When I began programming, I had a lot to learn, for sure. But much of it was tactical things: language syntax, system architecture, software development processes, etc. My math background, I feel, helped prepare me for the bigger and more strategic issues: defining the problem to be solved, thinking through the big issues and coming to a robust solution.
Of course, in some ways, I always felt somewhat behind the curve a bit, relative to those who had formally studied programming. But I never felt overwhelmed or out of my league. My math and technical education had indirectly prepared me well to be a developer.
Is a math background absolutely required to become a programmer? No, but I think a lack of it makes the hurdles to clear a little higher. Not impossible, but harder.
Math, I think, is one of those subjects that helps prepare you for many different kinds of careers, from programming to business and even to the arts. You never go wrong taking a lot of math, in my opinion - particularly linear algebra. That course was hot!
What do you think? Is learning math important to becoming a programmer? Can you get by or even thrive as a developer without having studied it? Let’s hear your opinion in the comments.