My computer science teacher stinks. He'll give us the book to read (the book sucks and doesn't explain anything) and gives us a quiz on stuff without even explaining it. I love programming but this class is discouraging me. What should I do on my own time to improve my programming skills and see if I really like it? Should I stick to my dreams even though this class stinks? Also, I hear that programming needs a logical mind, when I get an assignment I have to sit down and think of all the steps to do and it doesn't naturally come to me. But eventually I get it, should I still try to become a programmer?

Recommended Answers

All 11 Replies

My computer science teacher stinks.

the book sucks and doesn't explain anything

[...] even though this class stinks?

Did you consider that the problem might be on your end? Far be it from me to suggest that all teachers are great and it's the students who fail at learning, but when I see claims that the teacher stinks, and the book sucks, and the class stinks, that strongly suggests a problem with the student rather than the class.

What should I do on my own time to improve my programming skills and see if I really like it?

Do all of the obvious things: Read code, write code, and study on your own. Join an open source project to get some experience if you feel so inclined. Learn more by teaching what you know in a public forum where stronger programmers can correct your mistakes.

But eventually I get it, should I still try to become a programmer?

It takes a certain kind of person to excel at programming, but that doesn't mean you can't become proficient through sheer effort. I often use myself as an example because others tend to see me as an expert, yet I don't consider myself to be especially talented.

Big problem I've seen at universities/colleges compared to back then is students expecting the "teaching" of a subject to be only within the bounds of what is actually delivered within class rather than what is delivered in class being a basis for reasearching and learning on your own. My opinion and only that, what used to be a post school education, staff are there to guide you, although it doesn't mean some of them stink at that. If you have a real interest in the subject and dare I say it these days, aptitude ( we ain't all built to be pop stars or bridge builders ) then pursue it on your own to your best ability.

Personally I started programming in C++ while I was in middle school, it was a beast but after a while (i would guess a few weeks) studying at home after school (programming didn't suck like my classes), I was able to put together some decent programming logic with it. The program used labels and "goto" a lot, but it was still inspiration. Maybe I'm just actually a programming fool, but I'm quite certain if you waste enough time messing with a language and have a good book handy you will master it--with time.

By the way I (gasp) downloaded my first programming book and a copy of Visual C++ 6.0. Best decision ever.

Today, (I'm 20) I do notice programming skill does aid in my understanding of Computer Science subjects. The only real limitation software engineers/programmers have (in my opinion) is limited intelligence, and a crappy memory. If you're decently bright, meaning when you try to think your head isn't all cloudy, then you should do fine if you're willing to learn a programming language or two. Creativity is an extraordinary bonus too.

I'm currently studying Computer Science in my second year at university and have been learning many programming languages (not saying i am highly experienced). I've had the occasional 'bad' teacher for some of those languages but like others have said in this thread, if you experiment and research outside your education it can be much more beneficial. Things like reading tutorials and studying APIs are useful.

Patience, and endurance are thing that every good programmer has. If you'd like to be one, you must learn these virtues to reach your goal. I've seen many bad teachers (even ones who didn't actually know what they were talking about), bad classes, and lots of bad books (unfortunatelly experiences show that they are the majority), however, you DO NOT learn to please your teachers, and you DO NOT learn for your classmates or for the honor of book authors. Your learn to have adequate knowledge to let yourself do what you love to.

Searching the web for a ceratain information can give you just about anything you need.
The only way to find out how the idea of being a software engineer fits you is to give it a hard try. If you want to do so, you'll have to give some of your spare time up for it; don't expect school to give you it all.

First of all, pick a language that is generally considered to be easy. I would recommend Pascal for this. Get to know it inside out, while simultaneously learning computer theory and its practical use through the given language.
It is important to learn how to design, verify, code, debug software, write the documentations, and do all the administration involved. Its quite much a matter of persistence...

If you decide to be one of us, I say good luck to you. Just remember: Most of this is up to you.

Greetz: Pow

A programmer should love thinking.He should have lots of patience and he should never get discouraged.He should laugh at himself occasionally !

you definitely should not give up because you cant instantly figure out the steps

What should I do on my own time to improve my programming skills and see if I really like it?

Learn, and apply theory, read some code, do a lot of experiment. Experience is one of the most important factors as it gives you a constantly refining understanding of the things you learn. (This is in fact one of the reasons for why you must be patient and tenacious (D))

Yes you can become a great programmer, there is no doubt about that. The best approach to become a programmer is to "Learn Something Everyday". This way if you keep learning things on regular basis,then you would start improving and improving and the day would come when you would be a great programmer. Best of Luck!!!!!!!!

commented: superb +1

Wonderful john.Your idea of learning a new thing everyday is superb !

If you have to ask whether or not you should continue with your "dream" of being a computer scientist because ONE class is difficult, then maybe you should ask yourself if computer science is really your dream. Crappy teachers and crappy textbooks are, unfortunately, part of college. Unless you are extremely fortunate, this isn't the last bad textbook you will have to deal with during the course of your education, and certainly not the last bad teacher.

If you really want to be a computer scientist, then excel in spite of your disadvantages. Study material outside of your textbook, ask questions on DaniWeb, even buy a textbook with better reviews if that's what it takes. The information is out there, you just have to find it.

If you want it bad enough, you can do it. Good luck :)

Be a part of the DaniWeb community

We're a friendly, industry-focused community of developers, IT pros, digital marketers, and technology enthusiasts meeting, networking, learning, and sharing knowledge.