People with bad memory, did you ever succeed in programming

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dynamitetalks
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02 Jan 2018, 11:02 pm

I've a hard time learning and doing programming, been into it for two years on/off now and I hardly have anything to show for it. I'm a slow learner, bad executive functioning and shitty memory plus I shift interest in programming every week (this is one issue I've tried to eliminate for the past 14 days and just stick to 1 area and 1 languages)

What are some strategies you use to become good with programming? I take a lot of notes btw! a lot!

If you do have a bad memory how was your process of learning and how good did you become in 1 - 3 years?



Fableteller
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05 Jan 2018, 4:03 am

My experience with learning programming comes in a form of University pressure. That helped me quite a lot. I have an excellent memory for many things but programming is not one of them. The nice thing about programming is that you don't really have to remember stuff, it's more of a practice in small logic pieces that you string together to make a coherent program. I'd say that people with bad memory/bad exec.fnc. should just get used to making good comments in the code so that you can read the comments instead of the already written code.
Also i would recommend you to learn how to do test driven programming. So that you write a small bit of code, test it at once and then move on to other pre-planned pieces of code.
If i may ask, what programming languages are you looking into?



renaeden
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08 Jan 2018, 7:17 am

My memory is terrible but I still managed to get through a semester of Java at college (TAFE). What I did was find pieces of code on the internet that did what I wanted and fit those pieces to other pieces and then tweak them until they were uniquely mine. Sometimes I did terribly and it would take ages to get the code right. Teacher help was needed then.

Soon I'll be working on C# and Python. That will be interesting.



kokopelli
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08 Jan 2018, 9:26 pm

When programming, you need to keep a firm grip on the code you are working on. You can't keep stopping to lookup variable names. You also have to keep a firm grip on the language you are using and can't keep stopping to look up what you don't remember.

You can write some code without a good memory, but it is unlikely to amount to much.



streetrodder
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21 Feb 2018, 2:37 pm

My memory isn't great, but that wasn't my programming problem.

I could put together the algorithms just fine, but my fine motor skills (typing) are limited.
Thus typos always ended up in the code - and I could never spot them.

Very frustrating.



Scorpius14
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27 Feb 2018, 11:07 pm

Ive rly bad memory, wasn't always that bad but as I get older i feel it getting worse and find myself forgetting all the stuff i learned at university and college, i found Java to be the easiest out of all of them, script language was the hardest because it looked like it was all jumbled because I was being taught by someone who didn't care about being messy about his code and used ridiculous variables which caught me off guard and just confused me, which lead to me just giving up in the end.

As far as muscle memory goes (if u can even call it that), I can only go as far as writing if statements, loops, arrays. I need to keep referring to a youtube video to get visual confirmation if i'm doing things right, but when my program obviously doesn't work, my brain just freezes and i give up completely. So gave up programming since then and focused on something I enjoy more like 3d modelling or level design.



LaetiBlabla
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25 Mar 2018, 5:02 pm

I usually have a bad memory (except for some things). For programming, I think you don't need a good memory (there are libraries with the codes, like dictionaries you can search in)

You however need, to my opinion, to be organized (make a map of your project, map of your code, list of tests to perform), meticulous (leave no possibility untested) and owe a very high sense of logic



ToughDiamond
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30 Mar 2018, 4:42 pm

I've had some limited success in writing programs. I thought BASIC was great fun, though with longer programs I think my poor short-term memory slowed me down sometimes. It's hard in traditional BASIC to quickly display the section of a program you want to look at, and being an "unstructured" language it didn't really work hand-in-glove with the human brain. It was also slow work looking up the commands in the manual, I only remembered the ones I'd been working with regularly and recently. I also had a fair bit of success with Z80A assembly language, and with Python later on, and I've written some very modest HTML documents. I became pretty good at copying "uncopyable" Spectrum games tapes, and I reverse-engineered the software of a Spectrum peripheral called the "Music Machine" - a sequencer / sampler - and extended its capabilities quite a bit.

My first exposure to programming was a 5-day course on FORTRAN, where I did OK for the first day or two but couldn't keep up with the lectures after that. It wasn't very hands-on, they'd lecture us for a while and then get us to try writing a routine based on what they'd told us, and they'd run those overnight on punch cards. I learned much faster when I got my first home computer with its clear, detailed manuals about programming and the chance to spend as long as I liked trying things out. The best way for me to learn anything is when I have a useful goal in mind, then I hack into the technology and experiment just as far as I need to for the required result. But the downside is that I'm not systematically educated in computer programming, I just know a few isolated tricks. I'm still much more proficient with GwBASIC than with anything else, and that doesn't even run on modern computers. I've no idea how to access the information I'd need to get writing programs that could run on any Windows computer and talk to the peripheral devices.



MisterSpock
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31 Mar 2018, 7:52 am

I have good memory and I have bad memory; I feel like a confused bilingual, switching between 4 different programming languages (quadralingual, whatever).

There are two bits of advice I offer on programming (solicited or unsolicited):
1. If you can understand a logical progression and pattern, then you can program. Because...
2. You don't need to worry about your syntax and keywords. There is loads of reference material online, so if you know what you want to do, and know how to ask the right questions, then let the internet remember the exact code for you.

My knowledge was primarily gained by having an ambitious goal or project in mind, and researching the methods to achieve the goal. The majority of my programming is in C#, followed closely by Python. Python is supposedly one of the easier to learn, but since you don't need explicitly declared variables, whose types can change from one assignment to the next, and the structure is very rigid, I wouldn't call it a cakewalk.

To be honest, I find MSDN/Microsoft docs and the official Python site very poor at explanations. I use dotnetpearls and stackexchange as my main learning resource.

Also...
I think it's important to optimise from the start. The other school of thought is to get your code done quick and dirty first, then clean it up later. What implementation is more efficient for a specific output? Should I use a for loop, a foreach statement, or a while block? You can learn a lot by swapping "similar" functions and constructions out and observing how they work. Try a switch statement instead of a lot of if...Else... constructions. Nothing will cement it in your head more than repetition. Nothing will cement it in your head more than repetition. Nothing will cement it in your head more than repetition.



MisterSpock
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31 Mar 2018, 7:59 am

renaeden wrote:
Soon I'll be working on C# and Python. That will be interesting.


I find Java confusingly similar to C#, meaning I've got a much longer switch-over time where I keep writing the wrong syntax.

I find I use C# for applications and Python for scripts, even though, yes, either could be used for either*. Python is gealrar for computations, especially with mathematical and graphing libraries. Super powerful.


*Sort of