What Math Is Needed For Coding

If you’re new to coding, or want to try it, and you’re thinking about what level of math is needed for coding — don’t worry about it so much. Certainly don’t let it stop you from learning coding. It’s only a small part of what’s necessary to write a program or develop an application. Programming is more about problem solving than math.

Mathematically speaking though, the simplest thing you do with code, is to add one to a variable. What math is needed for coding can be as simple or as complex as you need. Like most problems in technology, “it depends” .

So What Kinds of Math

I think if you can understand basic algebra, you’ll do fine with coding. It will get you a long way with programming. If you get into topics like graphics or location based applications, then you’ll need some geometry and trigonometry. I haven’t done calculus with code. To be honest, I forgot how to do calculus, so I could use a refresher course.

Logic is part of math too. It’s not just equations and arithmetic. But you’ll learn that as you learn to code. Just know that Boolean logic is a big part of programming – start small and build your skill.


I think you shouldn’t relate your current math ability to your desire to write code. Eventually, you will encounter some math that you’re not comfortable with, and that’s OK. You won’t have to deal with it, most of the time. You’ll create a function for your calculation, and eventually get it to work. It you do need some help with the math, you’ll probably be able to find an answer on the web somewhere.

It’s worth knowing that you don’t always need to know how something gets calculated. In fact, you shouldn’t always need to know how. If a function is well-named, and you know it’s arguments and return type, then you can use it without knowing. The point is, don’t let math be the only thing that holds you back from learning to code.

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