Can I learn programming if I’m stupid?

I thought this was a really powerful question that I found online. Maybe because I’m able to relate to it so much. I share with you a couple personal stories in this episode from a time when I was firmly in the “stupid” category myself. In many ways, I’m still there. We all are.

If there’s one thing you need to understand, it’s that there’ll always be somebody smarter or better than us. If you’re the type of person who takes everything to its logical final result, then you might ask, “Okay, but what about the last person who’s better than everybody else? Surely at least somebody is better, right?”

My answer is first to consider best at what? We’re all good at some things and not so good at others. And this changes over time. It’s very likely that one person might be better than you at one thing while you’re better than that person at something else. I’ve mentioned before about how engineering is about tradeoffs. Well, it applies here too.

Another thing to consider is history. Maybe you are the best in the world at some task. But that title is only good right now. Maybe there used to be somebody who already died that was better. And there will definitely be somebody yet to be born who will be better than you in the future. Don’t worry about it. The only reliable measure you can use to determine how good you are is if you’re better today than you were yesterday.

It’s all about making steady and consistent progress. If you enjoy programming and you’re getting better, then yes, you can learn programming.


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