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Re^2: Where does the new generation of programmers begin?

by talexb (Canon)
on Oct 05, 2013 at 19:16 UTC ( #1057068=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: Where does the new generation of programmers begin?
in thread Where does the new generation of programmers begin?

    Still, I find it hard to understand how someone shows up on his first day of class at a university or community college, taking his first ever programming class, with virtually no previous experience programming. It's as though CS is attracts some people due to its applicability to the job market rather than for the love of programming. I think we see that a lot with professions such as nursing, law, "business"..

I'm not so sure that someone going into 1L or first-year nursing knows much about their field, unless they've been doing a ton of subject matter reading. Those students get into their programs because their aptitude has suggested they'll do well in that field. As far as that goes, I would suggest that it's way easier for someone to arrive at first-year CS already intimately familiar with database arcana, all kinds of networking information, and deep knowledge of one or more languages. They'd be the ones fiddling over cleaning up their program output and making the source code squeaky clean instead of walking that cute blue-eyed girl home (guilty!).

I would say that the barrier's a little higher for those on Windows-based systems, because the simplest 'Hello, World!' program means creating a window and writing text into it. However, I haven't used an VB or C++ IDEs -- perhaps writing something like that's trivial -- but getting that done in a command line environment like the one that Linux provides is way easier.

Alex / talexb / Toronto

Thanks PJ. We owe you so much. Groklaw -- RIP -- 2003 to 2013.

Comment on Re^2: Where does the new generation of programmers begin?
Re^3: Where does the new generation of programmers begin?
by davido (Archbishop) on Oct 05, 2013 at 19:29 UTC

    In the Visual Studio (VB, C++,etc) IDE the hardest part is figuring out how to use it the first time. The simplest program in a Windows environment is still a "console" application, but to create one you need to start a project with some settings that are different from the defaults. I can't remember them offhand, but if I booted to Windows and fired up VS I'm sure I could walk through them again.

    Once someone finally gets a project set up that can do console apps, "Hello World" in C++ is pretty much the same under VS as anywhere else, though a common mistake is to not notice the console pop up with output, and disappear in the blink of an eye.

    If you don't blink, you'll see it. Or compile and run it in debug mode so the console stays open, or just get out of the IDE and run it from a console window.

    Of course doing that as a "windows" app (native MFC, or managed/.NET) is much, much more intimidating. :)


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