6 Motivating Quotes for Newbie & Struggling Programmers
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There’s no doubt about it: programming ain’t easy. Whether you’re slogging through an overdue project or mastering a new language, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and defeated.

Such struggles can lead to bouts of programmer’s block, severe programming burnout, and when things get really rough, you may start to believe that you aren’t meant to be a programmer.

I’ve been there many times and I’ve given up many times. Still, one thing that usually gets me out of that kind of funk is reading quotes from programming veterans. Here are a handful that may prove uplifting for you.

First, solve the problem. Then, write the code.
— John Johnson

It’s always tempting to dive right in, but taking the time to think ahead will save a lot of frustration down the road.

Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you’re as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it?
— Brian W. Kernighan

It’s okay to write non-clever code. In fact, that’s one of the key aspects of writing better and cleaner code. Be coherent, not clever.

What kind of programmer is so divorced from reality that she thinks she’ll get complex software right the first time?
— James Alan Gardner

Never forget that programming is hard. Struggling is part of the process. It does get easier, but it’ll never really go away, and everyone struggles just like you.

Programming is breaking of one big impossible task into several very small possible tasks.
— Jazzwant

If it feels overwhelming, break it down into smaller parts. Keep dividing until you get to something that feels manageable, then do it.

The mark of a mature programmer is willingness to throw out code you spent time on when you realize it’s pointless.
— Bram Cohen

In other words, don’t fall for the sunk cost fallacy.

Your limitations are largely programming instilled by others that you choose to believe.
— Gary Hopkins

Still feeling bummed? Check out these interesting programming podcasts. You might find that they’re surprisingly helpful, not just in terms of learning but also in terms of staying motivated.

What’s your favorite quote for struggling programmers? Share with us in a comment below!

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  1. Anonymous
    August 16, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    I wrote code in 10 years. Reading these quotes and smiling!

    • Joel Lee
      August 19, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      That's awesome. :)