out as a programmer. What do you do? Do you throw out all the electronics in the house? No by the time they’ve told you they’re probably already hooked for life. The good news though is that most programmers can lead normal semi-healthy lives and even have relationships.
The first thing to do is to talk to your programmer. All joking aside you don’t need to have an intervention just a friendly chat about why they are interested in programming. If it’s just for Minecraft mods then there is a chance you just have a budding gaming nerd on your hands and not a full fledged programmer. I do know several people who got into programming through doing mods but I know more who made a mod or two and then went back to playing Minecraft.
Anyone who programs for a living generally has a pretty deep seated passion for it. There is a pretty strong requirement to continually learn in the field. Anyone who doesn’t tends to fall behind or burn out. That is the other thing a decent percentage of programmers burn out and become managers, marketers, or just move in to completely different fields all together. If you don’t have that passion you tend to burn out faster. It’s not really a career you can just do for the money very easily or for very long. Don’t get me wrong the money is very good. It’s not going to make you a millionaire good but you’ll always be very comfortable. It is steady work and generally very easy to find in most parts of the world with some exceptions. If your programmer is enough of an entrepreneur or persuasive they may be able to finagle the sort of situation where they can literally work anywhere they have internet. Full-time from home is still pretty uncommon but a lot of companies allow several days a week.
That is the other thing it is a very flexible sort of career offering many options for working from home part of the time, flexible hours, and a great many other benefits. If your programmer ends up working for a company that employees a large number of programmers generally the perks are quite nice and the company pampers their programmers quite a bit. See programmers now a days tend to move companies pretty often every 2-5 years is not uncommon. It is the easiest way to get promoted and get better benefits. So the more programmers a company needs generally influences them to have better perks in-order to retain and recruit programmers.
So how do you help and encourage them to really give this new passion their all? Making sure they have a decent computer is a great start. They don’t need a tip top of the line gaming laptop necessarily but expect to pay $600+ for a decent laptop. Oh and it will probably need to be replaced every 5 years or so. If you can’t afford that just make sure they have access to a computer. After all it’s really hard to do programming without a computer as a beginner programmer.
Then there are a wide variety of books you could purchase and leave laying around for them to find. There are enough variety in them that picking them out will probably be an entire post to its self in the future.
Classes, this is the expensive one. It’s great because they can get a lot of experience and knowledge they wouldn’t otherwise and possibly a degree or certification as well. It has a few down sides though. They tend to be quite expensive as in the several thousand dollar range. Also they are only as good as whoever is teaching them. Sometimes is someone who just wants to share their passion for programming and sometimes it is someone who has burnt out of industry.
Now you have a few tips for how to encourage your budding programmer as well as a short explanation of the benefits of a career in programming. These days being a geek or nerd can be quite profitable. Programming is an excellent career choice and one that I am so glad I got into. It has had so many benefits in my life.