Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Thursday September 03 2015, @09:23AM   Printer-friendly
from the ignorance-is-bliss dept.

Olga Khazan writes in The Atlantic that learning to program involves a lot of Googling, logic, and trial-and-error—but almost nothing beyond fourth-grade arithmetic.

Victoria Fine explains how she taught herself how to code despite hating math. Her secret? Lots and lots of Googling. "Like any good Google query, a successful answer depended on asking the right question. “How do I make a website red” was not nearly as successful a question as “CSS color values HEX red” combined with “CSS background color.” I spent a lot of time learning to Google like a pro. I carefully learned the vocabulary of HTML so I knew what I was talking about when I asked the Internet for answers."

According to Khazan while it’s true that some types of code look a little like equations, you don’t really have to solve them, just know where they go and what they do. "In most cases you can see that the hard maths (the physical and geometry) is either done by a computer or has been done by someone else. While the calculations do happen and are essential to the successful running of the program, the programmer does not need to know how they are done."

Khazan says that in order to figure out what your program should say, you’re going to need some basic logic skills and you’ll need to be skilled at copying and pasting things from online repositories and tweaking them slightly. "But humanities majors, fresh off writing reams of term papers, are probably more talented at that than math majors are."


Original Submission

 
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 03 2015, @03:24PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 03 2015, @03:24PM (#231792)

    Algebra is not mathematics?

    Do Americans call it "math" because they only know just one?
    (It's always mathematics or maths in the UK.)

    Just about everything is mathematics, but the substance of the article is correct, none of it is advance mathematics. I'm sure most of use have seen plenty of examples of programmers with surprisingly poor literacy or numercy but somehow still being programmers.

    The "rediculous" [sic] spelling mistakes I see all the time I'm amazed some people are ever able to compile or debug their software.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 03 2015, @05:12PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 03 2015, @05:12PM (#231862)

    Algebra is not mathematics?

    Yes, the OP was saying it isnt a difficult one.

    Do Americans call it "math" because they only know just one?
    (It's always mathematics or maths in the UK.)

    Wow, really? Americans don't pluralize it because we see it as one overarching subject. Do you call your literature classes Literatures, haha does that mean you only know one, haha. What about your History class, do you call it Histories?

    The "rediculous" [sic] spelling mistakes I see all the time I'm amazed some people are ever able to compile or debug their software.

    Ahh you're so smart huh, sorry to have questioned you and your grammars and codes skillz.