[BangPypers] how to learn programming

Roshan Mathews rmathews at gmail.com
Sat Jan 24 16:46:25 CET 2009

On Sat, Jan 24, 2009 at 7:12 PM, Kenneth Gonsalves <lawgon at au-kbc.org> wrote:
> what is the difference between a programmer and a person who writes code? Is
> there a difference? I was told that learning to write code can be done in a
> few weeks, but to become a programmer will take at least 10 years. I was also
> told that learning to play golf takes a few months - but becoming a golfer
> would take at least 10 years. As far as golf is concerned, there is a clear

Obligatory link:  http://norvig.com/21-days.html  A good read even
otherwise.  The 'knowing the rules' vs. 'being proficient' argument is
also made in SICP
... another good read, (Indian version of the dead trees version
available from University Press.)

> distinction between technical ability and an overall integration into the
> spirit of the game. I wonder if the same applies to the concept of a
> programmer. Especially an open source programmer where success implies
> technical skills + the ability to work in a collaborative environment, not
> get angry with criticism, ability to mobilise the end user as a developmental
> partner, write code that anyone can maintain - etc etc., comment and document
> the code you write, respect RFCs and PEPs.

Yes, social skills and the ability to work with others matter.  Just
like anyplace else, but maybe less so than in other professions.

About the high level vs. low level argument, it can be argued both
ways.  Many things are clarified when you look at it from a different
perspective.  I've understood C better after I did some assembly, and
my C++ improved after I worked in Python, and vice versa.

But I think less people would be scared away if they start off with a
HLL language like Python, compared to C, or even C++.  C++ isn't C
with stuff bolted on, like someone here mentioned, but those parts
that aren't that are pretty complicated to get your head around even
if you have been using C++ for years.

Anand Chitipothu had given a link to a article earlier in this thread,
which makes a very good argument.  I hadn't noticed the similarities
between Python and pseudo-code before.  :)


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