Friday, December 2, 2011

Well damn, I admit it. I'm a weak programmer.

Happy December!

So a couple of days ago, I put a post up about being unenthusiastic and not giving a damn about a project I was working on. While we ended up getting the project to work the way we wanted it to, as soon as we uploaded it to the professor's directory, it crashed and burned, and it was quite embarrassing.

That being said, I wanted to look in retrospect. How am I so motivated about my game project and not really motivated about code?

I guess it stems from several main things: I'm not really interested in a course I don't need, the way the information was taught, and most importantly, I'm a very weak coder.

Regarding the weak programmer part, I was trying to help my brother the other day with making functions for his C++ labs (he's in an introductory course), and I could barely tell him how to do it from scratch. I am in constant reliance of some book or reference sheet when I write code, I'm not quite sure if that's a good or bad thing, but that's where it stands.

I also learn from example and not by conceptual understanding, and there's not many professors nowadays that do that. My first C++ professor did it, and that was it. I tried learning a course on Data Structures that taught through using C++ code to explain how structuring worked, and I found myself extremely lost in pointers, code referencing, and the constant correcting of an errata list. I then retook it with another professor that showed all diagrams and little code (pseudo-code) and ended up getting an A. I can tell you a Stack is a LIFO data structure, I couldn't tell you how to code it.

And now I sit in a class for seniors and the professor there admitted that most of his colleagues got as knowledgeable as they are through self-study and learning on their own rather than learning from someone else. If that's the case, then I wish I picked up a programming language on my own before I enrolled in the university so the professors could teach useful programming techniques (which they already do) than trying to focus on still learning the language they're using after three years.

I don't fault the university for this practice, it's just hard to learn programming in general (as compared to other fields where you just memorize information for an exam), it's like math mixed with English in the terms that you need good syntax and structure as well as functionality and correct computation.

In any case, I'm glad I know programming. I like programming (believe it or not), but I know I could never get a job in it because there are simply those who can do it so much better than I can. I would rather go into the design and planning of a project than coding it. I just hope there are jobs in that position. I'm not saying I won't ever expect to code, but I would rather plan out a technique for execution and then pseudo-code it and have an actual programmer go about doing it.

...Software Engineer, maybe?

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