MYO - Wearable Gesture Control. This is wild.
Programming isn’t just syntax and compilers, it’s a whole logical thought process that shares the same process of building a home. You must have a great foundation of what computing is, how pieces work and how to really think abstractly.
Programming is great because there is never the “best” solution to a problem. Yeah, you can get that algorithm down to O(1) but you always strive to do it better, faster, larger scale then before even if before was the best.
Programming teaches you how to think differently. It teaches you to think abstractly and more of the how does this work, and the big why does it work this way. Your total thought process becomes a puzzle that you are constantly trying to solve.
Programming also teaches you patience. Programming is one of the most stressful and aggravating things you can ever do. Some people try it once and think what the fuck! I can’t do this! then give up. Others will excel at the theories behind computer science but during implementation time, they become overwhelmed and let their code “run-away” from them. (Run-away means you lose the complete picture of what you are trying to create and solve)
Most unskilled programmers become frustrated. Start doubting yourself, then you just become flushed and become scouring google for more examples until you just try to copy and paste code into your program. This is your code getting away from you, you now have no clue what is what, where is this method? This is where most programmers give up, they can’t figure it out.
A skilled and experienced programmer knows how to let their mind run free, they don’t let problems and code run-away from them. They understand the complete picture and know the what and how of a FIFO Queue, Stack, Binary Tree, Linked List. How arrays work, what datatypes are best, what looping structures are better.
This is something that comes with experience, not one day of googling and understanding that.
Everyone can become a “programmer”. Syntax and algorithms will come with time, but patience and your thirst for success must be something you stride for.
Zeroeh on what learning how to program entails (via Reddit).
Which is why I think sites like Codecademy.com won’t last long unless they go through a radical transformation in terms of how they approach and structure the learning process.
These niched MOOC platforms contribute to solving the awareness problem of programming; they make it easy for the general public to jump the initial hump of learning how to write code.
However, these sites are largely focused on teaching the mastery of syntax rather than the adoption of a new logic. They still haven’t figured out how to facilitate the creation of knowledge that adapts and carries over between programming languages - the type of knowledge that enables you to grasp the big picture and learn in a truly sustainable fashion.
I often think a planning career is a bit like that Jerry Seinfeld movie - Comedian. This is the tale of Jerry trying to construct a new act after vowing never to do any of his old material. He goes out night after night doing five minutes here and there, finding stuff that works, discarding stuff that doesn’t, until he’s got enough to constitute an act. It takes a long time. And that’s what a planning career is like. Do it for long enough and you get an act. You get some examples, some anecdotes and some theories, which you regurgitate again and again, tailored to fit the situation you find yourself in.
Via Russel Davies.
This applies to the young strategist just as much as it applies to the young planner. Wise words to remember as you grapple with the frustration of not having developed your act fully, just yet.
A few years ago, he [Ken Anderson, Intel ethnographer] conducted an ethnographic study of “temporality,” about the perception of the passage and scarcity of time—noting how Americans he studied had come to perceive busy-ness and lack of time as a marker of well-being. “We found that in social interaction, virtually everyone would claim to be ‘busy,’ and that everyone close to them would be ‘busy’ too,” he told me. But in fact, coordinated studies of how these people used technology suggested that when they used their computers, they tended to do work only in short bursts of a few minutes at a time, with the rest of the time devoted to something other than what we might identify as work. “We were designing computers, and the spec at the time was to use the computer to the max for two hours,” Anderson says. “We had to make chips that would perform at that level. You don’t want them to overheat. But when we came back, we figured that we needed to rethink this, because people’s time is not quite what we imagine.” For a company that makes microchip processors, this discovery has had important consequences for how to engineer products—not only for users who constantly need high-powered computing for long durations, but for people who just think they do.