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Old 02-26-2020, 02:45 PM   #1
wolly
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Career in computer programming at 20 years old

I was thinking to enter the programming field but I am not great at making complex programs like (GOOGLE,Facebook,GMAIL,Microsoft applications,etc).
I learnt Python3 2 years ago for the coding part and not for the building applications part. After that I went to C where I learnt some basics about functions,arrays,pointers and so on and unfortunately I can only create smaller programs like(Lotto,Poker,Blackjack,Roulette).
To be honest,I've never had an IT teacher and I had to watch videos about C.
Now,being in college is not a bad thing but when all your collegemates look at the code and have no idea how to create something you're starting to wonder if it was a good idea to join college...
I have studied the C programming language at college and I didn't find it hard but when I had to think how to create several complex programs my mind went void,empty. I understand the logic of the instructions in both C and C++ but I miss a lot of critical thinking and that is why I can't progress(even in chess I wasn't a genius and I looked at some videos to only understand how each game works and not how is played).
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Old 02-26-2020, 04:03 PM   #2
MikeDeMichele
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Re: Career in computer programming at 20 years old

It seems that you have confidence in understanding the syntax of the languages and are good in writing in them, but aren't sure of how to complete projects from task A-Z, which is one of the biggest challenges in programming.

I think that programmers tend to fall somewhere in between two ends of the spectrum. On one side you have people with the ability to know every valid syntax of every language and on the other side you have people who don't really know how to code but they know how to complete a project from A-Z, even if it's a small project.

What I've found for myself in completing coding projects is that I'll come up with a gameplan for what I'm going to have to do to get the project done and I'll write it down kind of like an outline blueprint. I'll break every part of the project down into each task that has to be solved. And then I'll see which tasks I know I can do, which ones I'm pretty sure I can do and which ones I can't currently do. I'll start with the hardest tasks first, the ones I can't do. I'll start to lookup how to code those parts. And if I decide that there's certain parts of the project that I can't complete, then I won't start it unless I know I can finish the entire project. Only once I know I can code all of the tasks in a project do I begin working on that project, and it's allowed me to complete a lot of really interesting and useful applications that others have used.

So I know I've rambled a lot in this post, but it seemed that your struggle was being able to complete a project. And the most useful thing that I've found to complete projects is to write out an entire blueprint and see if I can actually do it all or not.

From what I've seen leaders in the tech industry say, there's a lot of kids that graduate with computer science degrees who can't actually code or complete a project. So if that's how you're feeling about the situation right now you should be concerned but you shouldn't feel alienated about it, because it's rather common. Your college is probably arming you with entire libraries of coding languages, and is probably making you fairly masterful in those languages. The next step is to figure out how to complete projects, or parts of projects from steps A-Z.
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Old 02-26-2020, 04:09 PM   #3
RustyBrooks
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Re: Career in computer programming at 20 years old

The best way to learn programming is to program, and the best way to learn to write applications is to write them. It really helps if you have some kind of goal in mind, some piece of software that you'd like to have or something that's interesting to you even if it already exists somewhere else.

College doesn't teach you to write applications and arguably a CS degree doesn't teach you how to program either. It gives you the building blocks needed to understand the underlying theory. The same is generally true in engineering. I came out of college with an electrical engineering degree and no idea how to design a large or complicated circuit. It's something you learn by doing it and most junior engineers are learning how to apply stuff on the job. Same goes for programming.

I've hired many people over the years, some of them quite new or junior. Teaching someone the basics of a programming language is the easy part, teaching them to think like a programmer takes time and experience.
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Old 02-26-2020, 04:25 PM   #4
wolly
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Re: Career in computer programming at 20 years old

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeDeMichele View Post
1)It seems that you have confidence in understanding the syntax of the languages and are good in writing in them, but aren't sure of how to complete projects from task A-Z, which is one of the biggest challenges in programming.
2)I think that programmers tend to fall somewhere in between two ends of the spectrum. On one side you have people with the ability to know every valid syntax of every language and on the other side you have people who don't really know how to code but they know how to complete a project from A-Z, even if it's a small project.
3)From what I've seen leaders in the tech industry say, there's a lot of kids that graduate with computer science degrees who can't actually code or complete a project. So if that's how you're feeling about the situation right now you should be concerned but you shouldn't feel alienated about it, because it's rather common. Your college is probably arming you with entire libraries of coding languages, and is probably making you fairly masterful in those languages. The next step is to figure out how to complete projects, or parts of projects from steps A-Z.
1) Actually completing them would mean to cheat and find every project on the internet. That's how I learned some projects,learning projects by yourself is impossible
2)I thought that most of the programmers are just code monkeys and nothing more. Programming is a very tedious and annoying work,I for example once tried to create a game with sprites but what I lacked is the aspect of the game(music,stages,animations).I was completely shocked!I now understand why it is so highly paid. I have read this in a forum:

"I'm going to be completely frank. There's a good reason why not every random person is a programmer, and why programming in general is generally a highly-paid position in the professional field. This reason is simple. Programming is hard work. Very hard work. Not on a physical level of course, but the skill set and attitude required to be a successful programmer is not something most people have naturally, and isn't developed easily. People go to college for 4 years for this crap in some cases. What does this mean for you? This means that if you had no prior programming experience or skill, going into a Sonic forum and learning how to modify disassemblies using preexisting guides isn't going to do much of anything to give you those skills.
Here are some words that I would use to describe programming: boring, tedious, annoying, frustrating, time-consuming, confidence-draining. You get the idea. Programming is very much a field where the ends justify the means: the resulting program may end up being extremely useful and/or entertaining, but the process of creating it may make you want to kill yourself at times. Obviously, that's hyperbole, but it's not a job for the impatient, the easily distracted, or those who hate boredom.
But here's the thing: I'm all three of the above. But alas, I'm a programmer anyway! What's the secret?
Herein lies the point of the topic: Programming is not a talent that you are born with. Like most any other skill, it is developed by repetition and practice. Why do I bring this out? Because the first step in developing a skill is evaluating yourself and your abilities and understanding what inherent personality traits and how much lack of knowledge inhibits you. People who do not do this or refuse to do this fall into one of two categories. 1) People who understand the mindlessly simple things but upon trying to develop the skill to a greater degree, balk at the necessary requirements and simply declare in their mind that they're too stupid or lazy to possibly understand. 2) People who incorrectly assume that they already know what they need to know and don't bother improving further because they think it isn't necessary. Do you want to make an awesome ASM hack? The first step would be to open a 68000 ASM reference file and memorize the opcodes, while maybe reading a few other reference works to understand what each opcode is supposed to do, right? WRONG. Contrary to what you may think, programming isn't a skill tied to the language or platform. You don't "learn" C++, "learn" 68k ASM, "learn" Visual Basic. You "learn" programming, the concepts needed for it, and apply what you learn to the language necessary. From there, as I like to say, once you've learned one language, you've learned them all. What's left to learn is basically related to a language/platform's limitations and its syntax."
3) Honestly, videos are the one that help you when you code. I have learnt from only 1 book about C programming "Let us C" and I have earned a lot of experience from there but most of the books were horrible.
The only course that I took is UDEMY and it's not so bright.
I forgot to mention that I suck at hardware and I belive that would be an impediment if you have no idea about electronics(circuits,sources,PLCS,computer components,etc)
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Old 02-26-2020, 04:43 PM   #5
wolly
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Re: Career in computer programming at 20 years old

There is something else that I would like to understand. Why does everyone keep saying that chess is related to programming? Is that because of the tactics and strategies?
For example I once tried to learn this game chess by watching courses by Roman's Lab and all that I could understand is that certain pieces have some role in certain positions(like when you have e4 e5 nf3 nc6 and each knight protects the pawns).
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:06 PM   #6
MikeDeMichele
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Re: Career in computer programming at 20 years old

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolly View Post
Why does everyone keep saying that chess is related to programming?
I play some chess. Not at a very high level but I'm pretty decent at it. I see no correlation other than (If) I put my piece there (Then) he'll put his piece there.
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:50 PM   #7
RustyBrooks
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Re: Career in computer programming at 20 years old

I don't think chess is related to programming, particularly

I don't agree with the quote from a programming forum

Most of the young guys I know who program don't know hardware, at least, not the way I know it. They also mostly don't know the ins and outs of stuff I had to learn like how networks really work and how network protocols work and that kind of stuff. It used to be extremely helpful to know that stuff and a bit less so now, possibly.

I like to program. I think that's probably the most essential skill or attribute or whatever you like to call it. It's possible to make a job out of it without liking it, same as you could make a job out of accounting or sales or whatever without really caring much about it. But it'll be a lot easier if you enjoy it.
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Old 02-27-2020, 06:21 PM   #8
Biggle10
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Re: Career in computer programming at 20 years old

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolly View Post
I was thinking to enter the programming field but I am not great at making complex programs like (GOOGLE,Facebook,GMAIL,Microsoft applications,etc).
How do you eat an elephant? 1 bite at a time. Large applications like these are just broken down into smaller teams / components /busness units. And programming problems aren't much different. You just start breaking it down to smaller and smaller pieces until its small enough for you to wrap your brain around it.
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Old 04-21-2020, 06:44 AM   #9
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Re: Career in computer programming at 20 years old

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolly
Studying at college isn't a bad option of course, but then you are wondering if you can do every task perfectly well.
I studied C programming at college and it wasn't too hard to do my programming homework however it wasn't as easy with complex programs ...
Hi, I think the first thing to do is to clarify exactly what you want to do with programming: whether you want a particular path with a very specific programming aspect (perhaps you might want to choose one of the three OS families that programmers usually prefer: Linux, Windows or macOS); whether you want to work alone or in a team, etc.
I myself started with open source projects, when I was a fresher in college (CS degree).
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