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Is learning Programming hard?

Discussion in 'Scripting & Programming' started by spiffy7, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. spiffy7

    spiffy7 New Member

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    I suck at math and wanted to know will programming be hard for because of my math skills. Programming of interest include-
    C# programming 1 & 2
    Java 1 & 2
    RPG 1 & 2
    VB.NET
    C++
    I'm new in the programming department and really interested in learning those languages. But wasn't sure if my math skills would hender me from learning it efficiently. :(
     
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  2. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Maths helps, sure, but its not the end of the world. Mostly its logic, and knowledge of the language. Certainly in my field, maths only tends to come in for calculations required by the business, which usually means that the business tells me what the calculation is, I just then need to program it.
     
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  3. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    Sorry for not knowing but what is C# programming 1 & 2 and others 1 & 2?
     
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  4. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    not a clue, I'm guessing its courses from a TP or college that the OP has seen.
     
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  5. Johnd76

    Johnd76 Megabyte Poster

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  6. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    the question wasnt what c# was, it was specifically what the C# 1 & 2 referred to.
     
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  7. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    ^ What he says.
     
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  8. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Programming is tough.

    It's pretty much like learning a foreign language with some maths thrown in, with the added bonus that if you mis-pronounce a single word nobody understands you.

    One of the hard things is that it's possible to approach each programming task in so many ways, often just getting started can be quite daunting. With other aspects of IT there are rules and procedures that can be learned, such as how to add a printer or disable a user account.

    With programming there are best practices and certain ways of doing things, but essentially every programming job is different - otherwise you woldn't have to do it.

    I know we normally go down the 'self study' route, but from experience I would recommend a course or two to get you into the subject. Before I set out on my MCSD I did two OU courses. One was an introduction to object oriented design, which taught you principles rather than a language (OK, it was Smalltalk - still none the wiser) and the other was embedded systems which used C++.

    The benefit was that they were well paced and covered other considerations rather than just learning the language, things like interface design, user feedback and how to tackle design problems right from the first step.

    OU courses aren't expensive - you're looking at under £500 for the year and in my opinion it's well worth it.
     
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  9. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    People with maths or engineering brains tend to make better programmers, thats generally where the maths part comes in. Most programming jobs involve minimal maths, theres a lot of general data munging, comms, UI, etc. There is however a significant minority of jobs where hard skills like maths and physics really come in useful, however as has been pointed out there will often be specialists to help out.

    My worry would be why does your math suck ? What level of maths are we talking about ? If you want to be a programmer a good long term goal would be to improve your maths after learning about programming.

    You've picked a lot of different languages for a beginner. While its good to be multilingual, one or two should suffice when starting out.

    Whats RPG 1 & 2, Role playing games ? Rocket Propelled Grenade ? IBM's Report Program Generator ?

    Yep, Smalltalk used to be a good OO language for starting out, way ahead of its time in some ways, I did a bit at college too, the modern equivalents are now probably Java and C# though, they both borrowed a lot from Smalltalk and C/C++.

    Learning to be an average programmer is easy, learning to be a great one is hard !
     
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  10. jo74

    jo74 Byte Poster

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    Oh, yes they are.:(

    A few years ago the fees increased substantially, thanks to a reduction of government funding :x

    A single course worth 30 points, or a 1/4 of full year's worth of credit, (which is 120 points) will cost £400.

    A single course that's worth 60 points (most courses are either 30 or 60 points) will cost £600.

    So a full year of 120 points (which admittedly isn't recommended by the OU) would cost £1400 :shocked

    Those courses that you mentioned, they've both been replaced by the way. Java's replaced Smalltalk and VB.NET has replaced C++.
     
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  11. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I think Jonny's point was they are reasonable compared to many of the alternatives, generally the OU and local colleges represent good value for money. Professional training can cost £400 per day !

    My recent 30 point course did cost £400 as you point out, 120 points is fulltime study, most people don't study fulltime with the OU, so it's more likely to be £400-£800 per year which is a reasonable personal annual training budget.

    It also normally includes training materials, some limited tuition (20 hours), marked assignments, support and exams. It's therefore only marginally more expensive than certification self study, where an exam and book can cost £150. Certification assessment is generally much cheaper to run and with self study there are zero hours of tuition.

    Apparently fulltime study course fees for most UK universities are around £5500 PA, so again even at £1200 fulltime it's still cheap.

    You still get a reduced fee as a UK national, so I can only assume that the government is still part funding the courses.

    The OU's IT masters are on the expensive side in my opinion, there you can be looking at £1000+ for 15 points.

    I don't think VB.NET is really suitable for general embedded development, so I doubt that is the same course.
    I'm not sure how far work on deterministic garbage collectors for realtime has come.
    Was it MT262 ?
     
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  12. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    To be fair, the cost of the course is usually dependant on the area it's in, and you more than see the benefit of the cost with an institution like the OU.

    I'll be paying £1200 for my 60 point German course, but that includes the cost of a week-long day school in Berlin :biggrin so it's not all money thrown into a black hole.

    I priced it against my other half's part time degree, at a brick-and-mortar Uni. Mine is cheaper (discounting the fact that his is paid for by his employer).
     
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  13. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Ah SmallTalk, that takes me back. We had to make frogs jump around using SmallTalk when I studied M206 with the OU. Good times :biggrin
     
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  14. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Yep.

    GreenFrog Left 2
    HoverFrog Up
    Toad Right

    Told you programming was hard!

    :biggrin
     
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  15. jo74

    jo74 Byte Poster

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    All good points.

    But my grumble was basically with the reduction in funding and the resultant increase in fees. Oh for the days of a 30 point course that cost around £200 :(

    There is a course called T224 which is about embedded chips and their programming. It used to be T223, which used C as the programming language.

    MT264 (VB) isn't a replacement for MT262 (C++), it looks like it's more of a complement to the OU's Java courses.
     
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  16. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Well, everything is getting more expensive all the time. That's life for you.
    I've got an old copy of The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy and the price on the back is 80p.
    It's £6.99 now.

    Anyway, the point being I can't fault the OU for value for money or course content which is why I'd recommend it for someone who wanted to get a good start.

    Incidentally, I'm paying £1,250 for a 5 day Prince2 course, so £600 for a year aint bad.
    Just glad it's not my own money. 8)
     
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  17. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    if you understand things like conio.h from c# and algorythms then no, but you can learn
     
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  18. jo74

    jo74 Byte Poster

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    But that's inflation :biggrin I remember when The Beano only cost a few pence and you still had change from a 50 pence piece for a bag of sweets :biggrin


    It's just a bit annoying that the very party that set up the OU, then effectively cut its funding.

    Although in terms of course content, I'd agree with that. The OU's course materials are fantastic.

    No, it's mine! :biggrin
     
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