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Re^4: How to abate the Ubiquitous Fear of Programming

by hv (Parson)
on Aug 03, 2004 at 11:27 UTC ( #379583=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to •Re^3: How to abate the Ubiquitous Fear of Programming
in thread How to abate the Ubiquitous Fear of Programming

Interesting, I've long suspected that my lack of facility with visualisation was due to some of that part of my brain being given over to pattern recognition and abstraction instead.

I'm also therefore reluctant to experiment with attempts to improve my visualisation skills, because viewed (!) from here the potential cost is much higher than the potential gain.


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Re^5: How to abate the Ubiquitous Fear of Programming
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Aug 03, 2004 at 11:56 UTC

    S'funny. I have no artistic aptitude to mention, and I have a tendancy to be "word-blind", though it generally only affects my own writing, and only when it is newly written. Not the classic dyslexia.

    But I rely strongly on visualisation when programming. When I "see" the solution to a code problem, I can generally code it directly and, beyind typis, it usually runs first time.

    When I struggle to "see" the solution, it can take me hours to code even relatively simple things.

    The weirdest thing is that, if the first time I ever try to code something fairly complex but self contained, I get a strong "vision" of how it should be--and if it works. Then I never have a problem re-coding it from scratch.

    Conversely, those algorithms that I struggled to see and code the first time, I always have trouble doing them again, no matter how often I have to do it.

    Likewise there are some words that I struggled with as a kid, that I still struggle with every time.

    Examine what is said, not who speaks.
    "Efficiency is intelligent laziness." -David Dunham
    "Think for yourself!" - Abigail
    "Memory, processor, disk in that order on the hardware side. Algorithm, algorithm, algorithm on the code side." - tachyon
•Re^5: How to abate the Ubiquitous Fear of Programming
by merlyn (Sage) on Aug 03, 2004 at 14:40 UTC
    I think that's also what I'm concluding, at least for myself.

    My lack of visualization meant that I learned different ways to process information. I think some of these have let me work with abstract reasoning in a much more flexible way. I also very quickly recognize abstract patterns amongst wildly different domains (witness the less-than-a-moment's thought that eventually became the schwartzian transform).

    Also, since I don't "picture" a conversation I'm having, I'm terribly efficient with word puns. I "hear" all similar words, and all different meanings, for each word in a conversation. I suspect that people who visualize an actual dog when I say "dog" would have a harder time doing that.

    Like a blind person getting better hearing in exchange, my mental "blindness" has created a number of very useful skills.

    -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
    Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

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