Now that I've accepted that I've been sucked in to the world of software (not entirely unwillingly despite the occasional bit of pining for electronics) I decided to improve my knowledge of how to do things properly.

Seeing as my chances of being sent on a course weren't high I bought a couple of books instead: 'The Pragmatic Programmer' and 'Programming Pearls'. I thought I would start 'Programming Pearls' first.

The things is, I just don't seem to be getting anywhere. I'm seldom able to solve the exercises, and being tired after a day of DSP coding in C is just an excuse (not even a good one). I just don't seem to think the right way.

Does anyone else have this problem? Is it possible to be a good programmer without being able to instantly devise the most efficient algorithms on the spot? Should I return to working on the checkouts at my local supermarket?

I suspect part of the problem might be that I'm missing some of the knowledge assumed by these books. I've never been taught the theory of programming, I just learned it because I needed to to get a job done, then I found Perl and started programming for fun.

Update:Thanks for the responses, I'm glad I gave in to my urge to whinge :-) Just to clarify: I'm not a complete beginner at Perl but thought I needed to improve my approach to programming. Your suggestions should help me towards my goal, thanks again. Kev

Kevin O'Rourke

Edit 2001-06-16 ar0n -- Edited title