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are there "average" programmers that are successful?

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i mean for some reason, and some common sense, i have accepted the fact that i may never be able to compete against the smart kids from awesome colleges in algorithms/design etc...i also kind of accepted that i may never work for a cool high tech company. i mean, i was reading logic questions that were asked of potential google/microsoft employees and I dont think I would be able to answer but a few questions correctly, especially being under the interview pressure. now is it possible to be succesful programmer, aka decently paid, but have a 'average' mind? are there any 'average' programmers that work in game development, microsoft, google, apple, pixar, etc...? sorry for my rambling, but im just wondering.

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Why do you see them as smart based on the classes they've been in and schools they've been to? Your problem solving abilities should improve over time from programming alone... Unless you happen to be mentally retarded, and incapable of learning anything, you should be fine... Practice really does make perfect.

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Yes. There are plenty of "average" programmers with decent jobs. Don't worry about being in the top 10%. Not everyone can be in the top 10% -- obviously only 10% can be in the top 10%. Find a good job at a decent company in a field that you enjoy and you will do just fine.

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One of my good friends is an "average" programmer as you have described it. He can program, solve problems, but some of the more abstract aspects of design elude him. Fortunately, he knows when he is in over his head, and asks for help. He is unlikely to rise to the elite eschelons of programming demi-godhood, but he does OK for himself. Mostly because he works hard and does what is necessary to get the job done. And being a hard worker, though we loathe to admit it, is way more important than being brilliant.

PS. He is a college graduate. His degree is just as good as any.

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In my experience, I have found that natural talent and stuff like IQ is not the all important factor in real life. Yes some people are just naturally very smart and there will always be people smarter than you are. But what's more important is your ability to produce results. It doesn't matter how "untalented" you are, what matters is if you can get the job done, which often enough doesn't require a "genius" to do. So it doesn't matter that you consider yourself "average". Just work hard and anyone can be successful.

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To add to your initial question...How much do "average" programers make? Someone here mentioned a friend that works hard and is an "average" programer. How much does he make(give or take)?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Genius was 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. -- Thomas Edison

Even if you're completely uninspired, you can still get 99% of the way there.

The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. -- Usually attributed to Albert Einstein

Basically, inspiration is 99 percent looking for the information you need.

Thus, at most only 0.01% of genius is natural ability. [grin]

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It bothers me that people think they may never be able to acheive what certain others who were born with a better ability to solve problems, do math, etc, are able to achieve. They weren't born with the knowledge of programming, they didn't know how to solve problems related to programming, i'm sure they have troubles of their own when it comes to programming...

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Moreover, I don't even believe in "talent". How can someone be "talented"? Who do we call "talented"? People who already do whatever they do well. So Ronaldinho is talented. But then all people are born stupid, half-blind and totally oblivious babies. We are born the same (provided we're not mutants or something). So Baby A and Baby B at birth have absolutely same chances of becoming the best footballer in the world or the best programmer in the world.

Talent is simply a posh word for "hard-working". Even 3 year old kids, who do something well, are in fact simply hard-working and passionate about what they do. Then we call them talented. So please don't think you're average. Every person has something to over, every person has his place. You'll work in a good company, making good stuff, just like any other programmer.

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