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Computer Programming Education

How long does it take to learn almost everything about computer programming?

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David’s Answer

That's a tough question because it depends on what you mean by "almost everything about computer programming". I can give you my anecdotal experience from working in the field for almost 2 years. I am doing full stack web application development and there are a lot of things that college didn't teach me in my computer science curriculum. I had almost zero web application development experience and very little SQL experience, both of which are part of my daily job now. Picking all of the languages up at first is very tough, but from what I was told it takes about 3 years of constant programming in the career in order to start to feel comfortable. I currently have a manager that has over 14 years of experience with programming and he said that he is still learning stuff daily. So to answer your question I'm not sure that you will ever come close to knowing "almost everything" but I think it takes a couple years to really get good in a programming career. My advice is to have lots of patience, be willing to try crazy solutions, do lots of research, and most importantly continue to constantly learn.
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Elliot’s Answer

Why do you need to know everything? Be more focused and specific. What specific areas of it interest you? Just that much will take a while. And its enough. Enjoy your learning and good luck. There's no need to know EVERYTHING :)
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Fred’s Answer

I have worked in IT for almost 25 years, and I am nowhere close to learning almost everything.

Once of the challenges is that this is a constantly evolving and growing field. There are things out there today that weren't dreamed of when I started. Even if today you know everything there is to know, next week there will be something new.
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Roberto’s Answer

Hi Kyarter,

I find the answer rather simple (maybe not what you want to hear). The answer to your question is: "A life time"

However the silver lining is that you don't need to know "almost everything" about anything in order to be successful in a given field. All you will need is the right attitude to learn "everything that is needed" whenever is needed.

Computer programming expertise in particular, is one of those fields that are a moving target, a forever retreating goal post. That is, however what makes it so exiting: a lifetime opportunity of challenges, learning and fulfillment. In programming what was good 10 years ago is may be obsolete by now and what is cutting edge today will by already old by the time you become an expert. Being an expert at programming, as with most technology fields means to be able to learn and apply your previous knowledge to new learning, permanently. If you are curious about programming, get on the boat, stay on the boat and you will go places.

Good luck !
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david’s Answer

Your question is ambitious, but I understand where you're coming from. I was in computer programming for 40+ years and saw many changes in that time and never came close to learning everything. That is because there were (and still are) many branches off of the tree that each require special skills or assignments. However, there have always been fundamentals. A few such fundamentals will carry you a long way. Here are mine;
- learn one programming language to start and develop a few small applications.
- focus on making the program easy to follow, using clear statements and embedded comments
- learn about program structure, how best to construct the program for ease of future changes (and there will always be changes)
- learn how to document software such that persons with no programming knowledge can understand the flow and approve or offer comments (since much of your work will be at the direction of others)
- since the internet will likely encompass part of your career, learn how to develop a simple website, including putting it online for others.

Your career may be in none of the above, specifically, but the knowledge of programming, documentation, and explaining to others will serve you well. And knowing the basics of software and websites will make it easier to learn new concepts as you are introduced to them.

Fortunately, there are free resources on the internet for learning a programming language and also for building a simple website. My advice is to start slowly, but deliberately, and achieving this knowledge will come more quickly than you might think. Good luck to you. Computer programming is an exciting career area.
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Nandini’s Answer

Hello Kyarter,

This is a loaded question!

As my peers have stated before me, the field of computer science is evolving. There is something new coming every month which means more things to learn!

Not everything can be thought in college or in 1 training website. That said, I feel your question is more towards how to get a working knowledge about the field of computer science. A good college course is a great place to start. Also, there are plenty of courses online to help you achieve this goal as well.
As to how to keep yourself up to date on the latest in tech, here are some of the avenues I turn to for latest tech news!

1. LinkedIn - Follow industry leaders and executives to get their latest posts
2. Major tech industry conferences - Ex: Microsoft's CES conference
3. Youtube - Find channels of industry/ tech gurus and follow them for the latest in technology. Also same for podcasts
4. Google! Of course we cannot forget google. Just googling "latest technology news" will return plenty of free news articles that will help keep you up to date.

Hope this helps and best of luck to you! :)
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