Understanding Programmers

This is a discussion on Understanding Programmers within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Hi. Check out this article at DevX by Bryan Dollery entitled "Understanding the Psychology of Programming." http://www.devx.com/devx/editorial/11659 Isnt that "flow" ...

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    Understanding Programmers

    Hi.

    Check out this article at DevX by Bryan Dollery entitled "Understanding the Psychology of Programming."

    http://www.devx.com/devx/editorial/11659

    Isnt that "flow" state he describes the same as paradise or what?

    Kuphryn

  2. #2
    Skunkmeister Stoned_Coder's Avatar
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    well to be honest i would aliken "flow" more to coding while in the state of being mildy stoned. Not so battered you cant think but stoned enough to allow you to focus fully on what you are doing and cut out the general background noises etc that can ruin your train of thought. Its a good state for me to code in but what works for me wont necessarily work for others.When things are quiet and you are focussed then the code does just flow.
    Free the weed!! Class B to class C is not good enough!!
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    it says that because you are creating something, you are automatically an artist? It also says programmers aren't engineers...yeah...does this guy even do programming?

    Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi of Chicago University, formerly the chair of the psychology department, has studied hundreds of exceptional individuals, from IT entrepreneurs to Nobel Prize winners, researching creativity. He has written many books and papers on the subjects of flow and creativity.
    is the guy a friggin programmer?

    This is a highly desirable state, both for the programmer herself and for the organization that profits by her labors.
    ...
    That's an hour of lost productivity to your team. If a programmer is interrupted many times during the day she may never reach this state
    it's a fact that most programmers are males

    Making Flow ... uh, Flow
    wake up call: you work for 8 hours a day, and you get a paycheck, and you don't necessarily have to be flowing or 'in the zone' or like any of it. you have to just shut the hell and do it so your employer doesn't fire you

    this article is crap

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    Not all programmers are engineers though. Especially if the programmer has not taken the engineering boards. This applies to those already on the job field, and not to students. Students have yet to become engineers.

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    Students should be learning how to become engineers though. The guy in the article blatantly said writing code isn't engineering...that isn't true, you are engineering solutions to problems. Just because you are creating something doesn't necessarily mean you are an artist...but lets just assume you ARE an artist if you are a programmer, that doesn't mean you aren't an engineer...
    Writing code is an act of creativity. It isn't science and it isn't engineering
    EDIT:
    and the guy isn't a programmer either He's 'studied' them...

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    I didn't read the article. I probably will later when I get back. I agree, students should be learning to be engineers; I am. That quote you just posted though; programming to me is a science, and is engineering when applied to engineering. But there are programmers that do not have the official title of engineer. But I agree, a lot of engineering goes into developing solutions.

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    Some programmers aren't engineers; they just haphazardly produce bad code in a "creative" fashion. Now-a-days, companies recognize that these are not the types of programmers you want to hire.
    Any good programmer sees programming as an engineering task.

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    Yes, that artcle is definitely right-on!

    In summation:

    -Give every programmer his/her own private room!
    -Programmers may seem "high" sometimes. That is because they are analyzing complex problems.
    -Leave programmers alone!
    -"flow" state is every programmer's paradise!

    Kuphryn

  9. #9
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    >>>
    both for the programmer herself and for the organization that profits by her labors.
    <<<

    >>>
    If a programmer's flow is interrupted it can take a large amount of time for her to regain the state,
    <<<

    >>>
    interrupted many times during the day she may never reach this state.
    <<<

    I gave up quoting, the author has a point, but is an idiot and has a sex problem.
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream.

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    Senior Member joshdick's Avatar
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    Originally posted by beege31337
    Some programmers aren't engineers; they just haphazardly produce bad code in a "creative" fashion. Now-a-days, companies recognize that these are not the types of programmers you want to hire.
    Any good programmer sees programming as an engineering task.
    I disagree. The same problem assigned to my programming class will yield a different result from each student. The reason for this is because programs are creative works, much like mathematical proofs. It requires abstract, logical thinking mixed with personal creativity. Without creative, new ideas, only stale code would be produced. I hear programmers talk about 'elegant solutions' to their problems all the time. That is because good programming isn't just about banging out a solution to a problem; it's about finding the best, most elegant, yet practical, solution. Oftentimes while coding, I get a little fustrated and find myself in a mental dead-end, so I walk around and talk to my classmates. When I get back to my computer, I suddenly see the problem in a new and better light and am then able to code out a great solution. This is yet another piece of evidence that shows how creative the coding process is.

    I agree with the author that programming is not a science (although computer science definitely is). The reason is simple, the scientific process is not employed while coding; thus, coding is not a science. Programmers are more like artists, logicians, and mathematicians than scientists or engineers.

    My only complaint with that article was that the author used feminine pronouns exclusively. If he really studied that many programmers, he should've noticed that practically all of them were male. I say that not suggesting anything more than the fact that men largely dominate the programming industry whether that is good, bad, or indifferent. My guess is that someone involved in the writing or editing of that article was trying to be too politically correct.

    Besides that obvious problem, I enjoyed the article. I appreciate the amount of freedom my programming teacher gives us. We may walk and talk about the class as we please. We also (generally) have a great deal of freedom over how we design our programs. In addition, he usually plays some good music while we code. He says we shouldn't feel like we're coding in a vacuum. I believe all of those things have positively affected the quality of our code.

    One last thing, because this article mentions psychology, I'm going to print it out and take it to my AP Psych teacher for bonus points
    FAQ

    "The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is responsible. Universes of virtually unlimited complexity can be created in the form of computer programs." -- Joseph Weizenbaum.

    "If you cannot grok the overall structure of a program while taking a shower, you are not ready to code it." -- Richard Pattis.

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    It looks like Dr. Evil has poorly disguised himself (moustache, gotee, glasses) and started writing articles under the pen name Bryan Dollary. I guess since conquering the world was a failure for him, he thought he could change what programming is all about.

    Yeah, make the programmers comfortable so they code smarter. Brilliant, Dr. Evil. I guess you did learn something at Evil Medical School after all. But programming not being primarily about engineering? Dr. Evil obviously didn't minor in software engineering!

  12. #12
    Xei
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    Bull$$$$

    Yea, and next time that one of us might be 'programming' an autopilot for an aircraft... I'll make sure that it's real artistic.

    IF any of you buy this book, please inform us so that we can kick your ass.

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    left crog... back when? incognito's Avatar
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    See guys I know what the problem is he meant Graphics Designers not programmers....j/k ...though I think you have to creative, but something about programmers not resembling engineers bothers me.
    There are some real morons in this world please do not become one of them, do not become a victim of moronitis. PROGRAMMING IS THE FUTURE...THE FUTURE IS NOW!!!!!!!!!

    "...The only real game I thank in the world is baseball..." --Babe Ruth

    "Life is beautiful"-Don Corleone right before he died.

    "The expert on anything was once a beginner" -Baseball poster I own.


    Left cprog on 1-3-2005. Don't know when I am coming back. Thanks to those who helped me over the years.

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    "All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors."
    "Think not but that I know these things; or think
    I know them not: not therefore am I short
    Of knowing what I ought."
    -John Milton, Paradise Regained (1671)

    "Work hard and it might happen."
    -XSquared

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    RoD
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    >>IF any of you buy this book, please inform us so that we can kick your ass.


    <echo>

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