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Writing Computer Programs from scratch: Is it still worth when there are so many automated solutions?

Updated on February 11, 2014

Writing from scratch is an extremely good way for laying out your foundations. Don't get in the marketing hypes of Code-generators, frameworks saying that you can build applications without any knowledge of code.

Nothing can replace coding. By writing from scratch you will build a very strong foundation. Some people just learn a bit of coding and jump straight into frameworks and application building tools.

With so many frameworks and modern tools, still you might have to deal with code. The ability to edit and adapt code is crucial for a developer. For example programming API, optimizing the application and so on. If you haven't had much experience with computer code you might have a really hard time, when you have to deal with API programming or when you need to integrate third-party services into your applications.

Why you need experience in building programs from scratch

It all depends on the situation. Sometimes writing from scratch may not be the best solution.

But if you're considering to be a developer the best place to start is by writing programs from scratch.

And don't limit yourself just by believing that you can do anything you like with a touch of a button.

For example, you might need to use third-party APIs (Application Program Interface) for using various services like Credit Card, Paypal, ebay and many others. To do these things, most often you may have to write code. And if you haven't had extensive programming experience, most probably it would be a very hard time for you when you need to play with these tools.

There are a lot of situations where you have to build things from scratch. Just take a moment to look at various technologies and programming languages that have come to the scene recently. Many of them are built from ground up.

Things to consider when learning a new programming language

When learning any programming language, try to understand and learn as much as coding as possible. Try building things from code without relying on frameworks. Learning a programming language is just like learning to write. You read a little bit, try to write on your own, make some adjustments, modify it and continue on experimenting.

Make it a part of your life

If you're serious about building a career, you have to actually live with it. You can't become a good developer by just taking a few short courses.

Try to build simple websites or make programs as a hobby or maybe to automate some of your own tasks. The goal is to have some experience with coding. A very good way can be building applications for your friends or family members. You can build things for them while at the same time learning. Most probably they will not demand you a deadline. Finishing projects on a schedule is for the experienced, even the experienced people have to rush sometimes when an unpredictable problem rises from nowhere.

One important thing to remember is, if you haven't built an application or a website, you cannot simply meet deadlines. If you haven't had experience then most probably you will never know the problems and obstacles you will face or how long would it take to complete. You're not a developer until you had some completed projects, just by taking a few programming lessons won't make you a developer.

Try to make solutions for everyday use

You will not become a programmer just by taking a few lessons or a course. The only way to learn is to actually do it.

Trying to make little programs for your friends, family or personal use can be a great way to start. First you have to learn to build small things before you can work on big projects.

By this way you will not be only gaining valuable experience, you will be also learning how to put the power of software to provide solutions to common problems.

Frameworks, code-generators

The use of frameworks, code-generators may seem magical to many of us. But it is built around the computer code. All it does is generate code. If you really think deep about it, there is nothing much fancy about it. There is no such thing as a perfect code. The software development platforms and standards are highly volatile. A framework cannot do everything the code is capable of. And Developers who work with frameworks too often have to write code.

Where to learn

Obviously you don't need to pay to learn how to code. There are just too many good free information on the internet. Youtube videos, websites and tutorials . Some people might argue that books are better to learn and they cover topics in great detail. Well, I find no problem with that. But why would you need to learn things in great detail before you knew nothing at all? It's like trying to run before you can walk. A lot of the expectations demanded in a lot of colleges are totally unrealistic. You might be tempted to build applications with advanced methods without even knowing the very basics.

It's always better to rely on multiple sources. Books, youtube videos, websites, tutorials...

Referring to tutors of multiple authors, will give you a better full picture of how it works and why it works. Anyway make sure you get your feet wet in the fundamentals before jumping into advanced stuffs.

There are tons of youtube videos to get you started, they are easy to follow and very straight-forward. It is just an unnecessary effort and waste of time to delve into details at the very first attempt. Try basics and learn it in great detail slowly. As you progress, continue on building small applications, learn a bit more, change code and experiment as much as you can.


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