Just a generic geek, with a tendency for taking things apart


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Tuesday, November 01, 2005
I declare, If I can do that, I shouldn't have to loop
 
Every programming language is based on three concepts. Declaring variables so they can be populated with information, Decision structures to figure out what you need to do with that information, and finally a looping mechanism so the computer, and not the user follows the same steps over and over and over again.

Its a pretty little concept they teach in basic programming courses, and its an easy concept to pull out when you listen to half a dozen recorded conferences at places like ITConversations. I'm one of those annoying students that picked up on that concept really fast, so now I'm paying the punishment by being really bored while my "Internet Programming" course finally (after 10 weeks, with 6 to go) gears up to actually program. I have a miserable feeling that in those remaining 6 weeks, we're going to relearn the basic three components to programming. I think the teacher (who to be fair has been pretty good about not dismissing the class and their experience) is quickly reverting to a retarded "the book is always right" mentality because we're treading away from web side and back to programming.

Good for the teachers, they can go back to dwelling on about variables, decision structures and loops for hours and hours and hours! Never mind that I can go home (not looking at the book) and code a quick, effective decision structure with a variable declaration by looking at a single result off of a three word google search and use 15 minutes rather than 150 minutes.

I don't know if I wholeheartedly agree with Wil Shipley's advice of Quit School and Set Things on Fire, (I've given it a lot of thought since it's been published tho') but I know some of the commenters have it right. If we really want those 6 figure educations to actually be worth 6 figures, we need to learn things, not be taught. Lecturing me about the bare bones of a programming language isn't the same thing as helping me build a custom content management system for a website, just like instructing me to follow a kindergarden level flash tutorial from a [sarcasm]really nice[/[sarcasm]] graphics book (printed with the highest quality black and white inks no less) while you twiddle your thumbs isn't going to come close to helping me compete with flash wizards like PixelGasoline, or even something that looks good (like the Mantalope cartoon in the first episode of ChannelFrederator)



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