Codecademy Forums

Do I have to possess a special kind of intelligence to have a chance to become a programmer?


it’s been a bit more than 4 months since I started learning programming from 0 here at Codecademy, not every day though and quite slowly, but I’m still here willing to continue. Recently I read on the Internet about the real-life 3-months beginner’s course on Python (which I’m learning at Codecademy) that was starting in late September here in my country. I’m thinking about applying to it because thought it was a great chance to find some new inspiration and meet people interested in the topic.

However, again I started questioning myself if I was actually talented enough for this. I might be wrong but to me it seems that programming requires a special kind of intelligence, a mind that operates very logically, and when i mention logic I don’t mean kind of a ‘‘life logic’’ where one is intelligent where he is simply rational and knows how to have a good and balanced life. Here by logic I rather mean having a machine-like mind. And honestly I’m not sure if I possess it.

I would be very happy to hear some appreciated opinions on this. Is one limited with lacking of talent and ‘‘mathematical’’ intelligence? How much in those cases could one overcome with hard work? Should he be overcoming anything at all if he’s not talented and just give up?

Thank you.

I’m sure programming or coding comes easier to some than others, but I wouldn’t say there is some kind of special intelligence required. A computer is just a machine. Without a detailed list of instructions, it just sits, and collects dust. If you can break down a task into the steps required to complete the task, you can learn to code. Learning a computer language like Python is similar to learning a spoken language. It takes practice. Lots of practice. It’s possible that programming may not be for you, but if you’re interested in it, and willing to invest the time and effort to learn, I’m sure you can do it.

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According to this article, there are approximately 26,4 million developers in the world. I’m sure they don’t have a special, ultra-rare gene sequence in common. I know people who at 40 were struck by structural unemployment, they simply had to change their careers. It wasn’t easy for them, it took a lot of time and a lot of commitment but they succeeded. Being a programmer is just a career choice.

I work as a programmer. I am teaching and helping others that want to learn how to code. I make living out of programming. If you want to be one of the best programmers in the world it might be true that you need to have special predispositions. But if programming is what you want to do for a living, trust me, it’s just a time and work that matters.

Every programmer I know, myself included, had some bumps during the learning. They had to overcome many obstacles to become successful. But this is not limited to the programming, every career choice will require some commitment.


Thank you very much guys for your opinions. I’m inspired to continue learning despite simply not finding time to dedicate as much as I would like to. But I will try to give it a best shot and simply continue over and over again.

Thanks again, cheers.


A mind is a mind and quite flexible at that so if you can learn one thing well, you can learn another too. There isn’t this sort of thing “can’t learn Maths but can learn X”. So I wouldn’t worry about “talent” - just focus on learning well (aka the “hard” way, most often than not).

It’s worth stressing also that programming is not about language x or y and therefore not easily evaluated simply by looking at code. But then again, to actually understand what you are doing and get to grow, the fastest path is under a mentor who knows what they are doing and moreover is willing to shield you from all the noise that plagues “programming” nowadays.

Those who search will find that, those who don’t will more likely drown in the noise and give up in the end (or even worse, end up hating what they are doing on a daily basis).

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Thank you for your answer. :pray: