How Programming Learns You to Think.

Don’t learn to code, learn to think…

Image for post
By Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash


The other day I heard this quote from Steve Jobs saying: “programming teaches you how to think” which I think is right because programming is nothing but logic. Without logic, you can’t write a program that you can understand.

Lately, it has become a bit popular to learn how to code for the ability to learn how to code, and you’re still with me? People see coding as a goal, not as a tool, which it is. The goal should be learning how to think or think different from your usual way of solving problems.

Computer Science and Coding

We should be learning computer science instead of coding, the difference? I’ll explain it to you.

Computer Science is the study of computation: that is, how to represent and process information. This can contain concepts like Data, Problem-solving, Systems and Logic. As you might have noticed, I didn’t mention coding or programming at all because they are just tools to accomplish the computation or logic.

Programming or coding is how you instruct your computer or machine to execute an operation. When you are not familiar with coding or programming, you might only know a computer by clicking on things in an application. Under this existing application, you’ll find thousands of lines of code. The code under the hood makes sure your application works; it displays data on the screen and makes sure your data gets stored.

Putting it together

So when you understand the difference between Computer Science and Programming, you can also see how you can use both to become a better version of yourself by having the ability to think problem-solving and make logical decisions. You might even see solving logical problems as a fun little game, a challenge perhaps?

A student for life

Don’t forget, when you enter the programming or computer science field you will be learning every day, and you are never finished. So, a student for life might sound a little frightening like you are never finished learning, which no are not actually, but it has one advantage: “Never boring jobs”. You always have a challenge ahead of you, and you can’t be bored if you don’t know what’s coming.

“Stay hungry. Stay foolish” — Steve Jobs

Never Give Up

This is the most important things you have to learn if you want to change your mindset according to computer science is whatever your situation is you have to be persistent. Persistence is one of the key attributes of an expert programmer’s mindset.

No matter what the problem or challenge is, reject the idea of giving up. Reject the idea of not trying again. Remember that, given enough time, brute force always works.

Now, that’s why programming learns you how to think.

Originally Published on

Pursuing my Bachelor in Computer Science. Dutch parliament ambitions. — Signup for my newsletter!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store