How much maths is needed in coding?

Do you need to know math for coding? Do you need to know linear regression in R for coding? In other words, do you dare to dream of becoming a computer developer if you did not have a crush on math all day long in your high school time?

The quick answer: no, not much. Read on if you would like to pursue a code writing career but did not have a deep affection for geometry or algebra at school.

You don’t need to have a Ph.D. in math

For starters, even if math and web development seem to be two sides of the same coin, in reality, you don’t need advanced math to become a competent coder. The truth is some programmers indicate that they don’t have a mathematical background. Some even used to hate algebra, geometry or even calculus in their schooldays.

This is particularly the case if you have to do web design or front-end development. The more critical asset here is critical thinking and analytical mind. In one word: solid logic is a must here.

Generally speaking, you don’t need to know much math if you are dreaming of becoming a decent coder. Advanced math might be helpful if you want to end up coding for NASA.

If the little voice is whispering to you, “you don’t have what it takes for coding,” because you failed at math time and again at your high school, just shut it out.

According to a study recorded in 2017 Science Magazine, the perceptions of our abilities determine our success rather than our capabilities. So you might take a leap of faith into the great new future of a new profession of programming. Try it out and see what comes of it.

You need some basic grasp of math

On the other hand, it all depends on what is defined by math. A coder needs to have some grasp on mathematics. For instance, it would not hurt to know some 101 Algebra for tackling variables and formulas.

For intensive graphics, you would need to have a trig on geometry. Thankfully, you don’t need any calculus. All you need is to be able “to think algorithmically.” That means you should be thinking in categories of abstraction and proof. It all depends on what type of coding you do.

You’d need advanced math only if you do data science professionally. There are areas where you would need some statistics. For instance, if you are working with signal processing, then you would need some differential equations and Fourier analysis, etc.

For instance, for general programming you would need to know how to do:

  • Addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication – The good thing is, your computer will add, subtract, divide, and multiply for you! All you need to do is to know when to do which operation.
  • Percentage of a number. For instance, to get 64% of 289, multiply 0.64 * 289. This is the reason why 1.0 often is 100% and 0.0 means 0%.
  • Differentiating negative numbers. This is very simple: a negative number times a negative number equals a positive one. A negative times a positive equals negative.

For other items check out this article.

For most web development, you would not need more than basic algebra and geometry. You might need at times some vector calculus. Generally speaking, having a mind that likes puzzles and can visualize the problems is advantageous for such a profession.

Concluding Thoughts:

The bottom line here is: don’t live by fear. Fear of math should not hold you captive. Math doesn’t come up that often in programming as the ability to reason logically