Beginner Coder

Hello everybody,

The ambition to learn how to code has been on my mind now since I graduated high school back in 2017. Well here I am now 2021 at 22 years old, and I still haven’t made the dedicative decision to immerse myself into the world of coding… until now.
I find that coding can be fascinating. Especially in an ever evolving world where coding is becoming more prevalent and necessary in todays society.

I have 1 issue.

Not to make this into sad story, but I became lazy after I graduated high school. I found myself not chasing my goals that I originally had set out for myself. I became too comfortable with working jobs that provided enough to get me by. My resentment towards this live I’ve been living has been growing more and more in the last 6 months to the point where I’m wanting to make a serious change and expand my abilities to a place that I once wanted for myself. The only issue is… during my time away from school I have found that I have became very dull minded in certain ways.

Ive been doing some research and from what I believe, it is important to have a stable understanding in advanced maths. Which I used to be very knowledgable at but I now lack. Math has become some sort of a grey area in my mind.

The point of my question is, to excel in programming/coding is it necessary to know the advanced maths? Such as complex formulas and equations? If so, what would everybody recommend in helping myself learn these things so that I don’t struggle so much when it comes to my journey with coding?
I have been on the fence about getting back into some basic schooling to help advance my knowledge, but I know success doesn’t always require a degree so Ive procrastinated making that decision for quite some time. But if that is the most recommended option then I’m willing to make that jump for myself.

Any words of wisdom or criticism is much appreciated and I thank you in advance for the help.

It is always great to see new people join the community. Everyone was indeed once a beginner.

So here is the question I will be answering:

I would say the answer is no, but it is not so simple. Programming/coding is a very vast discipline with varying subgenres. This website in particular is dedicated to people passionate about “competitive programming”, with is a very narrow part of what constitutes computer science. Now, if you are here to get good at competitive programming, which I will refer to as “CP”, then mathematics is essential. Here are some topics in mathematics that are often used in solving CP questions:

  1. Number Theory
  2. Modular Arithmetic
  3. Combinatorics
  4. Graph Theory
  5. Coordinate Geometry
  6. Intermediate Level Algebra

I am sure that if you have had a good background in math before, you should be done with these math topics in a couple weeks at most. Also, most of them do not require “complex equations” as you would say.
Then you need to learn a programming language. Most competitive programmers use C++ or Java, or even python is getting popularity these days. So you can take your pick.

Now, you did not specifically ask this question for competitive programming. So, you should know that getting better at programming in general does not require excellence in math. That is why mathematicians are different from computer scientists. You could choose any other field in computer science like web development, app development, software engineering, graphic design, cryptanalysis, cybersecurity etc.
So there is a lot to choose from in the sea of computer science. But once you take a dip, you can never really back off!
Welcome to the community.