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(Telegraph)   How to code, step one; learn to ^c^v   (telegraph.co.uk) divider line 175
    More: Advice, algebra, baking sodas, maths, digitizations, calculus  
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6575 clicks; posted to Geek » on 09 Dec 2012 at 5:25 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-09 01:04:31 PM  
Emacs vs vi just won....
 
2012-12-09 01:07:29 PM  
And guess in which class you'll be learning the logical thinking skills that allow you to handle all those if's and then's...
 
2012-12-09 01:33:57 PM  
i.telegraph.co.uk

What being good at maths might look like.
 
2012-12-09 01:48:41 PM  
I is good at maths and is good at programmings but there is no if and only if relation. I can be replaced by a single 16 year old Pashtun hacker with incredible Ctl-C Ctl-V skills.
 
2012-12-09 02:47:47 PM  
The requirement for a good coder is the ability to understand requirements, think logically, think very carefully about efficiency, think about easy extensibility, and consider all possible errors and put it effective error handling that allows easy debugging of what is wrong if something fails. And be quick making your way through all that.

If you work on 3D engines or the like, you also need to be good at math. But there are huge sectors of coding where all you need is the math you learned by third grade.
 
2012-12-09 04:47:13 PM  
www.starzlife.com

I'll see your "What being good at maths is really like", and raise you a PhD.
 
2012-12-09 04:50:54 PM  
I would like to learn how to code.

What I haven't had since 1998 is a code environment. I don't know how to compile and then debug without a program to do so. I also drag and drop elements like in C#.
 
2012-12-09 05:20:53 PM  
Go to thenewboston.com and watch videos.
 
2012-12-09 05:29:18 PM  
Back in my day we learned to code by adding cheats to nibbles.bas. And we liked it.
 
2012-12-09 05:31:42 PM  
learn to ^c^v

Only be sure always to call it please "research."
 
2012-12-09 05:32:34 PM  
Most of my programming classes wee about math. I suppose it depends on whether your helping design nuclear weapons or just writing news aggregator link builder sites.
 
2012-12-09 05:33:19 PM  

doglover: I would like to learn how to code.

What I haven't had since 1998 is a code environment. I don't know how to compile and then debug without a program to do so. I also drag and drop elements like in C#.


Look into the "Eclipse" IDE
 
2012-12-09 05:34:11 PM  

edmo: Most of my programming classes wee about math. I suppose it depends on whether your helping design nuclear weapons or just writing news aggregator link builder sites.


Well, back in the day, all programming required memory management and THAT required maths.
 
2012-12-09 05:35:39 PM  

vossiewulf: The requirement for a good coder is the ability to understand requirements, think logically, think very carefully about efficiency, think about easy extensibility, and consider all possible errors and put it effective error handling that allows easy debugging of what is wrong if something fails. And be quick making your way through all that.

If you work on 3D engines or the like, you also need to be good at math. But there are huge sectors of coding where all you need is the math you learned by third grade.


I'd like a word with the people behind the amazing skill Firefox has gobbling up entire cores because google mail pops a requester, or the wonderful logic behind the "can't scroll to my tabs on the right" feature.
 
2012-12-09 05:36:54 PM  

doglover: What I haven't had since 1998 is a code environment.


netbeans.org

As a self-taught coder, I stole code. Not so much to steal it steal it but, more to figure out what coders thought and did and how they arrived at their conclusions. Bottom line, I was the smartest coder who ever lived.

Until I went to university and starting taking higher-level math classes. That's where I learned that easiest sort is also the worst sort. And, this twisted, nobody-would-have-ever-thought-of-that sort was the best sort... unless the list was already sorted, in which case, it's right up there with the worst sort.

And, there's all this big O stuff that goes along with it and then there was the proof-writing class. I could never *read* proofs before. Now, I have to write them? And, holy crap, you mean that there's actually something *to* all these proofs and why things go fast and why things go slow and why crypto algorithms are provable weak unless they're provably hard and how some 14 year old has a clever way to bypass your provably hard crypto algorithm....

and, that's when I discovered that I wasn't the smartest coder who ever lived.

But, I'm still pretty damned good and thank goodness for all those math classes or I'd still be writing bubble sorts.
 
2012-12-09 05:39:27 PM  

JustSurfin: [www.starzlife.com image 480x600]

I'll see your "What being good at maths is really like", and raise you a PhD.


There is something being raised, anyway.
 
2012-12-09 05:41:02 PM  
I like your URL subby, math is clearly a strong point

/+1 to you
//and our equation
///although it's a liter +1 so it's not even real
 
2012-12-09 05:41:39 PM  

neuroflare: I like your URL subby, math is clearly a strong point

/+1 to you
//and your equation
///although it's a liter +1 so it's not even real


FTFM...
 
2012-12-09 05:46:19 PM  
There are those that can code and then those that can actually code. Work in the IT industry long enough and you can easily spot the difference. Some people have the talent, some just cut and paste and enjoy calling themselves coders more than they actually can code.

I used to work for an IT form that did about 60% of their turnover writing apps for clients. Some people were friggen terrible coders and everytime they carried on about how genius they were at coding it was always laughable.
 
2012-12-09 05:46:38 PM  

neuroflare: neuroflare: I like your URL subby, math is clearly a strong point

/+1 to you
//and your equation
///although it's a liter +1 so it's not even real

FTFM...


As the article shows, you could leave it as "our equation", just use CTRL C and V.
 
2012-12-09 05:46:54 PM  

neuroflare: /+1 to you


You could have just you++ you know.
 
2012-12-09 05:54:07 PM  

Roman Fyseek: neuroflare: /+1 to you

You could have just you++ you know.


Good call
 
2012-12-09 05:56:09 PM  
If you're writing a database LOB CRUD application? No. Any reasonably intelligent person could accomplish it with today's tools.

If you want to really "code", you need to at least understand the basics of Algebra.

If you're writing 3D games, you are going to need to need to understand trigonometry.

If you're writing financial software, you are going to need to know a few things about statistics.

If you're writing a spam filter, a good understanding of Bayesian probability would be a big help.

Programmer translate ideas into code. If we don't understand the source material, we cannot properly translate it.
 
2012-12-09 05:56:15 PM  
Roman Fyseek
And, there's all this big O stuff that goes along with it and then there was the proof-writing class. I could never *read* proofs before. Now, I have to write them? And, holy crap, you mean that there's actually something *to* all these proofs and why things go fast and why things go slow and why crypto algorithms are provable weak unless they're provably hard and how some 14 year old has a clever way to bypass your provably hard crypto algorithm....


I remember learning about the big O. It was a real pleasure when it came to me.
 
2012-12-09 06:00:28 PM  
Been in software development for over 20 years.

There's a lot of copying stuff from elsewhere now, and you'd be daft as a developer to build your own AJAX-based grid rather than using jQuery and jqGrid.

BUT do you know the difference between local and server-side filtering? How long that request is going to take if you fetch all results in one go vs doing filtering and paging on the server side? What indexing you need to put on the table? How to write and secure the server side JSON request? How to validate the request? Do you know how to tell which plugins are worth using?

The worst way to teach people is with "here's a chunk of code, paste it in". The right way is to teach people to code using a blank sheet of paper where they learn all the fundamental stuff like loops, decisions, classes, SQL. Then move on to HTML and Javascript. And once you've done that, then you start telling them about all the shortcuts to doing the stuff you've taught them.
 
2012-12-09 06:10:36 PM  
How To Code. Step One: FARK THAT SHIAT, TRY HEROIN. IT'S LESS MENTALLY DESTRUCTIVE.

/As God as my witness, I will never be able to remember a good chunk of the hexadecimal editing, manual decryption or digital-equivalent-of-duct-tape-and-staples I had to use to make that farking stupid SSF ROM-header reader (Saturn emulator) figure out how to GODDAMN LOAD BEYOND 16k.

/Required for a LOT of the arcade and 1st-party titles released near the end of it's life. Drove me to drinking.
 
2012-12-09 06:10:37 PM  
I run numerical weather prediction models (seriously), so I'm getting a kick out of these replies. That said, there's no way in hell I could program one of those myself. Actually, I take that back -- I could program one that was ridiculously inefficient and only ran in serial.

I don't care about object-oriented programming for what I do -- it's all just FORTRAN code that needs to solve equations SUPER SUPER SUPER FAST. I wish I knew/understood parallel computing/programming better.

/Gets to run on some of the fastest supercomputers in the world... eagerly awaiting this
 
2012-12-09 06:10:55 PM  

edmo: Most of my programming classes wee about math. I suppose it depends on whether your helping design nuclear weapons or just writing news aggregator link builder sites.


My programming classes existed to support a Business Info Systems degree. There wasn't much math required other than addition and a little multiplication. I can crank out a quick and dirty application like a madman, though.
 
2012-12-09 06:15:10 PM  
s-ak.buzzfed.com

What are you going to do with all that coding knowledge when the server physically fails?
shiat, what is the average person going to do with coding knowledge period.



///last shiat I programmed in was BASIC...not visualBASIC or QBASIC
 
2012-12-09 06:16:03 PM  

hershy799: I run numerical weather prediction models (seriously), so I'm getting a kick out of these replies. That said, there's no way in hell I could program one of those myself. Actually, I take that back -- I could program one that was ridiculously inefficient and only ran in serial.

I don't care about object-oriented programming for what I do -- it's all just FORTRAN code that needs to solve equations SUPER SUPER SUPER FAST. I wish I knew/understood parallel computing/programming better.

/Gets to run on some of the fastest supercomputers in the world... eagerly awaiting this


How ya doin'?
 
2012-12-09 06:16:23 PM  

hershy799: only ran in serial.


My office runs this massively parallel computing thingy. I was tearing my hair out over how the server knew when to feed more data to all the processes and when I finally asked the guy that wrote it, I felt stupid.

(hint: the server doesn't feed to the processes. The processes ask for more when they're finished with their current batch)

It's little shiat like that that will drive coders nuts and leads to wildly inefficient programming. Seriously, teaching yourself to code is easy. Learning to code right requires a qualified instructor.

Or, being Babbage or something.
 
2012-12-09 06:19:26 PM  
No - copy/paste is not a programming method.

I've been saying this for farking years.

If you find yourself doing a lot of copying and pasting maybe you just call a function.
 
2012-12-09 06:25:31 PM  

kevinatilusa: And guess in which class you'll be learning the logical thinking skills that allow you to handle all those if's and then's...


I learned mine in my logical and discrete "math" class. Then again, we also covered a good chunk of the material in my intro to philosophy class as well.
 
2012-12-09 06:27:54 PM  

farkeruk: Been in software development for over 20 years.

There's a lot of copying stuff from elsewhere now, and you'd be daft as a developer to build your own AJAX-based grid rather than using jQuery and jqGrid.

BUT do you know the difference between local and server-side filtering? How long that request is going to take if you fetch all results in one go vs doing filtering and paging on the server side? What indexing you need to put on the table? How to write and secure the server side JSON request? How to validate the request? Do you know how to tell which plugins are worth using?

The worst way to teach people is with "here's a chunk of code, paste it in". The right way is to teach people to code using a blank sheet of paper where they learn all the fundamental stuff like loops, decisions, classes, SQL. Then move on to HTML and Javascript. And once you've done that, then you start telling them about all the shortcuts to doing the stuff you've taught them.


Came here to say something like this. Taking other people's functions doesn't teach you a goddamned thing.
 
2012-12-09 06:30:51 PM  

LazarusLong42: farkeruk: Been in software development for over 20 years.

There's a lot of copying stuff from elsewhere now, and you'd be daft as a developer to build your own AJAX-based grid rather than using jQuery and jqGrid.

BUT do you know the difference between local and server-side filtering? How long that request is going to take if you fetch all results in one go vs doing filtering and paging on the server side? What indexing you need to put on the table? How to write and secure the server side JSON request? How to validate the request? Do you know how to tell which plugins are worth using?

The worst way to teach people is with "here's a chunk of code, paste it in". The right way is to teach people to code using a blank sheet of paper where they learn all the fundamental stuff like loops, decisions, classes, SQL. Then move on to HTML and Javascript. And once you've done that, then you start telling them about all the shortcuts to doing the stuff you've taught them.

Came here to say something like this. Taking other people's functions doesn't teach you a goddamned thing.


It doesn't teach you much, if anything, but it sure as fark makes my job easier a lot of the time. Then again, scripting and developing are not the primary focus of my just just a large one.
 
2012-12-09 06:34:42 PM  

Happy Hours: No - copy/paste is not a programming method.

I've been saying this for farking years.

If you find yourself doing a lot of copying and pasting maybe you just call a function.


If you write a block of code once, consider making it a function.
If you write a block of code twice, you must make it a function.
If you write a block of code three times, we should consider firing you.

I probably botched the quote a bit, but basically the same sentiment.
Copy/Paste is design patter. A terrible terrible design pattern that results in terrible, un-maintainable software.
 
2012-12-09 06:38:11 PM  
Strictly speaking you may not use math very much in most programs, but the mental skills used for math are similar to the ones used for programming. If you're bad at math, you're almost certainly going to be bad at programming too. Don't despair though. There are plenty of bad programmers out there. Their lack of skill hasn't stopped them and it shouldn't stop you either.
 
2012-12-09 06:45:27 PM  

farkeruk: Been in software development for over 20 years.

The right way is to teach people to code using a blank sheet of paper where they learn all the fundamental stuff like loops, decisions, classes, SQL. Then move on to HTML and Javascript. And once you've done that, then you start telling them about all the shortcuts to doing the stuff you've taught them.


That's how I learned it. When we were finally given java.util.linkedList, we all groaned but after the fact I realize that writing my own linked list package taught me how they work, and reinforced pointers. It's way more helpful.

I do sort of agree that math isn't needed for all software development jobs, but the better developers use math to make sure they are coding efficient algorithms (especially in embedded systems like I work on). But "code monkeys" do exist who make a fine living blindly writing up what a systems engineer provided as requirements. I, on the other hand, prefer a basic "shall" statement to pseudocode so I can do it right.
 
2012-12-09 06:52:05 PM  

LazarusLong42:

Came here to say something like this. Taking other people's functions doesn't teach you a goddamned thing.



Well, not if you stop there. If you take someone else's code, then start reading and modifying it though...
 
2012-12-09 07:06:15 PM  

Gig103: I do sort of agree that math isn't needed for all software development jobs, but the better developers use math to make sure they are coding efficient algorithms (especially in embedded systems like I work on). But "code monkeys" do exist who make a fine living blindly writing up what a systems engineer provided as requirements. I, on the other hand, prefer a basic "shall" statement to pseudocode so I can do it right.


It really depends what you're doing. I can see that for embedded, but if you're doing things like server-side web development, you've got the power that means that code efficiency just isn't worth worrying too much about. Database performance and network IO are far bigger fish to fry.
 
2012-12-09 07:07:45 PM  
I was a self-taught programmer during high school, and wrote and sold (small) business software. I thought I was the hottest stuff ever. Then I started information science / computer science at university, and realized that I was total shyte before.

So if anybody tells me that being a good programmer doesn't require any format education or knowledge, I nod politely and ignore them afterwards.

Now I'm again thinking that I'm the hottest stuff ever. There's surely another epiphany coming.
 
2012-12-09 07:08:47 PM  
"doesn't require any format education or knowledge"

formal, even
 
2012-12-09 07:09:36 PM  
10 REM "Another green for me"
20 PRINT "Green"
30 for t=1 to 300
40 CLS
50 next t
60 goto 20
1000 END
 
2012-12-09 07:13:03 PM  
Actual mathematics (meaning proofs, theory, etc. and not just arithmetic) is closer to programming than pretty much anything.
 
2012-12-09 07:18:57 PM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: doglover: I would like to learn how to code.

What I haven't had since 1998 is a code environment. I don't know how to compile and then debug without a program to do so. I also drag and drop elements like in C#.

Look into the "Eclipse" IDE


Oh I likes Eclipses, precious
 
2012-12-09 07:22:44 PM  

vossiewulf: The requirement for a good coder is the ability to understand requirements, think logically, think very carefully about efficiency, think about easy extensibility, and consider all possible errors and put it effective error handling that allows easy debugging of what is wrong if something fails. And be quick making your way through all that.

If you work on 3D engines or the like, you also need to be good at math. But there are huge sectors of coding where all you need is the math you learned by third grade.


As a person who writes those requirements, finding someone who understands them instead of going with something "cooler" is a major skill a lot of developers lack. You would be surprised how often I hear, "Why would anyone want to do that? I have a better idea." So, you sit down, explain the customers' business, and they say, "Oh. Are you sure?" By the way, it's not like the customer wants more complexity. Often, it's quite the opposite. We talking about engineers who want to deliver incredibly complex things with absolutely no GUI. So, cool, but unusable by anyone in marketing. By the way, I am in no way saying that every developer lacks the skill to understand requirements. But I am saying it's a rare enough skill you can make some good money if you do get it.
 
2012-12-09 07:25:08 PM  
I ran into a new programmer at a conference. He's a Jave programmer. Java only. Period. I asked him how many languages he thought he would ever need and he said "Java and maybe Javascript". Then he asked me how many programming languages I've used (I've been in the biz since the late 70s). I was still listing languages 5 minutes later when his eyes glazed over and his brain rebooted.

That was fun. Java punk. You want my job, you got a lot of studying to do.
 
2012-12-09 07:25:13 PM  
FTA: "So in most cases you can see that the hard maths (the physical and geometry) is either done by a computer or has been done by someone else. "

Wow, what great career advice. "Don't worry, someone else will do the hard part." Holy crap.
 
2012-12-09 07:26:32 PM  

midigod: FTA: "So in most cases you can see that the hard maths (the physical and geometry) is either done by a computer or has been done by someone else. "

Wow, what great career advice. "Don't worry, someone else will do the hard part." Holy crap.


Although that quote IS an oversimplification, it's called "not re-inventing the wheel".
 
2012-12-09 07:45:57 PM  

JustSurfin: That was fun. Java punk. You want my job, you got a lot of studying to do.


The stupid thing is, since Java is derived from the C programming language, it wouldn't be hard for him to learn other derivatives such as ANSI-C, C++, C♯, Scala or Perl. Biggest issue would be the jump from object-oriented programming to procedural programming in ANSI-C and Perl.

If you want an alien landscape, try going from C to LISP. Holy fark, that was different.
 
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