How to begin thinking like a programmer

Some notes regarding this video presentation of Andy Harris:

Youtube video: How to begin thinking like a programmer

Slides for this presentation

Programming is about:

  • Programming isn’t about languages
  • The language ultimately doesn’t matter much
  • There’s not a lot of memorizing
  • Most programming isn’t about math
  • Programming languages are simpler than human ones
  • Programming is really about solving problems
  • It’s about explaining things to the idiot computer

Coding isn’t about language is about:

  • Most beginners think they don’t understand what code to write
  • The real problem is they don’t really understand the problem they’re trying to solve

Failure is WONDERFUL

  • Did you tell it what to do incorrectly ?
  • Or did you tell it to do the wrong thing?
  • Most beginners assume it’s an implementation problem
  • Usually it’s really an algorithm problem

How to not go crazy

  • The art of teaching is knowing what NOT to teach
  • Learn it and do it before you learn something else
  • This is NOT a spectator sport
  • Teaching yourself means you have an amateur teacher
  • You don’t have to know everything