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Is it okay to get into any computer field with little to no knowledge on the subject?

Computers have always been of interest to me on many different levels, both in hardware and software. Still, I have never been in a position to expand my personal skills and knowledge of computers. To be able to create the things I have always dreamed of, I would like to program or even code in some way. Computer science as a whole is very daunting, and from what I hear difficult to start and maintain. As such I would appreciate the guidance of one in the this field.

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Natalie’s Answer, CareerVillage.org Team

Hi Christopher,

Great question, and it's really commendable that you already have interest and passion as you think about your future. To get into the computer science field (like most fields), you would need to have knowledge on the subject. That being said, that doesn't necessarily mean you would need a degree in computer science or any formal training, but some knowledge is important as you go into any field. For computer science in particular, there are so many free and accessible online resources where you can teach yourself coding, for example, Coursera.org. So, I would say that yes you do probably need some knowledge, but that doesn't mean you need anything specific, or formal training. Lots of incredible coders are self-taught. Good luck and congratulations on thinking about your future!
Thank you comment icon Thank you very much on the advice. I greatly appreciate your response greatly and I will be sure to use the resource you have provided. Christopher J.
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Dexter’s Answer

Hi Christopher,

I agree with Natalie above. What you need to become a programmer is the passion to learn programming, and you can do that in a variety of ways. I personally followed books that I bought (though you can borrow them from the library these days), and learned through the tutorials that they provided. These days there are even great youtube videos that you can follow.

If you want to learn a general programming language, I would recommend Python. It's something that can be used for scripts, web development, programs, etc. Also, once you pick up a language like Python, it's easy to transfer to Ruby, PHP, etc.

I would highly recommend joining a local programming club, or a community college class to add structure if you'd like. It'll also help you surround yourself with people who are passionate about programming, which will help you become a better programmer.

I wish you the best!

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Dexter
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AAMIR’s Answer

Hey Christopher,

It looks like you already have some solid advise from people above. I can tell you from personal experience that I had zero knowledge about computers when I started with technology. I did most of my learning by trial and error and trying to figure out why things were not working like they should be. This let to countless hours of reading about fixes and possible workarounds, and in doing that, systems and technology started to come together in my head.

If you do not have access to formal training, there are many resources online which can be used to start learning a language (like Python as suggested above) or Go (golang) by simply walking through the 'get started' pathways. All of my hardware training was done by myself trying to put together desktop systems and learning about the components needed and how to determine what I could afford vs requirements.

This led me to gain employment in the tech sector where I formalized my knowledge further and advanced in this field.

I say all this to point out that I am not a unique case, as I have known quite a few people very successfully start by tinkering and writing basic code to one day having a career in the technology field. You do not need to learn all about computer science and unless you are extremely unique, you never will learn all of it. However, by diving into the basics will lead you to see what you like and then allow ou to dive deeper into that area.

Good luck!
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Judy’s Answer

Whatever your passion is, you need to start somewhere. We learn as we go along and there will always be someone to reach out to, to assist with your journey. Through a class, social media our someone you have the opportunity to mentor with.
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