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Do I need Math to code?

You don't when it comes to web development, which is what most people start with.

But if you're deeply interested in Algorithms, Data Science, Machine Learning or any other data-heavy discipline, you'll need to pick up some skills in Discrete Math, Statistics and Linear Algebra.

All of these areas are not the same as Calculus – the area most feared.

In fact, you'll hardly ever turn to concepts in Calculus throughout your software development career and when you do it's mostly the foundational parts (derivatives, anti-derivatives, etc).

Really, Calculus ends up as fancy stuff that's good on paper and great for wannabe Mathematicians, Physicists or Theoreticians.

But if that's not your jam, skip it.


Can I go far in coding without Math?

Yes, you absolutely can.

If you're an absolutely beginner starting out with web development, don't worry about Math. Focus on (HTML, CSS, JavaScript). You can follow this guide to get a sense of how HTML, CSS, and JavaScript work together.

By the way, don't waste too much time trying to find the absolute best place you need to start learning the basics of coding.

Simply start with this short list of top places to learn to code, look through, choose one, then start right away.

Now, if you're looking to switch into Machine Learning or Data Science, jump into it right away and start playing with it. For most people who have already done some Math in school, you'll mostly need a refresher.

It may not be as bad as you thought.

But if you have zero Math experience and get stuck during your learning, try to pick up the Math skills in parallel as you learn Machine Learning or Data Science.


What if I need way more Math?

If you realize you need way more help in Math than you realize, don't get discouraged.

First, check deeply with yourself:

Is this really the route I want to take?

If your answer is hell-yes!, go for it.

Many people have picked up Math much later in their lives and done well.

The reality is learning Math is often scary because of horrible teachers back in school. It's like the hot-stove effect from Behavioral Psychology – you have a horrendous experience and swear “never again!”

But there are now more options and accessible ways to learn Math on the web, especially on Youtube.

I'll be honest with you, though. It'll be a lot more work to learn Math alongside how to code. And you'll have lots of head banging moments.

But it's 100 percent doable.

So yes, you can definitely advance in coding without becoming a Math guru. But if you venture into data-heavy disciplines like Machine Learning, you'll need some Math to advance your career growth.


Thanks for reading

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Heads Up - I love research so I tend to back my advice and approach with concepts from Behavioral Psychology and Neuroscience.