Programming Makes You Smarter - Do you agree?

It takes really good patience and brain power to build solutions. So, even if someone is not a developer, do you think they should learn a bit of coding and practise problems just to make sure their problem solving skills improve? In other words, do you agree with the statement that coding makes you smarter?

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Sidhant Panda's photo

I think coding is solving puzzles. Whether it's trying to find the optimum algorithm for the problem or implementing a solution in your programming language.

So I'd say solving puzzles is what makes people smarter.

Patrick Verkuilt's photo

No. I had the unfortunate luck of working with some smart developers. The solutions they've built were unmaintanable and incomprehensible. Good developers not only create workable code, but also make sure others on the team can understand them.

I also don't agree with your statement that programmers are solving problems. Most of the time someone else will solve the problem for you. E.g. the business will solve the functional problems that programmers will turn into code. Or programmers should use libraries created by others to solve some technical problems.

RocketBear27's photo

In my opinion, programming does make you smarter because programming is all about logical thinking and problem-solving. Being smart is showing quick intelligence or broad knowledge in a majority of areas fundamentally. Programming helps the human mind to logically think in multiple situations that might not be coding. In conclusion, logical thinking and problem-solving in programming do make people smarter.

Caleb H.'s photo

Well, you don't need to code in order to be good at problem-solving. Coding is great, but I have found that it isn't for everyone.

I don't mean that people aren't "smart" enough to code, but that it just isn't their preferred problem-solving mechanism. It's not their cup of tea.

Coding is often heavily based on concepts from math, and even engineering and physics.

If you think about it, pretty much all STEM fields are, at heart, about solving problems. Science may be an exception if you limit it to discovery just for the sake of discovery.

And even non-STEM fields can help someone learn problem solving.

My point is, everyone is going to have to do problem-solving; but not all problems are best solved by coding for everyone.

j's photo

I don't think it makes you smarter per se. If you don't move out of your comfort-zone, explore and educate yourself you probably won't get 'smarter'.

even as Tapas Adhikary calling it skilled is more accurate, still you can also get pretty skilled in doing things wrong.

I would go for something along the line:

Programming can help you to train abstract thinking and mathematical logic.

I do very strictly differentiate between programming, mathematics, engineering, physics.

programming is most of the time applied and based on the abstraction of the language and the task you want to solve and how you want to solve it makes a huge difference.

Assuming that programming makes you smarter, is like assuming that philosophy makes you smarter. Or psychology makes you more empathic. It's oversimplified in my opinion.

Tapas Adhikary's photo

Hmm.. Smarter? I would prefer it to be called as Skilled.

I don't think, Programming is the way to be smarter, it rather makes you Skillful. Even if someone is not in Programming or development, they might be doing lots better in problem solving in their respective areas/domains. Not being a Programmer/Developer hardly makes them 'Stupid' 😄.

Liyas Thomas's photo

Wow thats a biased question. I know programmers who are foolish af as well as those who are smart af. I doubt programming alone will make someone smarter.

Zanna Kyari's photo

yes I agree that its makes you thinking while solving the problem

John Cullen's photo

It makes me feel like an idiot when I use an anon func and attempt to return a JSON like () => {"data": true}.

Siddharth Vishvanath (Sid)'s photo

Yeah it makes you smart. But as a developer there are much more tougher problems that comes which can seem to be unsolvable. At those times, if you solve the common interview questions you can actually find out a solution for the old problem.

John Afolayan's photo

I think programming doesn't make one smarter; it's counter-intuitive, yeah, I know. Combining the art of programming with other fields of life is what makes one smarter. Being versed in other fields allows a coder to transfer concepts in these other fields into programming. Learning to think up new ways to build things with influence from the outside world allows me to unleash a huge amount of creativity. Programming alone, independent of other arts, is boring, repetitive, and uninteresting.