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I've taken the evening off to play Diablo 3. I've come back to re-read this post and the associated responses. (Including the "discussion" on Twitter; if you can even call it that.) I have to say the criticisms of Jeff's post seem a bit undeserved. - Yet I can understand where they're coming from. Jeff, I feel like you didn't make it clear enough that you are not dissuading hobbyists from learning to program. This, I feel, invited the opportunity for attack. In a way, the title you've chosen and the visual aid you've chosen have invited an attack on an otherwise sound and constructive post. However, I still think I agree with the fundamentals of your post. People shouldn't learn to code because of the money. Learning to do *anything* because it commands a high salary is simply the wrong motivation. Also, programming is not a fundamental life skill. At least *not right now.* In fact, I posit that if we as developers and designers do our jobs properly, we should need less programmers. If you make increasingly better cars, you need fewer mechanics to keep them all running, no? Programming should be the same. If we create better pieces of software, it should take fewer people to keep the whole charade running. @Brad Rembielak Y'know, as the son of an electrical engineer, I've only just started learning about circuits and logic gates of my own accord. ( So your post hit especially close to home. Clearly it wasn't required knowledge, but it is certainly nice to know, and it makes things conceptually easier. I have to admit that I'm somewhat glad that my dad never said "you need to learn how circuits work! It is a fundamental life skill!"
Toggle Commented May 16, 2012 on Please Don't Learn to Code at Coding Horror
[vaguely @Moritz] I don't agree with the notion that you need to know how to code to effectively use a computer. Making technology more accessible is *our job* as designers and developers of software. Same as making an automobile more accessible is the job of the talented engineers and designers that bring you the award winning Camry at the end of every year. The reason the iPhone is so popular is because it's *stupid simple.* Jobs set out to make the computer a toaster, and he succeeded. He did the same thing to the smartphone, and he succeeded. My mother, who hasn't used a smartphone a day in her life, was able to figure out my iPhone almost instinctively. The same cannot be said for some previous-gen dumbphones and Android phones, and even some land-line phones I've bought her over the years. I know plenty of people who don't have the faintest idea of how ABS works in their car. Aside from: it makes the pedal vibrate, and this orange lamp here means it isn't working. Does that make ABS any less effective when used in an emergency braking situation? Certainly not. *Problem solving* and *logic* are very important life skills. Understanding how and when technology is applicable is also a valid life skill. Is programming the appropriate way to teach this? Or even a *good* way to teach this? I don't think so. Programming is *hard.* This isn't to discourage young programmers. Its to say that there are things far easier and far more fundamental that you must learn and understand. Programming includes obscure compiler bugs and discrepancies, dependency management, complicated syntax, among other things. Programming is a *very* inefficient method of learning how computers work, or learning how problem solving works. Knowing how to write FizzBuzz won't help you understand why streaming is taking up bandwidth.
Toggle Commented May 15, 2012 on Please Don't Learn to Code at Coding Horror
I just wanted to say: having the iOS app and backup codes in my wallet have pretty much eliminated all the "pain" that this scheme causes. I did need a new set of backup codes though, and your post reminded me to generate some. Thanks for the great post Jeff!
Toggle Commented May 1, 2012 on Make Your Email Hacker Proof at Coding Horror
It's been said that "Googling" answers is frowned upon because the programmer never attempts to understand it. I'm quite the opposite. Just for the hell of it I googled a Sudoku Solver written in C to better understand how backtracking worked. Also as a side project, I was writing a small imageboard, I needed a thumbnailer so I found an open source implementation and I only needed to set about 4 lines to configure it, but instead I found myself tinkering with the code for a few hours. The thing is, being self-taught and going through community college right now doesn't leave me in a good position to answer these "tough as nails" interview questions. Not everyone who uses Google is completely unwilling to learn and understand the answers. They just don't have a large library of coding books or a wealth of knowledge gained from a 4-year university to fall back on. I don't think Googling the answer is a bad thing. As long as you're learning and applying what you learn, and not simply dropping in the code.
Toggle Commented Feb 23, 2010 on The Non-Programming Programmer at Coding Horror
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Feb 23, 2010