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Coding skill and the decline of stagnation

  Minecraft      2012-01-14 12:05:10      1,935    0    0

I am a decent programmer. I know a decent amount of computer science theory, I can type correct code fairly easy. I don’t let my classes expand too much. But I still struggle some with math, and I have a tendency to have too many cross-dependencies in my code.

I used to think I was an awesome programmer. One of the best. After I made a game in the first programming lesson in school, I got told to don’t bother showing up for the rest. I was the one who taught all my friends what big O notation is and how it’s useful, or why hashmaps can have an effective constant speed if used right.
When someone told me I was a bad programmer, I got upset. My identity was based on being The Best Programmer, and being accused of not being one was a huge insult. Of COURSE I wrote bad code sometimes, but that was just sloppyness or part of some grand scheme, or some other weak excuse.

When doing a programming test for a large US based game developer, I did well on most tests. After the programming test, they told me it was obvious that I was intelligent, but also that I was self-taught. I had to work on programming more carefully and think things through before diving in, or I’d have a hard time working in a large group. Externally, I nodded politely. Internally, I was stunned and confused.

That kind of woke me up. Ever since, I’ve been working on improving my coding skill. During my work on Minecraft, I never really got a chance to try out new things, or play with new tools, but these days I’m really trying to learn new things and pick up better habits as much as I can. And as a result, I’m having even more fun with the programming. At the moment, I’m trying to tame GIT, playing around with MongoDB, trying out some static code analysis tools, and have started working on making my code even more modular and reusable.

The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know.

But. I still stubbornly believe the whole “private members accessed via accessors” thing in java is bullcrap for internal projects. It adds piles of useless boilerplate code for absolutely no gain when you can just right click a field and chose “add setter/getter” if you NEED an accessor in the future.

Point is, SOPA sucks.

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