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Re: Is it just me...?

by VSarkiss (Monsignor)
on Jun 14, 2001 at 19:40 UTC ( #88458=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to How do I become a good programmer?

Hate to tell you, Kevin, but it is just you. All the rest of us were born knowing how to program. I personally flashed on an incredible CFD routine in Fortran while suckling at my mother's breast.

(Sorry, just had to do that ;-)

You have the right method -- study the works of others -- and the desire. Have patience. It may seem like you're getting nowhere, but keep at it. As the I Ching admonishes, "perseverance furthers".

Consider some alternate resources. For example, you may have picked books that aren't appropriate for your stage of growth. Some other possibilities to consider:

  • "How to solve it" by Georg Polya. A true classic: one of the best all-around books on problem solving.
  • "The Perl Cookbook" by Christiansen and Torkington. Instead of a reference, consider just reading it, or studying one or two techniques a day.
  • My personal favorite, Effective Perl Programming by Hall and Schwartz, is a great way to rise to "the next level" in Perl. It's the same "item-at-a-time" format as Pragmatic Programmer.
One thing that helped me a lot when I was learning programming: read other people's code. One of the best things about using Open Source and Free software is that you can read the programs for education. For example, if you're curious how something in Perl works, try to track it down in the source, and see how it's accomplished. (Warning: this may warp your thinking for life. ;-) Or read some of the modules in your Perl distribution and see how they work.

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Re: Re: Is it just me...?
by nysus (Vicar) on Jun 14, 2001 at 20:14 UTC
    I want to follow-up on the point to read from a variety of different sources. This has been working for me, at least. In the last 4 months I have purchased:
    Learn Perl in 21 Days
    Teach Yourself CGI
    Programming the Perl DBI
    Network Programming Perl
    Object-Oriented Perl
    The Perl CD Bookshelf (only $60!) which includes:
    Learning Perl
    Programming Perl
    Perl Cookbook
    Perl in a Nutshell
    Learning Perl on Win32 Systems
    Advanced Perl Programming

    And of course there is all the great documentation and tutorial here on PM and elsewhere online. I'm not recommending these particular books to you, I'm just saying having a wide and diverse library has done me well. Have I read all of them through? No. Do I understand all that I read? No. But relying on the work of more than one or two has helped me tremendously in piecing it all together. Many of the books cross paths and seeing the same concept described a little differently produces those magic "Oh I see!" moments quite well.

    $PM = "Perl Monk's";
    $MCF = "Most Clueless Friar Abbot";
    $nysus = $PM . $MCF;

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