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I know this doesn't really fall under computer science, but it's the only forum that this would make sense in.

Is it just me, or does it seem like there are a lot of new programmers that don't understand basic terminology about their language of choice? I don't mean this in any way to be derogatory toward those who are beginners, but I'm curious as to why many of them don't get even the most basic explanation when talking in coding terms.

An example:
I made a replied to a post in the C++ forum and let the OP know that the reason for their error was that the variable they were trying to use (and was coming up with a random number) was uninitialized and/or unassigned. The next reply was "I'm not sure I understand what you mean exactly." Now, that could have been because I didn't delve deeply into the post, just let them know that an uninitialized variable is filled with junk and needs to be initialized or assigned before it can really be used.

Shouldn't this be something that's learned early in tutorials, books & classes? Is there a major deficiency in the way programming is taught? Or do I just happen to run into the certain folks all the time that copy & paste code then try to modify it without having a clue what they're doing?

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Last Post by jwenting
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An example:
I made a replied to a post in the C++ forum and let the OP know that the reason for their error was that the variable they were trying to use (and was coming up with a random number) was uninitialized and/or unassigned. The next reply was "I'm not sure I understand what you mean exactly." Now, that could have been because I didn't delve deeply into the post, just let them know that an uninitialized variable is filled with junk and needs to be initialized or assigned before it can really be used.

DaniWeb and similar sites get a biased sample of students, attracting an excess of troglodytes who can't figure things out for themselves or learn things on their own. The idea of looking up a term on Google or the very technique of formulating a Google search is beyond their skill set. You would expect any reasonably intelligent person to be able to understand any subject just by reading a book or a jumping through a nest of Wikipedia articles about the subject, and by thinking and rereading when necessary, but apparently some people are incapable of manipulating logical thoughts and instead learn how to do things through repeated exposure and pattern-matching and having somebody tell them what to do. These students, unless cured of their problem, tend to do poorly at computer science, and would do poorly at math, except that math teachers have designed their courses and tests in a way that makes it easy for students to pattern-match their way through without really understanding anything, and so the differences are much more pronounced in computer science, because programs either work or they don't. On the other hand, there are also other skills relevant in lower-level math classes, like the ability to manipulate expressions without making mistakes, that good computer science students could be bad at, and bad math students could be good at.

Edited by Rashakil Fol: n/a

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And this is exactly what I'm talking about. Shouldn't the terminology be taught early on with stuff like cout, variables and if statements? I would think that it would be a big topic so that students & self-learners can be proficient in talking to others about it and understanding others' material that may not be so reserved in their tech talk.

C++ may not be his native tongue.

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>Shouldn't the terminology be taught early on
>with stuff like cout, variables and if statements?

If only it were that easy. For example: super/sub, parent/child, base/derived. They all mean the same thing. Good luck teaching which one is appropriate in which situation without completely confusing the student.

The problem isn't in using/understanding correct terminology, which is all well and good when you can manage it. The problem is lack of common sense and imagination, as well as lack of research. Most terms can be figured out by a reasonably intelligent person with minimal effort. The rest of them can be gleaned through research.

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And lets be honest, there are people that just fall under the bell curve.
Sometimes, they just either
1) Don't put in the time to learn
2) Give up after getting confused
3) Or just try to pass the class, w/o a care in the world of the subject.

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And this is exactly what I'm talking about. Shouldn't the terminology be taught early on with stuff like cout, variables and if statements?

It IS taught early on.
Problem is the average kid posting their homework questions here doesn't want to learn, doesn't pay attention in class (or more likely skips them whenever they think they can get away with it), and thus never figures it out.
All they want is for someone else to do their work for them so they can play their videogames.

This topic has been dead for over six months. Start a new discussion instead.
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