How to actually write a program?

Peter Hansen peter at engcorp.com
Tue Sep 7 00:58:12 CEST 2004


Max M wrote:
> Jp Calderone wrote:
>>   Close the file.  Open test_mykewlprogram.py and begin writing unit 
>> tests.
> 
> I completely agree in the value of test driven development, but for 
> someone writing a first program I completely disagree!
> 
> He will have to fight both programming in itself, and the test driven 
> development process.

I would have thought that the TDD process was *how* one would "fight
programming".  Do you have a better way?  All the approaches I've
seen in the past were much, much more difficult and less assured
of useful results in a reasonable time.

(Also, as a new programmer, he is unlikely to have to "fight"
TDD, since he doesn't have other approaches to try to unlearn.
I assume unlearning old habits is what you were thinking about,
because TDD itself is so simple that it's not at all hard to
actually follow the process.)

> There is a big difference in learning to program, and in programming 
> itself.
> 
> You should simply start coding! Solve problems as you go along. The most 
> important thing is to allways be aware when something is repeated.

It seems to me the OP was asking *how* to "start coding".  Telling
him merely to do so is not likely to help.  He already knows he
has to start coding...

> Dont Repeat Yourself
> ====================
> 
> If you have written a similar piece of code 3 times, you should refactor 
> it into a function.

How does he get any code at all, when he doesn't know how
to start?  You can't refactor what doesn't exist.

-Peter



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