Dyslexia does not stop you coding.

I have very severe Dyslexia which was only truly diagnoses when I went to university. The examiner was extremely surprised I had managed to get into university based on the lack of support I experienced during high school and 6th form. I got my support and I managed to get a good 2:1 in web development at the University of South Wales.

The good news is this has not affected the progression of my professional career in any way. I am currently the Lead Software Engineer at Hot Snapper Ltd, a web development shop based in the UK that writes software for funded startups.

The Down Sides

Yes its not just plain sailing been dyslexic in the work place. It takes me longer to communicate my thoughts to the team though written communications. When I write to clients I have to take my time and when I write documents I need to get someone to check. When I joined I was worried this would be an issue. Feeling anxious during the recruitment process asking if been dyslexic would be an issue. Lucky it’s not and the team understand.

The Best Bits

You may worry that you have to read and write code all day, but its not the same as documents its simple code. If your dyslexic mind works anything like mine you process words as pictures and patterns. This works great for code you can easily visualise systems and processes.

Code is the best grammar and spell checker you can have. Programming languages require correct syntax, you can’t get it to work unless its right and you easily learn to solve the issue. Much like dyslexics can learn new words by been forced to use it over and over again. It then registers as a new picture in your mind.

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Once you have a good IDE your set to program where I actually feel it gives me an advantage and because of the way I visualise systems I can program away from the computer in my mind. Solving complex issues with a bit of thought.

Final Thoughts

If your dyslexic and reading this don’t panic, get out there and program. The possible lack in your qualifications is not because you’re stupid, it’s because your dyslexic and getting your thoughts on paper is hard. But programming does not have to be. Some of the best coders I know are so get out there and code!

2019 Update:

As I get a lot of private messages from this article.

You can contact me on dyslexicprogramming@bennett.im

I am now a software consultant and run a product called SnapShooter for DigitalOcean backups

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