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Computer Programming - Is It Worth It?

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

My computer programming history is long, complicated and used up way too much of my time. That said, it became quite valuable at work as a civil engineer and also for a charity I'm working for. It has been my passion since I was a teenager. If you want to learn it, I strongly recommend an online course. Is it worth learning it? Consider these points:

  • Commercial software is primarily written for the developer to make money, secondarily to suit your purpose

  • Open source software is primarily written for the programmer to use, secondarily to suit your purpose

  • Learning a second human language is arguably much harder than learning a computer programming language, especially after you have already learnt one programming language

Computer with complex bits coming out of it
Computer programming can seem a bit daunting but depending on your situation, it may be worthwhile. Generated by Canva Text to Image

It all started with a computer game called Descent. I was absolutely obsessed with it as a teenager and became quite good at it. However, I wanted to do more with it and so started hacking the gameplay to give myself more weapons etc. I was also interested in the add-on missions I downloaded from the internet but noticed a lot of them had flaws in them that prevented me from playing them. When attempting to fix them with a mission editor didn't work I resorted to directly modifying them with a hex editor. If you don't know what that means, don't worry - it basically means editing a file in the most raw fashion.

Descent 2 Mega Missile Abort Game
I wasn't cheating here, but I was also not going to survive! 😅

When I became tired of directly modifying my saved gameplay files to cheat I decided to give computer programming a go. However, I did it in possibly the most difficult way possible. I loaned a book 'C Programming on a Mac for Dummies', which was only the most basic starting point. I then proceeded to attempt to learn how to make a program for my Macintosh computer using documentation from Apple. Which was intended for a different programming language, Pascal, and was actually about how to make a window display on a screen. I could not figure out why it wouldn't work and began to learn the programming language C by trial and error until my program roughly did what I wanted. And my program was riddled with errors (bugs).

Boy lost in abstract world representing code
Don't get lost in code like I did! Generated by Canva Text to Image.

When I found out the source code for Descent was released I became interested and started tinkering with it. I learnt a bit more about C - from the source code. I finally looked on the internet what it was all about and learnt more things about C. I later also learnt about C++ and SQL. SQL in particular was very useful when I was working at City of Mandurah, as I was frequently working with structured data like information about roads.

Highlighted road of interest
Identifying roads of interest from a database is a good task for SQL. Generated by Canva Text to Image

And now I am learning JavaScript. Fortunately, it is quite similar to C++, but arguably simpler, and so is relatively easy for me to learn. And most usefully, I can use it for this website! And I am brimming with ideas. Watch this space 😁

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3 commentaires

Gab Adam
Gab Adam
25 juin 2023

Very cool Chris! Such a good skill to have! I did a 3 course on Python and one of my goals is to learn more about coding although so far I have to say it's not my favorite thing!


Nam Kim
Nam Kim
24 juin 2023

I didn’t know that you have good talent of computer programming.

Enjoy your journey!


David Clouston
David Clouston
22 juin 2023

My brother is a software developer and always talked about C++ but I never understood what it was about!! 🤣

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