Research into the impact of coding on thought processes has been going on for over 40 years. The study of the features of the intellect of programmers originated almost simultaneously with the emergence of this professional field in the 70-80s.
In view of the popularisation of the profession, the relevance of the topic under discussion increases. There is growing interest in how the skill of writing programs affects the brain and what qualities a specialist in this field should have.
Top 4 Qualities that Every Programmer Has
1. Formal logical thinking
Formal logical thinking is an important part of the programmer’s intellectual structure. The tendency to delegate more and more functions to the machine requires representatives of this profession to pay attention to the algorithm’s construction. Imagine that you don’t have your own car, but you need to be mobile (while travelling, for example).
The most convenient way to travel in this case is by rental car. Therefore, you’ll pay attention to rental terms, the ease of obtaining it for rent, as well as the availability of various types of cars: SUV for rent, sedans, convertibles, etc. (by the way, don’t forget your driving licence while renting). But the most important factor for you is the safety of the rented car and its uninterrupted motor running.
By analogy, a programmer needs to create code that runs smoothly and uninterruptibly, and fulfills the functions that a particular client needs.
2. High Level of Intelligence
Many people are used to thinking that people with a high level of intelligence, with good mathematical abilities, criticality, a tendency to systematise, analyse and clearly identify relationships between elements are prone to programming.
3. Analysis & Evaluation
Among the abilities that IT professionals develop, the following can be distinguished: a differentiated approach to the study of information, analysis and evaluation of all available ways to solve the tasks in terms of efficiency and benefit for the consumer, maximum simplification (lack of regardless of whether we are talking about natural or artificial language, the task of a professional is to convey information as simply and clearly as possible to both people and the machine).
4. Be Observant
A person who has chosen the profession of a programmer should be able to clearly express his thoughts, be observant and have good information search skills. Separately, we single out the skill of self-learning. A specialist in this field is obliged to constantly improve and study all innovations, and as the field develops, they are regularly available and there are many of them. In any case, with such an active and stressful job as a programmer, it is very important to manage stress and not burn out.
A basic public misconception is that all programmers excel at maths.
Based on the Results of the Study, Three Focus Groups were Selected
The main purpose of the comparative analysis was to identify the key factors of intelligence that distinguish IT professionals.
To identify abilities, questions were selected in four categories: mathematical thinking (with an emphasis on oral calculations), spatial thinking (visualisation), verbal abilities (lexical literacy) and logical thinking.
1. Mathematical Thinking
Surprisingly, the programmers demonstrated a lower level of mathematical ability than the rest of the respondents. By the way, only professionals with relevant education and work experience of at least three years were involved in the study. The age sample is 23-24 years old. The best result in this category was for accountants, which is not surprising, since representatives of this profession constantly work with numbers and often perform mathematical calculations in their heads. This is definitely not the case for IT professionals who work mostly with code and leave the calculations to the machine.
2. Verbal Abilities
At the same time, in comparison with other groups, programmers have a pronounced level of verbal abilities (high literacy, beauty of speech, flexibility and speed when constructing phrases), erudition and logical thinking.
3. Verbal-Logical Thinking
Verbal-logical thinking is inherent in people with high intelligence. This indicates a predisposition to learning foreign languages. Essentially, a programmer uses an artificial language system when writing code. A good specialist, as a rule, speaks several languages.
Scientists have suggested that people with a high level of verbal ability are more likely to succeed in the field of programming.
It is quite predictable that programmers have especially developed erudition. People from this field regularly update their knowledge, so cognitive abilities are always actively involved.
Finally, we want to share with you another interesting fact. In the course of monitoring activity in different areas of the brain using MRI, it was revealed that in the process of writing code, programmers activate the same parts of the brain that are responsible for natural languages. In general, to become a good specialist, you don’t need to click on maths problems at all. At the same time, this activity contributes to the development of many valuable skills that will be useful not only in the field of programming.