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Conclusion 2.

Posted by phantom, 10 November 2012 · 961 views

The person who posted the first of the 'tutorials' we see on line these days has a lot to answer for.

While it is creating more "programmers" (and I use the phrase loosely) this reliance on tutorials with snippets of code and even video tutorials showing you everything is, imo, having a bad effect on the ability of those who follow them to problem solve.

Instead of learning to read docs, read books and figure out samples they instead require a step by step guide on the most trivial of things and then complain when such resources don't exist.

On the plus side as this army of vague competence marches forward at least there will always be better paid work for those of us who can think our way out of a paper bag instead of sitting at the bottom of it and crying because no one has made a video showing us how to get out.




Amen!
These programmers will always exist, c'est la vie... That's bad because you need competent coworkers, but I believe that good programmers will end up growing slowly, while the amount of bad programmers will grow, but not necessarily contaminate the good ones.

(No idea if I managed to express myself properly, hahahah, a sleepy non native ftw)
I don't think it's just the ready availability of tutorials (whether bad or good) that causes it. *Puts on grumpy old man political hat* Everything in the modern world teaches people that they don't have to try or work for anything. Movies teach them that they're probably going to get the girl in the end, by dint of their being awesome rather than having to work for it. Or that if they just want something bad enough, they'll eventually get it; the universe owes it to them, and peoples' stories always have tidy endings and neat wrap-ups. The internet teaches them that if they want to know something, they can know it in an instant... at least for the easy things, but they haven't been taught to go deeper. Knowledge is supposed to just fall into their lap, after all. Television teaches them that anything worth knowing or doing can be done and wrapped up in 30 or 45 minutes. They are taught that they don't have to worry about making their mortgage payment, or buying gas or food; the government will take care of them. All they have to do is sit and wait, and good things will come to them.

In a way, I think that we have shot ourselves in the foot. Every modern invention has been built with the goal of making peoples' lives easier and more convenient by reducing the amount of work they have to do in their day to day lives, leaving more and more time for leisure. It's really no wonder that people think that a little 30 or 45 minute tutorial is going to teach them all they need to know about game programming, and when it fails to make them experts they get angry and frustrated because that isn't the way the universe has taught them that things work.

The ones that rise up to the top are usually the ones that have learned to work for things. And even there, you are going to see divisions by talent. I'm not a very good programmer; never have been, probably never will be. I'm fascinated by some of the processes, and deeply fascinated by most of the results, but the actual act of programming fits me like an oversize coat; I feel somewhat lost in subjects that frequently are beyond my grasp, and afraid that people will see me as the stupid kid masquerading as an adult that I really am. But I have learned how to work for what I want, to study white papers and other sources beyond the 30 minute sound bite tutorial, and by doing so I have greatly improved as a programmer and as an artist, even though I still enjoy the occasional 30 minute introduction to something. They can really help ease your way into more complicated subjects.
Yeah, I basically agree with you on all points there.

The tutorials, of the 'you can cut and paste this' type, are just as you say a part of the problem by continuing to enforce the mindset. Introduction tutorials, which give you an overview of a subject, are of course useful but they should be a gateway to the subject not a copy-and-paste source.

But yeah, I agree with you tutorials were just my trigger point Posted Image
Meh,
I've been programming for ~20 years.
Learnt assembler from books and such.
Recently I've had to do something in python. I have no clue about python. My deadline was short.
Thanks to copy-paste, I got the job done in half a day.
When I finished the job (repairing a broken test script) , I still didn't know python.
But guess what, I got the job done in time.

Anyone against cut & paste tutorials:
1. Never had to learn from a book ( I emphasize "had" because the choice of internet was not there )
2. Does not have to work on assignments she doesn't enjoy. (Program in an environment you have no desire to learn).

I would never learn C++ from a 45 minute tutorial, but I sure as hell would not read a book about ADA.

By the way, books are also over-rated. They are just a cheap way to learn. The best way to learn is by learning from someone else who is experience. Only when their time is too expensive, should you revert to books. Too many times, I've seen hot-shots read books instead of asking for simple advice.
Well, that's not really true. I hate cut and paste tutorials and I 1) Had to learn from plenty of books, because my programming hobby started in 1986 and 2) Did plenty of assignments I did not enjoy, in languages/environments I didn't want to learn. Neither of these requirements obviates the need to do things right. I'm glad you got your thing done without learning Python, that's really great and we're impressed and all, but doing things in a sloppy and slap-dash manner should not be encouraged. That's how bugs creep into the process, when the people doing the important things don't understand what they're doing. What works in an emergency is not necessarily the thing to do in day-to-day development, but only somebody with a solid knowledge of the language would know the right thing to do.

Now, books are kind of over-rated, I agree with that. There are some pretty cruddy books floating around out there. But shoddy editorial oversight is at least a little bit better than no editorial oversight at all.
My father sometimes says, "Some things you just can't teach." Obviously thinking ability isn't taught in the tutorials. LOL


Clinton

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