Hey, a bit of a dumb question.

When can someone call themselves a "real" programmer? I'm not one to gatekeep and say dumb shit like "iF yOu OnLy KnOw PyThOn Ur NoT a PrOgRaMmEr!", but I guess I want to know when I can call myself one. All I've done so far is make unpolished games in Unity for school that are created only to meet some requirements. I've also worked in my class' team for collaborative Unreal games, which has been painful to say the least. So, when I can stop gatekeeping myself over it? What sorts of experiences should I have? I understand that it's not a list of requirements like my projects are, but I'd like a general idea of when I can call myself a real developer.

  • 8
    It's entirely subjective man.

    Personally, I think whenever you're fluent (again, subjective) in a language or two, the you're good to go.
  • 4
    Well, you were always one when you started polishing (or refracting) your game codes.
  • 6
    Programmer is actually a job title. So to answer your question: never. Because you don't call yourself a gardener if you've got a garden lol

    No but for real, I'd say if you're fluent in any language AND actually do something with/in this language quite frequently you can call yourself a programmer.
  • 7
    "Real" programmer is a mindset and is usually based on experience. A real programmer focuses on the problem to be solved and isn't tied to a particular tool or platform - they use whatever is best suited to solving the problem. A real programmer knows when to use a library and when to implement something themselves. A real programmer takes end to end ownership of his solutions instead of making bugs and running the application in production the problem of another team. A real programmer can adapt to new tools and technologies without a problem. A real programmer can identify a fad and ignore it, but keep an eye on it in case it amounts to something. But most importantly, a real programmer can take a roundhouse kick from Chuck Norris and still put in an 8hr coding session.
  • 2
  • 3
    1. You love to program
    2. You are able to do it frequently (usually because of 1.)
    By that definition you are already a programmer.
    "But I don't love it", you say. Loving it is not the only reason to do it frequently.
    What do you care what others think?
  • 2
    When someone can program something for themselves and for others.

    When someone can program alone and also with others.
  • 4
    When you are paid to write code you're a programmer.
    When you're doing something other people get paid for you're an amateur.
    Mind you some amateur are better at it anyway, but that's the difference... According to the semantic of the language at least.
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