Learn to code: Why gamers can make great coders

Not all gamers want to learn to code – and not all coders are necessarily big gamers – but there’s some interesting overlap between the two groups. In part, this is because some of the traits and skills common to gamers can be beneficial in the field of software development.

Take Hack Reactor graduate Stephanye Blakely, for example. Her initial spark of interest in coding started back when she was playing games like King’s Quest and Space Quest. Over time, she became fascinated with how the games were built and wanted to explore how she could build her own.

“I got into teaching myself little bits and pieces of languages just to create things. I loved the fact that it was always a challenge. It was like solving a puzzle every time,” said Stephanye, who eventually launched a software engineering career after graduating from our coding bootcamp.

Seeing coding as a problem to be solved – and as a puzzle to enjoy – exemplifies one of the many ways in which gamers and coders are alike. Both get something out of digging into a problem and finding solutions. To explore more similarities, read through our list of common skills or traits that connect gamers and coders.

What do gamers and coders have in common? Here are five common skills or traits:


Like Stephanye, gamers and coders are interested in solving puzzles and problems large and small. They often get joy and deep satisfaction from doing so, as they tap into critical and creative thinking skills to overcome obstacles in games or to debug code and find solutions to issues on the job.

Attention to detail

If you want to win a game, victory is often in the details. Games require sharp attention to navigate challenges, pick up on and interpret clues, and solve puzzles. Likewise, for success on a coding project, the details require deep attention to write carefully and detect and fix errors.


Games are designed to be challenging. They’re meant to engage and encourage creative thinking. To overcome these well-built challenges, persistence is required, just as it is in software engineering when faced with the many possible challenges that can require new ways of looking at things.

For Hack Reactor graduate Jackson Harris III, the practice of persistence in gaming led to his love of coding and his ability to stick with a problem for sustained periods.

“I look at writing code like playing video games…That same feeling I got from playing World of Warcraft for 15 hours a day, is what I get when I write code. I know it’s not going to be the same for everyone, but when I thought about it that way, that’s how I tapped into my passion for coding,” he said.


Over time, gaming has become more sophisticated, both in terms of in-game specifics and hardware. Gamers who enjoy staying up-to-date on the latest releases and innovations have to adapt to these changes, embracing what’s new and different as a part of the overall equation. This same mindset pays dividends in software engineering, a field that’s always evolving its technologies and methodologies.


Some games are single-player, but many multi-player games are extremely popular. Gamers often enjoy working with others to reach new heights. In software engineering, teamwork is a vital component of overall success on the job, and the ability to connect and work through problems in digital spaces is a great skill for a software developer to possess.

Another Hack Reactor graduate, Tommy Gaessler, got his start toward a career in tech through the bonds he forged while playing games with friends: “Growing up, I loved building things, especially Legos and Minecraft worlds. My friends and I wanted to play Minecraft together, and in the early days, the only way you could do that was by coding a Minecraft server. I learned how to code a server and that sparked my passion for software engineering.”

Are you interested in a software engineering career?

Whether or not you’re a gamer, if you have any of the traits or skills above – or if you have a desire to learn how to develop them – software engineering might be a great career path for you. To get started, explore our Hack Reactor Coding Bootcamps, including programs for total beginners, as well as for people with intermediate coding skills.

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