How Programming Affects Your Brain: 3 Big Truths According to Science

In other words, the paradigms and idioms of your first programming language influence and even dictate how you think about data structures, algorithms, etc.

So much so, in fact, that it’s actually possible to take anonymized code and determine who wrote it based solely on how the task was approached and how the code was written. The more difficult the task, the easier it is to “de-anonymize.”Computer Science Computer Science Computer Science Computer Science Computer Science

See this paper on code stylometry [PDF] and this code stylometry lecture transcript:

“Programmers can obfuscate their variable or function names, but not the structures they subconsciously prefer to use or their favorite increment operators.”

In English, we have a proverb that sums this up in an easy-to-understand way: “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Likewise, once you learn how to program in a certain way, it’s tempting to think about all problems in that way.

2. Coding Helps Strengthen Brain Health

People often say that the brain is like a muscle and that you need to exercise it if you want to stay sharp. Is that actually true? And if so, does programming count as mental exercise, enough that it impacts brain health?Computer Science Computer Science Computer Science Computer Science Computer Science

A 1991 meta-study looked at “the effects of computer programming on cognitive outcomes” and found that students with computer programming experience scored 16 percentile points higher on cognitive ability tests than students without.

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