Programming skills - born or made?

Discussion in 'Programming and Homework Questions' started by brncao, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. brncao

    brncao Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    541
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    31
    One month into the semester taking a Java programming course, and from what I've seen, most students seem to be struggling, a few are good at it, and some are decent. I'm wondering if having great analytical skills and logic is something you're born with or can it be obtained with enough practice?

    What makes people really good at programming? Is it because they've done it since childhood? People who tinker with computer programming during their childhood seem to develop great analytical skills and logic to be able to do these things in college on the fly. Is that true?
     
  2. talin

    talin Notebook Prophet

    Reputations:
    4,694
    Messages:
    5,352
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    205
    While some are gifted more than others, anything can be learned.
     
  3. Jarhead

    Jarhead Notebook Nobel Laureate

    Reputations:
    4,599
    Messages:
    10,605
    Likes Received:
    1,052
    Trophy Points:
    581
    Had the same situation in my Visual Basic .NET class. Most weren't doing well or weren't interested, and the few of us that were interested did good/great at it. I suppose that they could have learned it over time, but it soon turned into a programming class into "do X in Excel (very mundane task, lots of repetition), then do X all over again in a VB window". I even found it hard to keep interest after that.
     
  4. brncao

    brncao Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    541
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    31
    What makes one "gifted" in the first place? By working hard at it? Students do work hard at it, I can sense the enthusiasm of creating their first working program. The difference is that some people seem to be better than others. It's as if you're suppose to have a basic understanding of programming before you enter the class even though this course IS an intro to programming.
     
  5. talin

    talin Notebook Prophet

    Reputations:
    4,694
    Messages:
    5,352
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    205
    Some people just have an affinity for certain things. I believe people can be born with certain gifts, whether it be musical talent, an affinity for languages, whatever. Some people just tend to gravitate more to it than others. With programming, you do have to have a certain level of problem solving skills or you're going to have a hell of a time debugging code.
     
  6. Jarhead

    Jarhead Notebook Nobel Laureate

    Reputations:
    4,599
    Messages:
    10,605
    Likes Received:
    1,052
    Trophy Points:
    581
    I was considered a gifted student back in grade school. Some of it was that I was a quick learner, some was that I enjoy learning something productive (high school taught me that high school tends not to be productive unless youre in honors or above, sadly), and I would be that guy that studied for a class before actually taking it.
     
  7. Thaenatos

    Thaenatos Zero Cool

    Reputations:
    1,564
    Messages:
    5,304
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    216
    While becoming a great programmer can be learned, there is an underlying piece. Most who become great at it are more natural at computer logic then others. Im taking some refresher classes and there are some very intellegent people who just dont get it. Does that make them stupid? No, their brains work differently and they are intelligent in other ways.

    You have to be intelligent to be a competent programmer let alone a great one. But the flip side is just because you are intelligent doesnt mean you can be a competent programmer.
     
  8. brncao

    brncao Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    541
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    31
    I'm ok at programming, but this is coming from what I can pick up from the books and online tutorials. For some reason I always feel they're dumbed-down. I can learn it alright, I catch on quickly, but when it comes to problems that are a little more sophisticated, I get stuck. I "wish" I could do better, but I can't. I look at the pros and I sometimes envy them. Being here in college I feel like they teach you the basics, but a lot of times they'll tell you to find it online (i.e. Google) to further expand upon your knowledge. So 10% is in college and 90% is self-taught:confused: All of a sudden I don't feel prepared for the real world...
     
  9. talin

    talin Notebook Prophet

    Reputations:
    4,694
    Messages:
    5,352
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    205
    But that's how you learn, and that is preparing you for the real world. Most of the stuff you'll have to figure it out on your own. You'll have someone tell you, I want X done and Y done, and you'll have to figure out how to implement that. Problem solving skills are such a huge base of programming skills. I'm self taught, and I learned through trial and error, tutorials, trying out my own ideas, and I built my knowlege block by block, piece by piece.
    I don't know what else to tell you. You will only get out of it what you put into it.
     
  10. Thaenatos

    Thaenatos Zero Cool

    Reputations:
    1,564
    Messages:
    5,304
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    216
    Even the smartest programmers have to learn syntax and at first syntax is what blocks most budding programmers. If you understand the logic somewhat then its only a matter of learning the tools and how to mold them into working the logic the most effective way possible.
     
Similar Threads: Programming skills
Forum Title Date
Programming and Homework Questions How to develop programming skills ? Problems ? Forums ? Sep 16, 2009
Programming and Homework Questions Outsourcing SAS programming? Aug 26, 2014
Programming and Homework Questions Best place to start learning programming? Jun 1, 2013
Programming and Homework Questions Need some UDP socket programming help Apr 22, 2012
Programming and Homework Questions Arduino Programming Question Dec 15, 2011

Share This Page