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Old 08-27-2012, 09:29 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
The most difficult thing about computer programming is, indeed, "how to think like a programmer." A computer programming tool ... be it an ALGOL-derivative language like the ones we use, or an Excel spreadsheet, merely provides the ability to translate a set of instructions into something that the hardware can carry out exactly. The true difficulty is not "figuring out where the parentheses and semicolons go," but determining what you want the hardware to (blindly...) do.
Very true.

Whenever I start learning a new language, especially when I was less experienced in programming, I always noticed a fairly pronounced point where I ceased to think mostly in terms of what the language needed (syntax, structure, common function usage, etc.), and started to think solely in terms of what the application or problem dictated. At that point, I think there is some level of mastery where you start to actually use the language as a tool. Up to that point, you are really solving two problems; the original programming objective, and learning to use the tool. I now use that transition point as a landmark in deciding whether I actually 'know' a programming language. Sometimes, I decide that it isn't as useful as I need it to be, and stop using it. Sometimes, despite my most steadfast effort, I never achieve that point. Those cases are always a bit disappointing.

--- rod.
Old 08-27-2012, 01:06 PM   #17
Sergei Steshenko
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Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
...The true difficulty is not "figuring out where the parentheses and semicolons go," but determining what you want the hardware to (blindly...) do.
And/or formulating how you would do it yourself with you your eyes and fingers.


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