Jump to content
  • Advertisement

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Shazer

Books as a crutch??

This topic is 6501 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hey, when I code, I find myself using my reference materials (howto books, reference books, online help) constantly! I''m always looking up exactly how a function is used, if there is a function for what I''m trying to do... that sorta stuff. I would like to know, from you professional types, how much do you use sources like this?? Is it normal to always be reaching for a tome of great knowledge? Or should I try to commit more of it to memory? Another problem. I read books, understand the concepts and what is being done, but when it comes to apply it, I falter. Is this a side effect of not enough practice, or does it happen a lot. I''m just trying to feel out the norm of the field. I need to know where I should devote more of my learning time. Thanx for all of your caring and professional advice. I greatly appreciate it!! The Shaz "You''ve got two halves of coconuts and your bangin'' ''em together!!" -Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Just keep on using the books and online resources. Eventually you won''t need to for the stuff that''s important. With practice you''ll get more confidence and be able to code better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, reference is essential! I use it constantly when I am coding. It is helpful and is not hindering!! In my opinion at least!!



Maketty
(Matthew FitzGerald)
Knightvision Games
The meaning of Life part 5:
Live organ transplants...



Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
well looking up things isn''t that big of a deal... we''re in an enviroment that is changing rapidly you can expect to know everything... I''ve been programming for years and I''m still referning to books and this board all the time... but I would spend some time on memorizing somethings... like the basics of a language like say printf or something... if you need to look up things like that I''d spend sometime just working on getting that into memory...

your second question... don''t worry about it too much... its one thing to memorize something and quite a difrent thing to beable to use what you know... it will come to you in time... all you can do is start small... then add too it...

Great Milenko

Words Of Wisdom:
"Never Stick A Pretzel In Your Butt It Might Break Off In There."


http://www.crosswinds.net/~milenko
http://www.crosswinds.net/~pirotech

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Man, when i started programming, it was w/ Borland Pascal v. 4.0, and all i had was it''s reference manual...

the binding broke in 5 places, i used the book so much!

eventually, though, i didn''t need the book except for maybe once a week or so, if that. Maybe it''s cuz using the crumpled book wasn''t pratical , but i think it''s just cuz i used enough of the functions i''d be using often enough.

vc++ is cool, too, cuz once you know a function, or get the idea of it, you can just type it, throw out a (, and wait to see the parameters.

cool stuff, from an old pascal programmer''s point of view!

don''t worry, it''ll come to ya, just keep going


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I have no name that you may call me. I am merely Succinct.
~Succinct Demos Online~

"Hey, where''d that display list rotate off to now?"
-(Drop me a line here)-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You''ve heard of muscle memory right. Example - a professional tennis player doesn''t have to think about hitting the ball a certain way to get forward spin off a backhand shot. S/he just knows what kind of shot s/he wants to make and it happens. This comes from hundereds and thousands of repititions of the same shot.

While not exactly the same thing coding is similar. You can''t use a function hundreds of times without finally storing it into your long term memory.

What is my point? Keep coding, eventually you will find you are reaching for your books less and less.

Keep those references handy though. One of these days you''ll need them for that 3:00AM coding session when your last caffine jolt was 2 hours ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I''ve been a professional programmer for nearly eight years now (just over two years game coding) and I can''t get enough books. There are some that hardly get used, but important when you need them. Then there are those you wear the covers off...

Best thing, rather than blindly collect books, is to find constructive, useful reviews of books to collect a set of books you''ll find most useful.

---- --- -- -
Blue programmer needs food badly. Blue programmer is about to die!
---- --- -- -
New York. New York. New York. Texas. Texas. New York. New York. Canada.
---- --- -- -

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree about references being something you will basically always use (and I especially agree with the tennis example. If you use it enough, you''ll eventually remember. If you don''t use it enough, it''s a waste of memory space.) The important part in programming is to understand the concepts, because once you get the overall concepts, everything else becomes simply a matter of semantics. One of the basic tenets of programming is that you''ll never be able to learn everything about every little API and language in the world, there''s simply not enough time. The important thing is to know where to look if you need information about something you need to use right now, and the broader your reference base, the better. One of my professors in college said it best: "The most important thing you will learn here isn''t the specific mass of iron or the frictional coefficient of sand, it''s how to learn. If you know how to learn, you''re set for life."

-fel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I use books constantly - especially when doing graphics programming. When I''m doing database coding I don''t really need to refer to a book. I''ve committed VB and C++ to memory (language) but still find myself reaching for books on various OO techniques (especially on patterns).

Something that has always troubled me is Intellisense. Before Intellisense you had to remember function parameters, names etc but now you can get a complete list on demand. While this is a fantastic feature to have, since it saves time and headaches, I''ve always wondered if this causes you to become dependent on the technology instead of your memory

I''d recommend committing the language to memory. It also helps to have a good grasp of various language techniques but overall you''ll still need to refer to reference texts.

Either way - every good programmer uses reference books.

Dire Wolf
direwolf@digitalfiends.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!