My Thoughts & Views

Programmers!!!!!!!!!!????????????

Posted on: March 26, 2007

I think what should be tested is not the knowledge per say, but the capacity to pick stuff up, I got my current Job becuase I took an API I had never used before and figured out how to use it. I’m by no means a pro, but I have the capacity to learn by myself, some people can’t pick up new things unless they are spoon fed.

University is not an exercise in cramming your head full of knowledge it’s an exercise in learning how to learn quickly and efficiently.

When you know the basics you can teach yourself a new language in a few hours, and depending on the complexity learn a new API in an hour to day. Many grads I find dont have that capacity.

I remember at my first .NET course the teacher asking how many people never programmed before. Many hands were raised, and I felt bad for them for choosing a future profession without knowing what it actually was about. Then he asked how many people never touched a keyboard before. How shock was I to see at least 10 persons raise their hand, mostly women.

I think there are too many people out there who don’t know how to write code in their head..

But..

That doesn’t make them a bad coder or designer to be apt. Coding has become so abstract that most modern coders tend to be designers due to working with heavily gui based apps from Windows form coding to Web apps. So we could blame MS for doing this, but its not really their fault.

The days of the lone coder are gone, most if not all coders have no need to learn or retain any of the stuff they get taught in their college/uni and certainly its not a requirement in a job.

However I think coding should be about architecting a solution and that means working from the ground up. A good coder is someone who has knowledge of each area they are interacting with, not necessarily deep knowledge of a technical component but enough of an understanding to appreciate how their solution will fit into the wider picture.

Coding should be about elegance. It should be like designing a really well made web page that employs lush CSS and is a visual treat to look at. Code should be the same, well commented and fluid in its layout making the code appealing to read.

I have come across too many coders who simply code out of need, usually to meet out of proportion expectations resulting in badly formed code or a solution that has far too many shortcuts in place.

Each to their own though, every problem has a particular solution however I think what this article was touching on was the fact that the core foundation skills of a coder are not present in most interview cases and this is worrying but I think a growing trend.

When you have hand-holding applications like Visual Studio.NET there is no real need to retain information as you can for the most part, cut and paste your way to a solution. 😛

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