Maybe Programming is not for the masses

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Papabravo, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. Papabravo

    Thread Starter Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
    10,136
    1,786
    DerStrom8 and cmartinez like this.
  2. justtrying

    Active Member

    Mar 9, 2011
    329
    341
    I totally agree. Programming is like art - some have it and others do not. There are many examples of abilities like this - You have to have certain skills to be able to pick it up that noone can teach you... I believe a lot of it is in how information is processed

    I cannot do it. I can write out what a program is supposed to do and do a large scale design of it, but I cannot code. My brain is not designed for it and no amount of help or instruction will change that. I excel in math, physics and all technical subjects. I am a good writer etc etc, but I will never be a programmer...

    I wish that this lie was not being told to the general public as I have a few friends who bought into it...

    If you have it, you will know very quickly. My neighbour was an excellent programmer at 12, in a country where computers were a rear find...

    Oh, and then there is arduino... prewritten codes where people get an impression that by changing one number they wrote a program :(
     
    DerStrom8, atferrari and tracecom like this.
  3. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    7,386
    1,605
    Back when I was a freshman in college I took a programming course. It was the 3rd course in programming I'd taken, the first in summer school between 7th and 8th grade where we got to play with a computer all day as there as not many people around.

    First test comes up, the evil grad student giving the course announces "5 questions on the test, pick and 4 for 100%. And if you have any time left over <sinister snickering> do the 5th problem for extra credit." I did all 5 problems, left the 2 hours test in under an hour, and scored a 122 out of 100.

    Next week the guy asked me how many years of classes had I had in this language? I looked at my watch and answered "about 20 hours as of now."

    Yeah, I have the bone in my head that lets me write code. I like writing code, and even like reading about writing code.

    I have the talent thanks to God. I have the skill because I put that talent into practice.
     
    DerStrom8 and tracecom like this.
  4. Papabravo

    Thread Starter Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
    10,136
    1,786
    I'm just blown away by the notion that embedded systems can be developed by coding drones who sit at terminals all day in some offshore sweatshop. Coding is actually only about 10% of what is required to bring a robust product to market. The other things you mentioned also have their place. You can't be one-dimensional and succeed at this stuff.
     
  5. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    2,375
    998
    Sounds more like a mental block than an actual lack of ability. I'll bet if your life depended on it, would code your *** of.
     
    Kermit2 likes this.
  6. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    4,866
    988
    Using an abacus is NOT programming! :)

    Seriously where did you lay your hands on a computer in 1962?
     
    #12 likes this.
  7. justtrying

    Active Member

    Mar 9, 2011
    329
    341
    my life did depend on it... I had to pass several courses including C and assembly. There was a distinct division of students - those who got it almost instantaneously and those who spent hours getting nowhere. The instructors also insisted that it is a mental block. I respectfully disagree. It takes a certain kind of thinking to write code and not everyone has it.

    Now, if we can acknowledge that not everyone can be an artist, why this attitude?
     
  8. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    12,093
    3,030
    Coding is like making music. I think anyone can do it to some degree, but there is a wide spectrum of ability and desire. Few can do either well. Oddly, the same personality type can be good at both. They appear to be related in the brain. I can do both with mediocrity, far better than the average man on the street, who tends to be a drooling cretin, but a far cry from an impresario that anyone would pay for their skills.
     
    #12 likes this.
  9. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    2,375
    998
    How did you pass several classes in C and assembly and not be able to write code?
     
  10. justtrying

    Active Member

    Mar 9, 2011
    329
    341
    Because I was average... and the average failed, so the scores were adjusted...
     
  11. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    2,375
    998
    I'm average at alot of things. It doesn't discourage me.
     
    cmartinez likes this.
  12. cmartinez

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
    3,555
    2,517
    nothing wrong with that...

    everything good with that... :)
     
  13. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
    2,907
    2,163
    I saw that today. (ancient /.er here 20301) Formal programmer training hones the inane skill for naturals and helps to eliminate some poor habits or theoretical computer science shortcomings needed to work with groups of programmers but in the end you either have it or you don't.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015
  14. nerdegutta

    Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    2,515
    785
    DerStrom8, Sinus23, cmartinez and 3 others like this.
  15. Papabravo

    Thread Starter Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
    10,136
    1,786
    I had access to the Princeton University IBM 7090 by taking an open class in FORTRAN programming followed by a class in FAP (FORTRAN Assembly Program).
     
    #12 likes this.
  16. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
    2,795
    831
    @Papabravo You have me beat by a few years. I learned how to program in Fortran on an IBM 1130 in the late 60s.

    I work in IT for an MSP and use my coding skills all the time. I used to believe anyone could code - it's so logical and straightforward! But my professional experience has taught me otherwise. People struggle with the simplest scripts.

    So I believe it is an art, and one has or has not an innate ability.
     
    Papabravo likes this.
  17. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
    2,645
    759
    Not only programming; any activity in the world makes for basically pairs of classes: those who like it/like not - those who are gifted to do it / gifted not - those who need to practice it / those who don't - those who consider it the most appealing activity / not the most - those who can attend classes regularly / those who cannot. . .

    In this and so many forums there is a good mix of highly/ lowly educated engineers / technicians or simple amateurs that benefited or not from formal education. I dare to say that for the interested or not, gifted or not, formal education is a good way of having access to information in an organized way. Wish I had the chance.

    Insisting on "anyone could be taught" this or that is a waste of time. Even if true in theory, in practice that could become in no time the worst waste of time, patience and resources. That's why I believe in preselection.
     
  18. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
    3,869
    1,393
    That is the prevailing notion among the politically correct, but it is absolutely wrong. The error is proven every day by the thousands who attend college and fail and, even worse, by those who get a degree, massive student loan debt, and no real job skills. They either can't find or hold a job, or manage to land a spot where, again for political correctness, they are allowed to get paid while producing nothing.
     
  19. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
    2,907
    2,163
    Some people can't be taught to march in step without help. I still remember our boot camp instructor making a guy hold a rock in his left hand so he could start out with the correct foot.:D That little rock was all he needed to keep in sync with the others until his brain learned the correct patterns to march without the rock.
    Some people just see the patterns easily and some don't.
     
  20. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,257
    6,757
    I'm with wayneh in post #8 and nerdegutta in post #14. I can play a guitar, but I can't read music, and I draw like nerdegutta. That's my whole list of art skills.

    I took a course in Basic which taught me how to organize an idea in preparation for programming a computer to solve a problem for me. Then I took a course in Fortran which told me all programming has a certain logical structure, and everything after that is syntax. (That might not be true now.)

    I can still get out a book on Basic or Fortran and write a program to solve a problem for me, but my code is about as elegant as the drawing by nerdegutta.

    Most of the people I know, when faced with a book about a programming language, are about equally likely to pour sauce on it and serve it for dinner as to open it and learn something.
     
    DerStrom8 likes this.
Loading...