Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

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48 Replies - 13319 Views - Last Post: 13 December 2011 - 08:48 AM

#16 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 13 July 2011 - 10:07 AM

Hola, Senor One Post. If you had read the rest of this thread, your question would have been answered before you posted it. Just something you may want to consider in the future.
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#17 skyhawk133  Icon User is offline

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Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 13 July 2011 - 10:09 AM

That's fine, as long as you're not cramming someone elses code in to your simply because you don't understand it, don't know what it's doing, or have no idea how to accomplish it.

Being "resourceful" is fine, copying because you have no clue how to do something and refuse to learn it or even attempt to understand it makes you a "Copy And Paste Programmer"
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#18 BotReject  Icon User is offline

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Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 13 July 2011 - 11:37 AM

My trouble is that I don't copy-and-paste enough. I have written several applications from skratch, but I still am not always fluent on paper. In fact, I spend too much time reinventing the wheel, e.g. by writing my own classes to convert coordinates between different coordinate systems, or my own collision-detection algorithms. The reason being that I hate trawling through other people's code when that code is often difficult to read - I must know what code does and how it works before I use it. Many computing exams also require the student to write code de novo, so I find it hard to believe that student's can't do this, if they are properly prepared (it is easy for a good graduate to forget things that those who have programmed on a daily basis, for x years, take for granted). I am not surprised that students struggle when put on the spot in an interview. This is a highly unrealistic situation - learning a language for an undergraduate exam is one thing, but even first-class students may lack fluidity and when writing code on paper start to question syntax they would normally get right without thinking, or syntax which the IDE would provide them with helpful hints for. Degrees are just the beginning - it takes some considerable practise to become fluent in a computer language. I have sometimes done well in coding tests at interviews, sometimes badly. Every company thinks their own narrow area of programming is the bees-knees. One company may have an obsession with Java collection classes, another with sorting algorithms, another with MVC, another with linked lists in C++, another with LINQ to SQL and lambda expressions, etc. All seem to think that a 'good' programmer should be fluent in their own narrow specialism. Again, this comes with practise in said area and a candidate with good potential may not be able to do this on the spot. Ask the same interviewers questions about other areas of programming or other programming techniques and they too struggle! (Revenge can be sweet!) Some candidates simply get too nervous when put on the spot and sometimes don't read the questions properly (been there, done that!).
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#19 codeprada  Icon User is offline

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Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 13 July 2011 - 11:44 AM

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Simple solution, don't copy and paste what you don't understand because if it doesn't work you won't be able to fix it.
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#20 scs12psu  Icon User is offline

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Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 13 July 2011 - 11:51 AM

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Repost from the other thread on this subject (copy & paste? :-) )

I've only ever logged in once to this site, and that was to flame (do people still use this term?) some people for giving away answers to my introductory programming students. Congratulations on the recent editorial! PLEASE stick to this philosophy when "helping" a student! I have a staff of 5 people + there are tutors available from the University -- all for free and available to my students. Most of the posts of my assignments that I have seen here simpy reply with the answer. We're talking about simple loops and conditionals -- if students won't spend a little time learning how to do the basics, then they should not be in a programming class! We /certainly/ don't want them running around selling themselves as professional programmers.

Again, I applaud the editorial -- this is what caused me to log in and post here today.

Hooray for the true professionals!
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#21 TecBrat  Icon User is offline

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Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 13 July 2011 - 11:57 AM

My formal training ended in High School. (B.A.S.I.C. and Pascal) I frequent various coding forums. (Mostly PHP and a little JS) I love it when I ask for some help and someone says "Oh, I did that a while back, here's some code...". But I also appreciate "Oh, did you look here: (gives link) there's a tutorial on how to weave that basket" or "Did you try X..."

What I don't like are posts from those who obviously didn't try, or replies to legitimate help requests from coding snobs that belittle a person for not knowing all that they know, or not knowing how to phrase a question the right way.

Being a pure "copy and paste programmer" will leave you lost, but a good dose of copy and paste in ones daily routine can save time, and can even be a good learning tool. (If you bother to read the code you're pasting.)
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#22 anonymouscodder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 13 July 2011 - 12:01 PM

View PostBenignDesign, on 13 July 2011 - 12:50 PM, said:

This is why I love coding jobs where the interviewer is also a coder

:^:

This post has been edited by anonymouscodder: 13 July 2011 - 12:02 PM

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#23 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 13 July 2011 - 12:35 PM

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Mr Royce:

To me, in my opinion only... Your attitude toward copy/paste and convincing others to do your work for you... that others shouldn't put examples out there unless they intend others to use them for pay... and so on is only this much shy of being okay with piracy and plagiarism.

It very much reminds of of the prevailing attitude we see out of China and some other Asian regions where they feel: "If you haven't implimented enough security to keep me from pirating your program then it's your fault I did and am selling bootleg installs of it."

It reminds me of people who make knock-off's based on other peoples' designs and products. Let Canon spend millions in development and R&D and manufacturing. Then you come along and make a mold off their retail product and start selling knock-off's for 1/10th the price because you have no real *investment* to recover.

The attitude simply lacks an respect for the work of others. And by extension lacks any respect for your own work. Perhaps in the future you will stop being a copy/paste monkey and grow into actually being a Software Engineer. Once you have your own intellectual efforts on the line your perspective might shift.

This post has been edited by tlhIn`toq: 13 July 2011 - 12:37 PM

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#24 salindor  Icon User is offline

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Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 13 July 2011 - 04:28 PM

You know when I first read the article I thought 'copy paste programmer' was something completely different because prior to the article I used to call myself that. I don't consider people who can only copy and paste other peoples code programmers...

I had always thought of a copy-paste programmer as someone who could use copy and paste very effectively to speed their own programming up. As long as references are given and the license from the original matches, and you as the developer understand both the inputs and the outputs; I don't see a problem with grabbing things other people do even on a regular basis. Especially if the widget you are grabbing isn't the main focus of your program.

At the end of the day, it is the person who can code the fastest with the fewest bugs that wins. If you use google to get there great. If you can just write it faster from scratch than searching for the algorithm even better (you won't have to worry about any licensing mismatch).

Salindor
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#25 cjr9968  Icon User is offline

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Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 13 July 2011 - 06:11 PM

Thanks for sending this out. It's just one of those things someone needs to say.
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#26 kiwinc  Icon User is offline

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Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 13 July 2011 - 06:49 PM

The problem I've seen with most forums like this is that, when someone asks a question, they don't get an answer. They get a lot of 'do your OWN homework!' responses, some esoteric b.s, and some halfwritten, I-just-made-this-up-on-the-spot stuff, sure. But very few, step-by-step answers, if any. And that's precisely what they're looking for. Instead of helping people learn, we either flame them out or do the work for them. There has to be a better way.

Great attitude from that supposed professor who said that if students can't do the basics, they shouldn't be taking a programming class. If they don't belong in a programming class to learn the basics from you, where should they go to learn those things? Church? WalMart? The middle of I95?

I contend that you're in a programming class BECAUSE you don't know the basics. Believe it or not, there really are some folks out there who have never written an Android app, never seen QBasic, and think Pascal is some guy who invented that milk purification process. They don't know! That's why they're taking a class in it! And if they don't understand it, maybe you ought to rethink some of your teaching processes. Think about it.

Maybe, too, visiting forums is one way to understand what your professor flew right through in class that day. You ask someone. Maybe they can show you in a way you'll understand a little better.

You can sit there and call copy/pasters all the ugly names you want, and blame them for all the ills of the free world, but the fact is, if YOU don't make a serious effort to teach someone who asks you for help, you're not helping, either. I'm sure all you flamers out there were born knowing this stuff. Congrats. Not everyone is. Being ugly about it does not make you look good, either. Just a hint.

I've had my share of tests in the interview process. My view on employers who hire poor programmers is, I guess making them write code on a whiteboard didn't really work out so well after all... Maybe you ought to come up with another process. Don't ask me to come up with one for you, though. Do your own work!
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#27 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 13 July 2011 - 08:16 PM

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Quote

You can sit there and call copy/pasters all the ugly names you want, and blame them for all the ills of the free world, but the fact is, if YOU don't make a serious effort to teach someone who asks you for help, you're not helping, either. I'm sure all you flamers out there were born knowing this stuff. Congrats. Not everyone is. Being ugly about it does not make you look good, either. Just a hint.


I am known far and wide for being pedantic. If there was ever someone who will take the time to try and teach it is I, and the more engaged the questions become the more excitedly I will teach. Heck if you're a student who is honestly interested in learning programming I will open up a skype call and we can chat and do whiteboards and WebEx etc.

but -- most non-copy/pasters ask a couple of questions, get themselves back and course and go. Most copy/pasters just get frustrated and post the same broken-down-copied-hatcheted code they found out on the web and beg someone to fix it for them or customize it to work with some other broken-down-copied-hatcheted code they got from somewhere else on the web... i.e. they don't WANT to learn, they don't WANT the basics, they WANT to pass the class and get a grade.

Unfortunately programming does require a certain amount of tenacity and effort. Lets face it, it really is kind of a hard thing to "get" but not impossible, not illogical, not outside of the reach of any sufficiently motivated student. It does require effort though and THAT is the one thing that the average copy/paste programmer is not just willing to give.

They will pay. They will steal. They will troll. They will put an incredible amount of effort into whining and posting on forum after forum. but they will not take a moment to try to think critically about 10 lines of code.
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#28 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 13 July 2011 - 08:34 PM

Quote

I contend that you're in a programming class BECAUSE you don't know the basics. Believe it or not, there really are some folks out there who have never written an Android app, never seen QBasic, and think Pascal is some guy who invented that milk purification process. They don't know! That's why they're taking a class in it! And if they don't understand it, maybe you ought to rethink some of your teaching processes. Think about it.

I'll give you this one. My frustrations with academia are two part- mediocre professors/instructors and lazy students. I'll address the professors first. I don't understand what is so hard about teaching good coding practices. I'm not talking about indenting 4 vs. 5 spaces or brace positioning, but legitimate, standards adherent coding practices. Things like teaching parallel arrays or Threading with Swing are things I just don't get, as well as teaching GUIs before arrays. There is a logical progression to things, and detailed explanations help. I'm obviously not a high school teacher or college professor, but I've taught informally the equivalent of Intro to Programming and Data Structures I. Teaching programming and CS concepts isn't easy, but it can be done the right way.

While I can empathize with student frustrations with teachers who have their heads so far up their asses (pardon the expression), I also have to criticize students that won't put in the effort. Yes, programming is difficult. As NickDMax said though, it isn't illogical. Quite the opposite- programming is a logical exercise. It requires breaking down and solving problems. While I am nowhere near as patient as Nick, nor are my explanations necessarily as in-depth, I've been known to stick with people who are putting in effort and making a legitimate effort to learn. The copy/paste and help vampire need to step up, put in some effort, and actually think.

With improvements on both sides, this will definitely benefit the industry overall. It isn't the fault of one side entirely. In fact, one could blame the HR people as well for hiring these copy/paste morons. There are improvements on all sides that must be made.
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#29 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 13 July 2011 - 10:48 PM

View Postkiwinc, on 13 July 2011 - 07:49 PM, said:

The problem I've seen with most forums like this is that, when someone asks a question, they don't get an answer. They get a lot of 'do your OWN homework!' responses, some esoteric b.s, and some halfwritten, I-just-made-this-up-on-the-spot stuff, sure. But very few, step-by-step answers, if any. And that's precisely what they're looking for. Instead of helping people learn, we either flame them out or do the work for them. There has to be a better way.


There is. Take a look at the vast number of highly detailed tutorials teaching step-by-step that DIC hosts. The sheer volume of repeat questions for the same thing from dozens of newbies every day/week makes it impractical to respond to each question in exacting detail. It would be a huge waste of time and talent for every post to become a repost of the same tutorials. That's why there is a tutorials section. But the newbies don't look, don't search. They just repeat the same question their classmate asked yesterday. So they get a link to the detailed tutorial.

Please don't say "we" flame them out. You registered on here 5 hours ago and the post above is your only post on the system. So there is no "we" there. If you choose to stick around and become an active contributor then you will have helped build that 'better way' you talk about. If not, there is an old saying about "If you are part of the solution then you are part of the problem." I don't know what you did or saw on other sites, but here "we" the active members of this site that are here day in and day out devote a lot of time to trying to teach coding skills, engineering concepts, planning, and ethical outlooks on coding. The original editorial that prompted this response thread shows that.

View Postkiwinc, on 13 July 2011 - 07:49 PM, said:

Great attitude from that supposed professor who said that if students can't do the basics, they shouldn't be taking a programming class. If they don't belong in a programming class to learn the basics from you, where should they go to learn those things? Church? WalMart? The middle of I95?


I think you missed the message in his words. I don't know if that was by choice or not. That professor did not think people were born with C# in their heads. He was trying to say that if people don't want to make an effort to learn a subject... Don't want to make a commitment to their own education on a subject... Then why take the class? If one is going to lie and cheat thier way throughout the course then they should drop the class and open a slot for someone who genuinely wants to learn it.

Some people want to learn how to write good software. Others want a high paying job in a clean professional office with the title of 'Software Engineer'. If you want the knowledge. You have to work at it. If your goal is the job title and not the job, then you should reasses your goals.
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#30 kiwinc  Icon User is offline

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Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 14 July 2011 - 03:22 AM

thIntoq

I actually agree with you and the others who have dealt with whiners and slackers. Yep, there are some out there who would rather spend vast amounts of energy avoiding the problem than on actually tackling it. I tend to avoid those people until they figure out they really want help or that they don't want to pretend any more. Saves me a lot of heartburn.

But attitude, and how things are said, count for a lot.I've encountered a lot of while reading multiple forums.

I've seen an incredible amount of harsh words and flat out refusals on this and other sites in the past three years. No, never registered, because the tutorials were very new last time I was here (there weren't very many) and the answers were, frankly, cruel. What's the point? I was, at that point, TRYING to get help with a particular subject, but all I found was anger.

As evidenced by both the original post and your response (ie, the attitude about me only being a member for 5 hours. How is that relevant to this particular discussion? What neither of us mentioned is my own experience in the industry. You don't know what it is and I'm not going to tell, because it's not really relevant at this point).

People who challenge and throw things at those asking for help don't help.

That doesn't mean there aren't lazy little creeps out there. But most of us, as students, are not.

I think you'll find that cheating in this country in EVERY subject has increased dramatically in the last 30 years.

If you don't like it when people do this, don't post an ugly response. Just remove their posts. It's pretty straight. Why so defensive?

For the record, all but two of my college instructors were awesome. One could not teach, period. One was just a desperately unhappy person and took it out on us. So I had to hire a tutor to get through that class. I was lucky. It irritates me to no end, though, when people blame the victim. I've seen a lot of that, both here and elsewhere, and that's indefensible behavior in my book. And that unhappy professor? When asked for help, his response was invariably loud sighs of exasperation and the words, "WHY don't you understand this?"

At least he didn't bite my head off too often.

And the tutor I paid was very pleasant.
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