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Old April 19 2011, 12:18 PM   #91
BlobVanDam
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Re: My Dungeon Game [work in progress]

ThunderAeroI wrote: View Post
When I have a programming problem I talk it over with someone who knows nothing about programming. Often times they ill provide the incite I need to solve the problem.
I believe people call that the Dr House Effect.
And by people, I mean me, because I just made that up.

And typing up my problem to someone else online who has no idea about programming at all always helps me. Usually they have nothing to say, but just the process helps.
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Old April 20 2011, 11:22 PM   #92
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Re: My Dungeon Game [work in progress]

ThunderAeroI wrote: View Post
When I have a programming problem I talk it over with someone who knows nothing about programming. Often times they ill provide the incite I need to solve the problem.
I think that mathematical skill is one of the most important (and underrated) strengths when it comes to programming. Possibly more-so than fluency with one's language of choice.
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Old April 21 2011, 03:36 PM   #93
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Re: My Dungeon Game [work in progress]

Jadzia wrote: View Post
ThunderAeroI wrote: View Post
When I have a programming problem I talk it over with someone who knows nothing about programming. Often times they ill provide the incite I need to solve the problem.
I think that mathematical skill is one of the most important (and underrated) strengths when it comes to programming. Possibly more-so than fluency with one's language of choice.
I don't think you necessarily need to know really advanced math, but you definitely need a solid grasp of stuff like trig. In games programming especially, it's all calculating angles and distances, and general problem solving of how to derive a number from a bunch of other numbers. So I agree that math is an important of programming logic.
After all, knowing the language inside out is useless if you can't figure out what you're actually trying to make your program do!
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Old April 21 2011, 05:47 PM   #94
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Re: My Dungeon Game [work in progress]

Well I'm not a particularly strong programmer, but it's rare that I encounter a programming problem that I can't solve, which I believe comes from my mathematical skills.

I am completely self taught at programming, and it was only 3-4 years ago when I got internet access that I was able to share this pastime with others for the first time.

But I was surprised how often I was able to answer people's programming questions online... even those who I felt were stronger at programming than myself. Mathematical things is where most seem to get stuck.

My approach to mathematics has generally been shaped by thoughts like "how can I compute this on a machine", while my approach to programming tends to evoke thoughts like "what theorems relate to this bit of program, and do I really understand why it does what it does?"

My weaker areas are :

(i) managing complex programs. I can take things quite complex, but there suddenly comes a point at which I can't hold the whole thing in my mind. If a program is too big and complex for me to see in my mind as a whole, then I will struggle to relate to it, and struggle to do anymore to it. Thinking in terms of procedures and breaking code down into small standalone chunks is not a natural skill for me, which I expect comes from the imperative/non-procedural programming that I started with.

(ii) minutiae of language. With C++ especially, there are lots of examples online posing teasers like "why does this line of code output this value?" and it'll be something really counterintuitive that relates to precisely how the code is executed , or some obscure situation in which pointers don't work, or something. I have no time for that stuff.
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Last edited by Jadzia; April 21 2011 at 06:00 PM.
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Old April 21 2011, 05:57 PM   #95
Robert Maxwell
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Re: My Dungeon Game [work in progress]

Programming is just problem-solving. If you can take a problem, break it down into steps, and devise a process for solving it, you've already done most of the work and the code is just a formality.

I've found that people who only know how to code in one language start to approach all their problems through the lens of that language's limitations and conventions. It makes it very, very hard to solve problems the language isn't suited to, and difficult to learn other languages at all because you lack the theoretical background to reduce a problem to that level of abstraction.

To point (ii), I hate questions like that. While it pays to know the "gotchas" of any language you're working with, not knowing them doesn't make you a bad programmer. It's not the programmer's fault that a language does something non-intuitive or outright brain-damaged. Ideally, you just fix the code to work the way you want and put a comment next to it, indicating why you had to write such a workaround in the first place.
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