Questions before choosing major

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    Questions before choosing major

    What skills make a good programmer? Can a right brained person become a programmer?
    I am interested in becoming a CIS major in school, but have yet to take a programming course.
    I am ok in math but would consider myself "right brained"

    I know logic has alot to do with programming, but could you guys give me your definition of logic?

    I hope I am not asking these questions in the wrong place, I just wanted to get some input from programming vets like yourselves.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2
    _ Munkey01's Avatar
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    Being skilled in math will help you out a lot. Almost all programs will need to use some type of math, be it adding/subtracting, multiplying, dividing, dealing with decimals, and using all of these in an equation.

    Except unless you right a function (or library) that will interpret equations for the computer you will need to be able to put the equation in a way the computer can understand it. This can be a challenging task sometimes. But I am not an expert in math nor programming but I still have fun with it.

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    "I am interested in becoming a CIS major in school, but have yet to take a programming course.
    I am ok in math but would consider myself "right brained""

    That doesn't seem very well thought out to me. Computer programming and math go hand in hand. I suggest you take a course and see how you like it. If you decide after that you don't want to major in programming(my bet), it's still good experience to haven taken the course.
    Last edited by 7stud; 04-03-2003 at 10:23 PM.

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    jasondoucette.com JasonD's Avatar
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    When computer programmers were first hired, they thought that the language element of it would appeal well to women, so they hired them first. They turned out to be incorrect. I have even seen colleges that require entrance exams that deal mostly with language concepts because they foolishly believed that language is more important than the logic behind programming. The truth is, is that programming based a lot on math, yes, but the important part is truly the logical reasoning required to solve problems - which goes hand and hand with mathematics. This means that you need not understand calculus to program, but if you can do calculus, then you must possess the logical reasoning power that would be required to be a good programmer.

    Personally, I think it is rather humorous that people thought the language aspect of programming was more important than logic. They did not (and some do not) realize that it is the grammar of the language that is important (which is logical the reason double negatives are wrong, for example), not the abstract and ambiguous things you learn in English class. If computers languages were abstract and ambiguous at times, you would not be able to create a compiler to compile your code. In the end, the programming language must be clearly defined in logical terms. If you have a bad English mark in school, your only determent will be (perhaps) in your ability to communicate ideas to others (which may be a requirement if you are part of a programming team), but it will not slow you down as a programmer for your own work.

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    Like said above, I suggest you take a course and see how you like it. If you get far enough and still like it, then you should be fine. But as mentioned, programming and math essentially go hand in hand. Strength in math is best.

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    Pursuing knowledge confuted's Avatar
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    I agree that math is an important part in programming, but that the logic behind it is the key. Ask yourself if you can solve problems a number of differet ways, and if, given a complex math problem, you can break it down into a number of smaller ones which you can solve. A decent way to test your logic is with those logic puzzles which can be found in gas stations, and with some of the free IQ tests online...if you can solve true/false problems like this easily, you might like programming...

    Using exactly three colors of paint it is possible to color the sides of a cube in such a way that two sides having the same color never touch.

    Jim weighs 150 pounds. Jack is 130 pounds. Joe is 200 pounds. Two of them standing together on the same scale could weigh 350 pounds.

    If you have three quarters and a dime and a nickel and spend thirty three cents then this leaves you with fifty two cents.

    If the word FOX is written under the word CAT and the word MAP is written under FOX, then the word COP is formed diagonally.

    Three equally sized circles can be drawn in such a way that all of them overlap each other and create exactly seven distinct areas or compartments.

    A doughnut shaped house has three doors to the outside and three doors to the inner courtyard. It's possible to walk through all six doors of the house without ever walking through the same door twice and ending up back at your same starting place.

    The number 62 is the next logical number in the following sequence of numbers: 2, 6, 14, 30.

    Yup, those are stolen directly from http://www.iqtest.com/iq-test.html#TEST
    Away.

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    Yeah, I have to echo 7stud & alpha... Take a class and try it out. Or, get a compiler and a book and start playing with it. I recommend "Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days" by Jesse Liberty.

    Programming seems to be a unique discipline... I don't think there is much else like it. It requires logic, some creativity, patience. Programing is difficult! Even excellent programers make mistakes and have to debug. It can be frustrating if you don't like puzzles.

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    Just because you are good at math doesn't mean you'll be good at programming, just because you are good at programming doesn't mean you'll be good at math.

    It's difficult to explain programming to someone who hasn't done it before, so I second alpha by saying take a course, and decide for yourself. Better yet buy a book and learn a language on your own.

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    jasondoucette.com JasonD's Avatar
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    Originally posted by blackrat364
    I agree that math is an important part in programming, but that the logic behind it is the key.
    Agreed. Because you can get 90's in high school math does not mean you are necessarily 'good' at math. You may have simply memorized the steps (I know 80% of HS students do this). If you can solve the problem legitimately, then you are good at logical reasoning. It IS the key.

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    Crazy Fool Perspective's Avatar
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    i second the "take a course and see if you like it" idea. but on another note...

    keep in mind that people can be programmers without being great at math however even if you manage to not need math in your programs (not likely) you still need to get through 2 years of calculus and 1 year of linear algebra (minimum) to get a CS degree. (at least thats how it is here)

    personally, i fill up almost all my options with math courses. calculus, linear algebra (my fav). next year im taking more linear algebra and differential geometry just cause it looks neat
    math is definatly important. logical thinking is also key.

    try it, and see how ya like it. as said above, even if you dont like it, the course you take will still be good experience.

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    Thanks for the advice. I will take an intro to programming course next semester. College is so intimidating. Everyone is telling me what I should take.

    I love computers, and know I want to pursue something in that field. I am taking College Algebra right now and should get an A, at worst a B.

    My parents are the ones who suggested programming a few months back. I have been doing research and this thread is part of that. I can't thank you guys enough for your help.

    Tom

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    Originally posted by tommm70
    Thanks for the advice. I will take an intro to programming course next semester. College is so intimidating. Everyone is telling me what I should take.

    I love computers, and know I want to pursue something in that field. I am taking College Algebra right now and should get an A, at worst a B.

    My parents are the ones who suggested programming a few months back. I have been doing research and this thread is part of that. I can't thank you guys enough for your help.

    Tom
    You're welcome! And remember, we're here to help you if you have any trouble and need help. Best of luck!

  13. #13
    speakfromExp
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    Get a CS degree if you want to code, get a CIS degree if you want to manage coders.

  14. #14
    Ken Mke
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    If i'm interested in cs but i'm not quite good in logical stuff. would it be possible for me to major in cs?i'm sure i'm a hardworking person.It's the major just for the right brained. pls...
    i do want to succcess in cs and i will.............
    pls advice me.
    So sad!

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by Ken Mke
    If i'm interested in cs but i'm not quite good in logical stuff. would it be possible for me to major in cs?i'm sure i'm a hardworking person.It's the major just for the right brained. pls...
    i do want to succcess in cs and i will.............
    pls advice me.
    So sad!
    try it out. if you like it and you feel confident, and work hard, then you'll be fine. it's hard to advise someone without them having experience. experience is the best advice.

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