If you’re a software engineer, then you know that there are several myths that cloud people’s perception of what computer engineering really entails. However, that’s no surprise: software engineering is so specialized a field that it’s easy to ignore the details and, instead, jump to conclusions about it. It is useful to know the difference between fact and fiction, though. Software engineering and technological literacy are becoming so important in the global economy that understanding what software engineering is and how it works is just as important as having basic foundations in English and history.
So, are you ready to demystify some myths? Let’s go!
1. Myth: Software engineering and information technology are the same thing.
Computer engineering and information technology are related, but they are actually not the same at all. Computer engineering deals with writing software (the programs written in code that make computer applications work), whereas information technology deals with hardware (the physical components of a computer).
2. Myth: If you’re good at math, you’ll be good at programming.
Math definitely helps in programming, but there are still other skills you need to be good at it too. Programming is a language. Thus, you need to approach it as if you were learning a foreign language. Coding has its own linguistic flow – a style, you can call it – and to be a good programmer, you need to have an understanding of programming that goes beyond syntax (the rules of coding) alone.
3. Myth: Expert programmers can create programs very quickly.
This is simply not true. When introduced to new programming projects, which will undoubtedly come with problems, good programmers should take the time to break down the code into manageable chunks. Good programming is all about understanding the problem and linking a type of problem to the best solution possible – one that will provide long-term results.
4. Myth: You only need to learn a few programming languages and stop there.
Contrarily, programmers always need to keep themselves updated with new languages that are being written. Languages are always evolving and developing, and in that sense computer programming is the type of field where you need to constantly stay updated.
5. Myth: Interface design is easy.
Designing an interface that is easy to learn, easy to use, and easy to remember is harder than it seems. User interface focuses on the experience given to the user when they use a website or mobile application. As a user interface designer, you have to satisfy your entire audience which includes a diverse scope of people of all ages and backgrounds. In addition, just because one layout is easy to use for you as the designer does not make it easy to use for website users. Hence, interface designers have to do a great amount of testing and editing before finalizing their interface designs.
6. Myth: As a programmer of a piece of code, you are the only one that has to understand your code. This myth is definitely false. It is vital to write your code in an understandable manner so that other programmers who will need to access your code in the future can understand also it. Making your code easier to understand requires you to write notes in it and strategically space parts of your code a part from one another.
7. Myth: If it compiles, everything is correct.
Even if you press the compile button and see that there are no syntax errors, this doesn’t mean that your program is going to function the way you want it to. The content of your code, regardless of correct syntax, can throw off an entire program and not perform what you need it to perform.
In conclusion, software engineering is a dynamic field that requires engineers to have well-versed knowledge of their chosen programming languages as well as basic foundational knowledge in math and language. Software engineering also requires engineers to have a willingness to write code in a readable, organized manner and a desire to stay updated in their field. Were these dymystified myths surprising to you? What are some other myths you’ve heard about?