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Flame fading away...

This is a discussion on Flame fading away... within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Although I've been in these forums for 3 years, my "desire" for programming started more or less 4 years from ...

  1. #1
    Programming Wraith GReaper's Avatar
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    Flame fading away...

    Although I've been in these forums for 3 years, my "desire" for programming started more or less 4 years from now. I remember looking with wonder/curiosity at a snippet of code called "Glossomatheia"( Γλωσσομάθεια ) which was just a translated, simplified version of Pascal for high-school education here in Greece( Hellas ). At that time I was attending a computers class and I suddenly, the reason is unclear to me yet, opened the interpreter program for that language and asked the teacher: "How can I write a program with this?!". She demonstrated by typing a tiny program, which I unfortunately don't remember, and when she hit the "Run" button, it actually printed something!! I was intrigued because I couldn't perceive how a few lines of text could actually do something meaningful!!! ( Let me say that THAT class had nothing to do with programming )

    Needless to say, after that day I dived into the concept of making programs a.k.a programming. Firstly, I studied the book that accompanied the specific language they were teaching at school. Concurrently I has searching around the web( mind you, I didn't have internet at that time, therefore I had to regularly visit net-cafes ), trying to find information. I firstly stabled upon an interpreter called "Just BASIC", which interpreted a simplified dialect of BASIC. Do you remember the feeling that you had when you looked for the first time to an unfamiliar language? There were a lot of example programs downloaded along, but I COULDN'T OPEN THE HELP FILES! Darn you Windows Vista!!! Anyway, no 24/7 available internet, I started trying to understand this code all by myself. After a lot of trial and error, I started achieving something, even if it was just some puny little programs. But the real tackle with programming was when I started learning C++.

    My first encounter with C++ was when I clicked on a link for "C++ Game Programming". I still have the pages! I used to get into a site that I liked, download the pages and take them with me to read them at ease when I got home... Anyway, I started reading the tutorials, writing the code, compiling it, altering it etc( Forgot to say, my first IDE was Dev-C++ ). Then I stuck on the Allegro tutorials that continue after the 11th part I think. A little after that is when I found cprogramming. At first, it was an ordinary site, but as I started reading the tutorials, tips and everything, I knew that there was much knowledge in here. Much of my elementary and deep understanding of C and C++ comes from this site! That's when I registered at the forum and, as any newb, started posting questions on many trivial subjects.

    After half a year or so, I started reading more about programming in general. Data structures, UML modeling, optimizations, graphics, computer's theory. Mathematics, calculus, algebra, matrix & 2D/3D/4D math, physics, and what I perform right now, hardware ports & interrupts, x86 assembly while building my very own operating system! o_O
    While studying all these, I spontaneously returned to cboard in order to ask for opinions or to solve a big problem. I felt obliged to this site, and of course to many of you members who helped me along the way, therefore I started answering( or rather trying to answer ) to other's questions.

    Around 2 years before today, I was trying to write many different programs, small and big. What I really feel ashamed of is that I completed only 3 or 4 of around 50 different projects that I have started. Sometimes I didn't have the necessary knowledge or experience, other times ( in the case of graphics for example ) I didn't have the resources, while sometimes I got bored of a project or had made a fatal design error and had to build everything from scratch again!...

    Right now I'm at the 2nd year ( of 4 years ) of my college, which is about "Technology, Computer science and Telecommunications". At first, it was fine. That is, until the programming classes. Please don't think that I exaggerate when I say that from the 6 different programming professors( two for each "lab" and one for each theory ), only one was actually better than me!( C & C++ ) Do you think I was happy for that?! I went there to learn!! Do you know what I felt when I realized that I would learn next to nothing there?! I felt betrayed!!! Believe me that 25% of the time ( mostly at theories ) I argued with the professors, trying to show them the error of their ways! They where making such n00b mistakes, both in programming in general and in C/C++ in particular, that it wasn't funny!! Being with C/C++ for some years, I can't say I have much experience but I undoubtedly have much knowledge on these languages, at the very least. Just as we here correct any answer that we consider wrong, I was doing the same at class. That resulted in many arguments with the professors... Anyway, that's OUR "educational" system, I don't want to trouble you any more with that, I just mentioned it to give you an overview.

    Why am I writing all these? you may ask. Well, putting aside that I wanted to get those memories off my chest, I recently noticed that the original "flame", the long & strong love for programming that I had, has started "fading away". All potential projects seem either too easy, too hard or too boring to undertake. I have drop to a "theoretical" state, by only answering questions and still searching for more things to learn, but never practicing anything. I would like to hear( read ) your personal opinion on this. Thanks for reading!
    Devoted my life to programming...

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    It just sounds like you are really good. I'm in school and I've learned/am learning plenty. If you are getting stuck in projects, perhaps you need to look into learning design patterns, if you haven't. Being clever and even knowledgeable in a language isn't enough to keep a large scale project under control. I recommend Headfirst Design Patterns for its laid back and fun approach, but there is the classic Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software, by the "gang of four" if you'd prefer a more scholarly approach.
    I made a pair of "Braille Gloves" which have 6 vibration motors in six finger tips and vibrate in the relevant patterns. I have used this to read stuff while out walking. Given there is a fairly well defined programmer-oriented Braille encoding I should imagine it would work in this situation. Diagrams could be a pain still.

    Note: I am not blind but have learnt Braille fairly easily so for me it works quite well

    Disclaimer: I haven't tried this while driving yet...

  3. #3
    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
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    O_o

    I'm subject to a constant tidal flux of interest in programming (and everything else).

    A guess says I've been programming longer than you've been alive. I often find myself bored, even drained, with some programming task especially if it is for a job. I usually just pick up some other thing that I find myself passionate about until my interest in programming returns grunting through job related work. You can't force yourself to excitement over a familiar thing; explore new areas until you find interest in something.

    I can't imagine anyone having only one job and one hobby. "Learning New Stuff" is in and of itself a hobby. You should not necessarily always go to that when you find yourself passionless.

    I love shooting zombies and watching ponies! ^_^;

    Soma

  4. #4
    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GReaper
    What I really feel ashamed of is that I completed only 3 or 4 of around 50 different projects that I have started.
    Go and buy a T-shirt

    Quote Originally Posted by GReaper
    Believe me that 25% of the time ( mostly at theories ) I argued with the professors, trying to show them the error of their ways! They where making such n00b mistakes, both in programming in general and in C/C++ in particular, that it wasn't funny!! Being with C/C++ for some years, I can't say I have much experience but I undoubtedly have much knowledge on these languages, at the very least. Just as we here correct any answer that we consider wrong, I was doing the same at class. That resulted in many arguments with the professors...
    If you're talking about computer science, then the thing is that computer science is not all about computer programming, thus professors only need to have enough practical skill at programming to get their research done. So your mileage may vary: if their research requires/leads to implementation in collaboration with industry partners, or they came recently from industry, or they are also hobbyist programmers in the language used for the course, then their skill at practical programming could well be very different.

    Quote Originally Posted by GReaper
    I recently noticed that the original "flame", the long & strong love for programming that I had, has started "fading away". All potential projects seem either too easy, too hard or too boring to undertake. I have drop to a "theoretical" state, by only answering questions and still searching for more things to learn, but never practicing anything. I would like to hear( read ) your personal opinion on this.
    Well, as phantomotap suggested, you could go back to an old flame and do something different that you love, then return to programming. Another possibility is to learn a new programming language, especially one with a primary paradigm that is different from C and C++.

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomotap
    I love (...) watching ponies!
    NOOO!!! Why is everyone doing that these days?
    GReaper likes this.
    C + C++ Compiler: MinGW port of GCC
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    Look up a C++ Reference and learn How To Ask Questions The Smart Way

  5. #5
    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
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    Why is everyone doing that these days?
    ^_^;

    I love cartoons with epic moments of silly...

    Soma

    Fluttershy singing Pinkie Pie's song - YouTube
    Elkvis likes this.

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    epic silliness is a great way to break up a stressful task... you can call me old school or whatever, but a lot of the new cartoons suck (imo). give me animaniacs, pinky & brain, or tiny toons, and I'll be a happy man

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    It's tricky to deal with this. Most of us have suffered from this malaise over the years, the key, as above, is to go live a little, you will no doubt pick up new ideas along the way.

    I've recently been working on a lottery "statistics" analyser. Not original, and so far all it is telling me is that the numbers are drawn pretty much at random , but as I have no chance of a raise or promotion any time soon I feel that it's my best hope of being able to afford a house. The challenge is making a "good" Lucky Dip generator, one that correctly weighs the past against the possible future if you know what I mean. My friends also cheer me on (they would like money too ).

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    I say start game programming, its a whoel different world

  9. #9
    That weird Java guy xniinja's Avatar
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    Interesting, usually this happens to me when I am forced to make a program that I am not passionate about. When I am taking a class for programming and the program is the most dull witted idea ever and nobody would ever use it, but it takes a little while to program (btw I do all my programming on the weekends, eats up the whole weekend. It's nice to know I am smarter than everybody else in the class though even though it is a college class and I am still in high school ) either that is the case or I am in the biggest procrastination rut ever and my head gets all cloudy, then I don't fell like doing anything but sleeping/napping. I do think I know what you are going through though, usually I can visualize how a program will work in a few seconds like most of you probably can, but that isn't the fun part for me. The fun part for me is seeing it work, being able to say "I did that". Also it helps when all of your friends are extreme noobs when it comes to computers so they over-react a lot when you tell them what they are doing. I tried making my brother extremely impressed once, then he said "when you know how to program it makes it a lot less impressive."

    I guess what I am trying to say is try something new. Make something that is out of the ordinary.
    Here is an idea that I was going to do but probably won't get permission for it. Make a program that will take an ID number for an instrument in a song and play its part for that song (with the beep() function). then at a certain predetermined time it will play its part for the song. Then take your song and put it on all of the computers in a computer lab and make them play the song. It's stuff like this that keeps me interested in programming.

    hope this helps. (also if somebody could do that and has access to that many computers please do, I would like to see how it works out.)

  10. #10
    Registered User manasij7479's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xniinja View Post
    I guess what I am trying to say is try something new. Make something that is out of the ordinary.
    Am I the only one who thought about Skynet at this point ?
    GReaper likes this.
    Manasij Mukherjee | gcc-4.8.2 @Arch Linux
    Slow and Steady wins the race... if and only if :
    1.None of the other participants are fast and steady.
    2.The fast and unsteady suddenly falls asleep while running !



  11. #11
    Programming Wraith GReaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manasij7479 View Post
    Am I the only one who thought about Skynet at this point ?
    Lol, yeah, interestingly enough I've making my babysteps towards AI programming... What year was the apocalypse again?
    anduril462 likes this.
    Devoted my life to programming...

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    I know what you feel learning nothing from programming classes. When I began university, I already had about 3 years of intense programming experience (that's what I did all day in high school). I decided to not go into CS, because I know the first 2 years would be too easy. I did electrical engineering instead, but still took a lot of higher level courses from CS department (talking to professors to waive pre-requisites the whole time). Even then, I didn't learn much in the first few classes I took.

    Fortunately for me, though, even though the topics covered in classes were very basic, my professors were very knowledgeable, and I was able to learn a lot from them outside of classes. I still remember having a many pages long discussions about instruction-level optimization techniques with a professor on a course website discussion board for a basic C course where we were learning loops and arrays. Also always fun to listen to them talk about computer history from back in the days.

    So far I haven't found a prof I didn't learn a lot from. Sometimes it's just the way they present the information. I had a prof that (intuitively) proved the lower bound of O(nlogn) for comparison sorts in about 2 minutes, with some simple diagrams, when I just couldn't grasp it from reading online.

    So my suggestion is to talk to profs outside of class time, and see if there's something else you can learn from them. If they spent 10+ years in CS, they probably do know something you don't.

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