Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hello, world!

I'm still grinding away at learning how to program. After a lot more reading, I decided to start my program over from the ground up. I think that I did a much better job the second time. I've been kind of avoiding the actual programming, though, and doing lots of reading. I'm still reading the pickaxe book, but I've also picked up Coding Complete. I'm only three chapters into it, so far, and I already like it. It's helping me fill in more blanks, even this early. 

Through reading Coding Complete, the biggest thing that go reinforced to me is that the process of building software is much like any other project that I've worked on. I guess that we all watch these movies with computer hackers and just get caught up into the fantasy that coders just see a problem and then immediately know how to translate that into a program. Much like anything else, though, writing/building a program requires planning and design before you even sit down to write the actual program.

Another thing that I like about the book is the concept of using metaphors to better understand problems. I feel like the word that he was looking for was similes, though, because he always uses the word "like" when he describes his "metaphors," but "similes"' is definitely less cool sounding. 

Something else that I noticed about these books on computer languages is that they always use big words when they could be more clear using simpler terms. Being a stickler for understanding exactly what someone is saying, I'm looking up a lot of words as I read these books...I guess that's not a bad thing. I'm learning a lot of new words. Well, maybe not actually learning new words, but getting really clear on the definitions to words that I had a tenuous grasp on.

I'm so glad that I decided to learn programming. Originally, I wanted to learn programming because I wanted to build apps and software and I thought that if I had to spend time most of my time at work, then coding was something that I could enjoy doing. It fits my personality. But the more I do it and the more I learn, the more it's really not about either of those things at the core. I still really want to do both of them, but this is more like a hobby. It's fun to learn and it's fun to evaluate and solve problems. I can see my self getting really good at this. 

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