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Re: Programming and math

by blue_cowdawg (Monsignor)
on Aug 10, 2003 at 22:26 UTC ( #282691=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Programming and math

Let me apply my life's experiences to these wonderful questions and hopefully shed some light here.

Answer to question #1:

      Do you need to be good in mathematics in order to program well?
In my humble opinion High School level math will hold you in good stead. Of course YMMV depending on how well your High School did in teaching you math and how good you are at applying what you are taugh vs. you being a good test taker.

Having said that I can think of some programming I did in the past where knowing how to do interpolation and extrapoltation held me in good stead. In fact I don't belive I could have solved the problem without those skills. (Had to do with RF measurement automation)

In other cases I can think of I had to work with mathemetitians (sp?) extracting from them programming requirements for a project. Without a base knowlege of math I would have been lost.

As to question #2:

      Are people who have no training in Computer Science disadvantaged in how far they can get in programming?
again a classic case of YMMV. I do not have any formal college level training to speak of. Yet I can program far better than a lot of my peers who are/were CS majors. Ironically enough I did a stint as an adjunct professor teaching CS majors how to survive in a Unix environment as programmers.

      Are some programming languages more "friendly" to learners who are not mathematically inclined and who received no formal training in Computer Science?
I think once you learn how to program in one language learning the next one is just a matter of syntax. Of course this opinion is coming from someone who can program in
  • C/C++
  • Perl
  • Z80 Assembler
  • 680159 assembler
  • 80868 assembler
  • PIC assembler
  • Pascal
  • Fortran (and I'll forget I ever said that if someone tries to make me program in it again!)
  • Pascal (same goes for this languge
  • and I have distant memories of COBOL and PL1
I didn't list my repetoir of languages to brag but to make the point that I learned those languages as I needed them to accomplish a task building on the knowlege I have of programming in general. Like I say it is just a matter of learning a new syntax and applying a general programming knowlege set and style.

Now.. if you were to ask me what languages I think I am more productive the list would change somewhat.

Peter @ Berghold . Net

Sieze the cow! Bite the day!

Nobody expects the Perl inquisition!

Test the code? We don't need to test no stinkin' code!
All code posted here is as is where is unless otherwise stated.

Brewer of Belgian style Ales

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