[plt-scheme] RE: Perplexed Programmer: My Story...

From: Carnell, James E (jecarnell at saintfrancis.com)
Date: Fri Aug 31 14:37:36 EDT 2007

I really shouldn't be writing this because I have been deleting most of
the posts without reading them (unless there was some code to look at).
In other words I only have vague ideas what you are guys are talking
about and am proceeding to open my big mouth. This post is a cliff note
to my undergraduate intro to programming as a MIS major and is factually
correct though obviously biased. 

Goal 1) what made me hate programming 
Goal 2) For someone to say yeah I agree there, or you were slacker boy,
and got what you deserved. 

Me> Hooray! I'm a beginning programmer in my first course !
    Expectations/Goals: I'm going to program a chat bot by the end of
the semester.

Guy one seat over> "Do you know how to program?"

Me> thinking to self ...in Excel if you type =SUM(A1:A5) it sums...
    "I don't think so."

Teacher> Get your books out we're going to talk about OOP!

Unfortunate Event = 'C by Dissection' this book == bad
 			- Bigger than Harry Potter
			- No pictures 
			- No inspiration... Even by page 400 it was the
new symbolic catechism of programming.
			  You could repeat this book forever and never
see the light.
                    There wasn't anything in there (I love drawing junk!
Even if it's a damn square)
                    I wanted to get to. It was all this is a variable,
method, another thing to get tested on.

    Note: Now that I know a little bit I can use this book, but as a
FIRST book, sucks is an understatement

Teacher>now let's Program

Me> Hooray!

Teacher> You'll have to log onto the 1960's Unix server... With your CS
pass word which is not your student password...
 Going to the command prompt type the following... "q e0risadfl asd--
21232" ...make sure you get those spaces correct...
 ...stuff...stuff.stuff... Now we are logged in and can load a file to
be compiled... Type gcc ... unless

Me> Lunchtime! Hooray!

Guy One Seat Over> "Do you know how to log in and compile your program?"

Me> Thinking to self... "q e0risadfl asd--  21232" then gcc -something
    "I don't think so"
    "I don't even know where all our programs go?" <insert Twilight Zone

Teacher> "I discourage using Visual C++ compiler. Your homework needs to
compile on our server or you will get a 0 on your homework. Besides the
Visual C++ compiler has a lot features and modules that you will never
use in this class. To make things simpler just use our compiler on the
server" (seriously it is some 1960's Unix thing they keep in a vault
downstairs... In the dungeon... with the Flintstones).

Me> "Wow, I don't want anything more difficult than this..."

Teacher> Now for our third homework assignment we are going to make a
program that computes taxes based on a persons location and yearly
income... (seriously this was either the third or fourth one, I spent ~8
hours on it). I HATED the compiler because it told me I was a screw up,
but it wouldn't even tell me in my own language. I've learned that this
will never go away and over time have learned somewhat what it saying.

Me> Hooray! I just got a D I'm outa here!
    Expectations/Goals: Survival, via crawling through the marsh and
underbrush of Programming 101
    Chatbot sorry, but NO WAY.

To wrap things up, about 6 months ago I ran into a programmer.

Him> So do you do anything with your degree?

Me> Nope.

Him> You should try Python.

So I did. I didn't have to log on. Hell I didn't even have to compile.
Whoa I can actually program something I want without having to spend an
HOUR on every hang up logging into that slug Unix basement dungeon

Also in the past, I tended to block the OOP (it sounded like some Wu Li
transcendental programming philosophy rather than something useful).
Last weekend I came across 'Headfirst Design Patterns' by the Freemans
(notice cute girl on cover: Why couldn't my COLLEGE text book have her
on the cover!) anyway, low and behold that OOP actually comes up in the
world and this book did for me what never happened in college. Actually,
there were people by my Junior year that I "had finally found" (thanks
to divine intervention) who could  explain to me what all this stuff
meant, but I hated programming by that point so I just took my D's and
went on with life).

Now I am coming back into the programming world (*now that I am OUT of
college*)! I still suck, but at least I have a good attitude and think
that I can program what I want to.



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