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What Difficulties are Faced by Self-Taught Programmers?

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  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 26 Oct, 2022
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Many times, we’ve seen experts saying that Self-Taught Programming is inarguably the best way to master programming skills. Even as per the reports, more than half of the programmers across the world consider themselves a self-taught programmer. Besides, for a minute let’s forget about expert sayings & reports and just take a glance at the benefits of going with a self-taught programming approach:

Difficulties Faced by Self-Taught Programmers


  • You become your own master and can pace your learning journey at your convenience.
  • In the self-taught approach, you come across and learn several additional skills or concepts as well.
  • By the time you become a self-taught programmer, you really have a good portfolio of projects that subsequently help you with your future career prospects.

Isn’t the path of being a self-taught programmer quite worth it…??

But as they said, there is no rose without thorns – this enticing journey of self-taught programming also comes up with several unwanted difficulties or challenges for individuals.

Before moving further, firstly you need to make it clear in your mind that being a self-taught programmer never implies that you can’t follow any instructors or attend any training programs but what it actually means is that in the self-learning path you don’t need to solely depend on anyone for enhancing your programming skills instead you’re required to take your own responsibility and elevate your learning graph through any way such as books, tutorials, lectures, training sessions, or any other. Also, you’re expected to have a lot of patience as you can’t expect yourself to excel in programming within a few days or weeks.

Needless to say, the path of being a self-taught programmer is not quite straight and a newbie has to face many uncertainties and difficulties in this journey to become a proficient programmer. And, in a similar context, let’s take a look at several most common and much-discussed difficulties faced by Self-Taught Programmers:

1. To Pick out the Worthwhile Learning Resources

One of the major difficulties for the newbies in the self-taught programming path is to find out worthwhile and relevant learning resources for themselves. They often need to spend an adequate amount of time looking for enriching content and learning material. And as there are thousands and thousands of online resources available over the web, it becomes more difficult for individuals to opt for the valuable one. In addition, many times you come across such learning resources that consist of several unnecessary or irrelevant topics or lack several crucial topics – hence you need to be very concerned while picking out the learning material as the substandard resources will not only waste your crucial time but can also make you lose your interest towards your programming goals.

2. Lack of Consistency throughout the Entire Learning Journey

Another difficulty that is often faced by self-taught programmers is maintaining consistency from beginning to end. Generally, we all start to learn anything new with great enthusiasm and consistency but as time passes we somehow start to lose interest which leads us to make some unnecessary breaks in the learning process. And, particularly in the programming domain, you can’t afford this irregular learning approach to become a proficient programmer. Though, if you’re really found yourself not in the mood to learn any concept or topic on a particular day – you can opt for revising previous concepts and also recommended solving the practice problems on GeeksforGeeks, etc. to not break the ongoing learning rhythm.

3. Higher Chances of Impostor’s Syndrome

Maybe you’ve not heard about this particular term ‘Impostor’s Syndrome’ but you surely would have experienced this in various phases of your life whether it be academics, sports, or any other. In the self-taught programming context, impostor syndrome is a state of mind when you generally doubt your programming skills and consider yourself inferior in front of other programmers. However, it is not something too serious, and even many experienced programmers also suffer from this feeling. It ignites the spark in you to grow more and expand yourself. Though it should exist within a person to a certain limit as after a particular level it starts to affect the programmer’s productivity and also reduces the confidence, especially of new self-taught programmers.

4. Lack of Social Interaction and Community Discussion

It might not seem like a great challenge or difficulty but indeed it is!! Self-taught programmers generally don’t emphasize social interaction and community discussion and the primary reason behind this is that most of the individuals think that the self-taught programming process tends to do programming or coding in isolation. However, staying connected with the relevant programmer’s community is crucial in numerous aspects such as it helps you to keep up with the latest technologies & trends, create a competitive environment, sharing of learning resources, ask doubts or provide solutions for a particular problem, etc. Furthermore, there are various online communities for programmers such as Developers Forum, Experts-Exchange, Stack Overflow, Reddit, and many more that can be taken into consideration.

5. Not Being Eligible for Several Job Opportunities that Require a Proper Degree

Everyone knows that self-taught programmers don’t often rely on any degree or certification to showcase or prove their programming skills – hence they also don’t give much importance to possessing any particular degree program. But, on the other hand, several companies during recruitment do require a degree from you to consider for the job opportunity. Now, what..?? So, you need to understand two things – firstly, if you can pursue a proper degree course along with the self-taught programming approach then it will make it easier for you to get numerous worthwhile job opportunities. Secondly, if you’re really having some outstanding programming skills then companies like Google, Ernst & Young, Apple, etc. can hire you without the compulsion of a degree, though all you need to do is show your worth to the recruiters.

6. Lack of Time Management

Time Management is one of the most-discussed aspects of self-taught programming among individuals and particularly among beginners who are just about to start their programming journey. In the self-taught programming process, you’re not bounded by any time limit or deadline to complete your tasks and curriculum which somehow has few benefits but has several difficulties also. For instance – self-taught programmers generally over-analysis a particular concept or topic that doesn’t require that much in-depth understanding and it eventually makes the learning process slow. Similarly, due to a lack of time management, processes like the collection of learning resources, saving problems, etc. consume more than the required time which is not something appreciable.

7. Thought of Giving Up in Mind

Last but not least – there comes many instances & challenges during the self-taught programming journey when an individual thinks to give up on the process. When you don’t understand a topic even after going through with it 2-3 times or when your code doesn’t work or when you’re confused with multiple technologies, and many more – such conditions leave you frustrated and prompt you to take an exit from this path. However, you need to understand that this is quite normal and the approach to becoming a proficient self-taught programmer requires a lot of patience and sufficient time from your side. Instead of taking it as a burden, you’re recommended to enjoy this journey of being a self-taught programmer to get some fruitful results.

Honestly, self-taught programming demands the utmost level of dedication, hard work, consistency, and patience from you and yes, it is also true that you may fail multiple times during this journey but in the end, the process will reward you with something that you really can feel proud of. Do remember one thing, whether you opt for Self-Taught Programming or any other learning process if you’ll give your best then no one can stop you from succeeding!!

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