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Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career?
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FWIW: The question is not directed to those who went to school with the intention of become programmers.

I've heard the Learn to Code meme several times recently.


45 years old. 14 years into my 2nd career. I picked up the SAS programming language over the last year and have pretty much been doing database programming as a primary function.

Anyone else?

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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No. I've wanted to know more and understand it and do something practical either inside or outside of work. Just a matter of time and commitment.

Gnothi Seauton.
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Anyone who works in a technical field should know some rudimentary coding. The challenge is that the actual coders keep changing the language. I mean FORTRAN 77 still gets the job done.
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [torrey] [ In reply to ]
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torrey wrote:
Anyone who works in a technical field should know some rudimentary coding. The challenge is that the actual coders keep changing the language. I mean FORTRAN 77 still gets the job done.
Got a new guy at work who graduated this past December with a mechanical engineering degree. One semester of a MATLAB class, no "real" programming language classes (not even python). When I was in school, I had to take Fortran programming. 30 years later. Some younger engineers know python,but those that don't have any programming experience are at a distinct disadvantage. A few minutes of programming beats much longer time beating your head against the wall even for simple things like moving large amounts of data from one format to another.
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [tigermilk] [ In reply to ]
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At the same time, engineers need to know when they are in over their heads. Plenty of projects have had issues because of bad code written by an engineer.

My thesis project was written in Matlab and compiled into C. That (and Fortran) is what I knew and it worked well enough. I am sure a component CS could have put it together in half the time and made it run 10x faster.
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Not quite that deep for me. 48 years old, picking up SQL the last few years. 6 years into my 2nd career.

--------------------------
Runners Roost Race Team
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [torrey] [ In reply to ]
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torrey wrote:
At the same time, engineers need to know when they are in over their heads. Plenty of projects have had issues because of bad code written by an engineer.

My thesis project was written in Matlab and compiled into C. That (and Fortran) is what I knew and it worked well enough. I am sure a component CS could have put it together in half the time and made it run 10x faster.
Sure, but in the field, for everyday work, engineers should know enough to be productive. Engaging software folks takes time, have to charge their time to something, be on the same page, ... Certainly stuff that ends up in a finished product is better left for the pros. But everyday stuff you need that day? DIY!
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [torrey] [ In reply to ]
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I learn PASCAL when you had to write the program and the link file, send it to the main frame and let it compile if for you, then you either got a program the may or may not work, or a file saying there was a problem, but no explanation.

I leaned C later in life, but these days I just program in Visual Basic for Applications - mostly excel. I suck and I still amaze people with the cute little tricks I can pull off.

"...the street finds its own uses for things"
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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My wife did. She was an operations manager for a large bank and they were looking for people to help with all the necessary coding changes for Y2K. They sent her to a six-month training class and she still does it today, managing a coding group for an investment firm.



"You can never win or lose if you don't run the race." - Richard Butler

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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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I'm currently getting more into software development. I've been an IT manager for just shy of a decade, and I've decided I want the option to choose a technical career path. I started off the year with CodeAcademy for Python and a couple of other small things. I'm more of an infra/tools guy, so I then started playing with Jenkins and Ansible on Udemy. Recently got into AWS, and I'm going to do the develop path on that.

Basically trying to get my technical cred up enough that in case I need to move out of management I can. I work remotely, and my company recently changed to have all directors required to go into one of the main offices. I assume they'll do that with managers at some point as well.
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Wife just got her masters in computer science at Georgia Tech at age 48. This from a journalism degree. She had the opposite problem as most of the other students she worked with. When it came to writing papers easy breezy. When it came to coding it took much longer than most, but she made it.
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [torrey] [ In reply to ]
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torrey wrote:
At the same time, engineers need to know when they are in over their heads. Plenty of projects have had issues because of bad code written by an engineer.

My thesis project was written in Matlab and compiled into C. That (and Fortran) is what I knew and it worked well enough. I am sure a component CS could have put it together in half the time and made it run 10x faster.

I'm a mechanical engineer and graduated in 2000 (albeit with just a bachelors).

Any amount of programming is above my head. Fortunately for me, it's not part of my daily activities. Although my job can be technical at times, it revolves around materials, thermodynamics, stress/vibration analysis, etc. The majority of programming activities (plant PLC) is performed by a dedicated team. But as engineering is a very broad field, I appreciate that not every role is similar.

The programming classes i took in university involved a lot of alcohol and profanity in order to complete the assignments. Not something I found interesting or enjoyable (the programming that is).
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [knewbike] [ In reply to ]
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Anyone can code. But the best developers think differently. And there is a lot that you learn through school that you do not learn just taking an online class or reading a book.
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [knewbike] [ In reply to ]
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Tell her well done. Tech tough to get into for undergrad. Was it hard to get into grad school, take any prerequisites before admittance ? I have relative thinking of doing same. Thanks
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [velocomp] [ In reply to ]
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velocomp wrote:
Anyone can code. But the best developers think differently. And there is a lot that you learn through school that you do not learn just taking an online class or reading a book.

I wholeheartedly agree. Code development requires both interest and aptitude. I work with quite a few developers, all very smart people. However, I see significant difference in the code written by those who are genuinely interested in the project as opposed those just cashing a paycheck so to speak.

For my part, I scan code (static and dynamic) for vulnerabilities.

--------------------------
Runners Roost Race Team
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [torrey] [ In reply to ]
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torrey wrote:
Anyone who works in a technical field should know some rudimentary coding. The challenge is that the actual coders keep changing the language. I mean FORTRAN 77 still gets the job done.

The best foundation (besides school) is to get proficient in one language of each major type. Iterative, functional, object oriented. Once you have that base, it is much easier to pick up a new language when a company throws one at you.
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [spudone] [ In reply to ]
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Tip my hat to all people that code. That would be in one of the rings of hell for my life. Just glad I never had a need to do that at all.
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [tyrod1] [ In reply to ]
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tyrod1 wrote:
Tell her well done. Tech tough to get into for undergrad. Was it hard to get into grad school, take any prerequisites before admittance ? I have relative thinking of doing same. Thanks

She has a broad range of real world experience. She did not have any prerequisites but took a couple semesters of calculus and other math in college. She was also a bit of a pioneer in computer assisted reporting in her day. The program she was admitted to I believe took about 15% of applicants if I remember correctly so it was tough to get in.
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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I graduated with an Electrical Engineering degree. After about 5 years of that moved into programming. First with C/ProC, then Oracle back end and Powerbuilder front end. Eventually got into project management where I felt that as a programmer I basically got stupider every day. :-)

My best days as a PM were when I got to dig into some code to try and figure out what was wrong. In recent years with .Net and the like I felt pretty out of my depth in understanding the details of what was going on. You have to trust the experts working for you on the details and stick to the big picture at that point. Code is code and it's fairly easy to follow what is going on in some module, but the big picture is complicated and as a PM I had to focus on other stuff.

Where I worked (I retired at the end of March) we had a lot more people who were properly trained as software engineers than when I became a programmer and everybody had some other degree.

Now I mess around in MySQL and PHP and HTML and the Strava API 'cause it's fun. I've even installed Visual Studio on my laptop and might try and figure that out, but even simple programs seem much more complicated. Of course it is extremely powerful... But complicated.

Kevin

http://kevinmetcalfe.dreamhosters.com
My Strava
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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What if we went back to school after having a career? Wife and I both left law went back to school when we were in our mid-30's, got jobs before we knew Jack. Finished school while we were working full time. We've both jumped around areas and switched languages a couple times in our careers, learning new stuff along the way.

We are so fucked.
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [velocomp] [ In reply to ]
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velocomp wrote:
Anyone can code. But the best developers think differently. And there is a lot that you learn through school that you do not learn just taking an online class or reading a book.

This. The learning curve isn’t steep but it goes on and on and on... I’ve been coding in several languages for over a decade and I don’t know if there will ever come a time I don’t look back on something I wrote 6 months ago and not wonder WTF I was thinking at the time.

Mark
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [mark.ewers] [ In reply to ]
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This. The learning curve isn’t steep but it goes on and on and on... I’ve been coding in several languages for over a decade and I don’t know if there will ever come a time I don’t look back on something I wrote 6 months ago and not wonder WTF I was thinking at the time.

I'm doing this right now. I just spent probably 3 days writing some calculations before realizing that they will be difficult to rewrite, and that I could have done the whole thing with an easy to modify lookup table in probably a day.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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I knew a guy that was cardiologist and heart surgeon. Best in the city. Very smart. He was the guy you wanted and tried to get if you needed a cardiologist in the area. He was mid/late 40s and walked away from it all. Said the stress of it all had gotten too much. Didn't want to handle it anymore...people living and dying at his hands.

Went back to school and got his Computer Science degree and became a programmer. Not sure why he didn't get into an adjacent, less stressful medical field, but he'd just had enough I guess.

That was 20 years ago.

.
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Many have already emphasized the key thing: there is coding and coding. Learning the syntax of a language is done super fast. Thus all the Learn Language ABC in 24 hours books.
Learning to code well, that's a different story. My training was in computer science (and math) and I moved to applying these skills to biomedical research so I help a lot of folks going from CS to biomed and biomed folks who need to pick up some fundamentals of CS and data science.

Basically, any CS program starts with some problem solving class, using a language for support (used to be C, C++, then moved to Java mostly, and now Python for many programs).
But the key thing here is to think of problems in an algorithmic manner, otherwise your knowledge of a language syntax will be totally useless, since your code will suck. It may do what it's supposed to, but it will do it poorly.

I don't like most of the 'new' CS program approaches because they don't teach fundamentals. So, use the language as support (you can pick pretty much anything that high level enough) but focus on the algorithmic problem solving skills.

Also, unlike with other fields, in CS, you're usually better served cramming days coding all day rather than do a bit here and there.

Good luck, it's fun :-)
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Re: Learn to Code: Anyone move into programming in their career? [torrey] [ In reply to ]
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torrey wrote:
Anyone who works in a technical field should know some rudimentary coding. The challenge is that the actual coders keep changing the language. I mean FORTRAN 77 still gets the job done.

There are things that FORTRAN can do, and things that it can't. One of the things it is not designed to do at all, is the implementation of operating systems or compilers. And it can't easily do direct memory access, so you still end up needing stubs written in C or assembler to interface to your Fortran code if you're operating an embedded system that needs low level access to the hardware.

In my professional career I've straddled the fence on hardware ( electronics, analog / digital / RF ) and software ( operating systems, data acquisition, and realtime numerical algorithm ) for about 30 years now. I've long since gotten past the idea that one language is "the best" for anything, but using C you can go right from the bare metal up to abstract object oriented concepts, so it ends up being my tool of choice most of the time.

One new-ish thing that has turned out to be pretty useful is the interactive Python scripting tool "Jupyter Notebook". It runs in a browser on pretty much any platform (Mac/Windows/Linux) and it lets me figure out Python hooey interactively before committing functions to a standalone script.

Less is more.
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