I got this question the other day. I tried to respond to the sender but as you’ll see below I was unable to. I elected not to post this on Ask Leo!, for reasons I’ll explain below.
First, the question:
Im a 16 Year old, and I need information about how to become a computer programmer. I want to learn how to make games, then move on to actually programming the computer’s windows and stuff like that. the main stuff I need is what classes I should take and what I should learn to become a good programmer.
The answer that I sent back:
Well, I’m not trying to be mean here, but one start would be to learn to read and follow instructions. It’s a critical skill that you’ll need. Had you read the instructions on the page on which you submitted this question you would have seen instructions to search first, and if you had searched it would have lead you to this article which addresses your question without needing to wait for my response: http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_become_a_computer_programmer.html
Here’s the kicker: my reply to this young person bounced.
I actually spent some time on the answer because I wanted it to be strong without being insulting. it was extremely frustrating to then have it bounce. Not only did that waste my time, but the time of the person asking the question – he (or she – but probably he) will never get my answer unless he happens to stumble on this post.
All because he couldn’t type his own email address correctly.
As I said; very frustrating.
I’m not sure programming is the appropriate career choice for this young man. I could be wrong, but a few things – like attention to detail – need to change.
In the end I decided I was probably a tad too snarky for Ask Leo! anyway, but didn’t want to throw my work away.
Here, I get to be snarky.