Codeacademy.com, Good Idea or Disaster for Programmers?

  • (6 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Last »

82 Replies - 43077 Views - Last Post: 27 February 2014 - 08:20 AM

#31 GunnerInc  Icon User is offline

  • "Hurry up and wait"
  • member icon




Reputation: 856
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2,246
  • Joined: 28-March 11

Re: Codeacademy.com, Good Idea or Disaster for Programmers?

Posted 06 January 2012 - 07:38 PM

So the KID from that website calls it coding? Hmmm, fine let them learn to CODE. I am a PROGRAMMER no, I am a PROGRAMMING ARTIST!! NOT a coder. I take ideas and thoughts and make them a reality. Just like an artist :)
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#32 DimitriV  Icon User is online

  • >not activating your almonds
  • member icon

Reputation: 562
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2,681
  • Joined: 24-July 11

Re: Codeacademy.com, Good Idea or Disaster for Programmers?

Posted 06 January 2012 - 08:03 PM

A site like that can't compete with Dream.In.Code - that site is about giving people lessons and telling them they can survive in the real world. Dream.In.Code does that - but it helps with varying programming issues in numerous languages with resident mentors and experts. You can ask a question here and almost always get a helpful response. The VB forums has a pretty good success rate, and I can imagine the rest of them do too.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#33 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is online

  • (╯□)╯︵ (~ .o.)~
  • member icon


Reputation: 4312
  • View blog
  • Posts: 7,467
  • Joined: 08-June 10

Re: Codeacademy.com, Good Idea or Disaster for Programmers?

Posted 07 January 2012 - 12:08 AM

*
POPULAR

Quote

I've said this a few times on DIC now, but learning a programming language is but the beginning. You don't get to call yourself a programmer until you've learned a whole lot of: maths, data structures, algorithm theory, finite automata and basic hardware. Only after you've learned the basics of those, and applied them to a number of actual programs (which "programmers" have not, will not, can not do) can you start considering yourself a programmer.


That's crap. I'm no math genius, nor do I know much about "algorithm theory" or "finite automata", but I'm just as much a "programmer" as you. You're describing a computer scientist, not a programmer. I make business applications, and guess what? I rarely need math higher than basic algebra. And I've worked on and helped create complex applications with over a thousand users. This year we'll be creating our own online banking solution that'll have over 150,000 users. Another tidbit: there's a lot more people doing jobs like mine than there are jobs that require serious theoretical CS knowledge.

Some people need to get over their sense of superiority. Yes, there are really crappy programmers out there. I see them every single day on this forum. But that's not a good reason to start getting all high and mighty about it.
Was This Post Helpful? 8
  • +
  • -

#34 111027  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 17
  • View blog
  • Posts: 141
  • Joined: 26-December 11

Re: Codeacademy.com, Good Idea or Disaster for Programmers?

Posted 07 January 2012 - 03:31 AM

That, my friend, is something people don't quite get. Programming is a tool for a wider purpose. Computer Science is a tool on a larger scale, but a tool never the less. Sure, programming business applications and all if cool and fun for about 10 months, but there isn't much benefit to it (on the social aspect). What's really cool is the scientific application of computer science - interdisciplinary projects that might actually make the world we live in a better place. That's the kind of programming i'm into.

A bit more on the 'practical' scale, programming is still a tool. Dare you to write an audio coded without being able to do Fourier transforms and fourth level integrals? Knowing how to program is pretty much useless unless you also understand the thing you are supposed to program. In that way, if i was to start writing a video editing application, i'd first have to go trough a lot on digital video, video playback, study video compressions and formats, video editing and god knows what. If i were to write a terminal for an operating system, i'd first need to -get this- learn what lexical parsing and analysis is all about. What i have stated has been a CS oriented statement, yes. But it's pretty much correct, and is the difference between a good programmer (who understands the basics of all that + what he's trying to program), a programmer (who understands what he's trying to program) and a person who knows a programming language (or ten, but is not a programmer).

This post has been edited by 111027: 07 January 2012 - 03:33 AM

Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#35 LanceJZ  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 3
  • View blog
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 31-January 11

Re: Codeacademy.com, Good Idea or Disaster for Programmers?

Posted 07 January 2012 - 04:04 AM

View PostCurtis Rutland, on 07 January 2012 - 12:08 AM, said:

Quote

I've said this a few times on DIC now, but learning a programming language is but the beginning. You don't get to call yourself a programmer until you've learned a whole lot of: maths, data structures, algorithm theory, finite automata and basic hardware. Only after you've learned the basics of those, and applied them to a number of actual programs (which "programmers" have not, will not, can not do) can you start considering yourself a programmer.


That's crap. I'm no math genius, nor do I know much about "algorithm theory" or "finite automata", but I'm just as much a "programmer" as you. You're describing a computer scientist, not a programmer. I make business applications, and guess what? I rarely need math higher than basic algebra. And I've worked on and helped create complex applications with over a thousand users. This year we'll be creating our own online banking solution that'll have over 150,000 users. Another tidbit: there's a lot more people doing jobs like mine than there are jobs that require serious theoretical CS knowledge.

Some people need to get over their sense of superiority. Yes, there are really crappy programmers out there. I see them every single day on this forum. But that's not a good reason to start getting all high and mighty about it.


Indeed sir, I agree with you. I know up to level four algebra, and basic geometry, is all I need to create video games. That has nothing to do with what I see is some peoples fears that, there may be someone out there that wants to learn programming, and with all the free online CS courses out there now, they can do it on there own, if they have the will, and time. That someone may be able to do it, without going into dept for it. I don't know what they fear, I'm just guessing.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#36 nooblet  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Addict

Reputation: 120
  • View blog
  • Posts: 541
  • Joined: 12-March 10

Re: Codeacademy.com, Good Idea or Disaster for Programmers?

Posted 07 January 2012 - 04:10 AM

View PostjimmyBo, on 06 January 2012 - 08:03 PM, said:

A site like that can't compete with Dream.In.Code


I don't think its designed to compete with DiC. That said, the clear winner in my opinion if you're going off tangent like that would be SO.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#37 111027  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 17
  • View blog
  • Posts: 141
  • Joined: 26-December 11

Re: Codeacademy.com, Good Idea or Disaster for Programmers?

Posted 07 January 2012 - 05:02 AM

I would really love to see a decent game written with little to no mathematics and suboptimal algorithms.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#38 CTphpnwb  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 2834
  • View blog
  • Posts: 9,740
  • Joined: 08-August 08

Re: Codeacademy.com, Good Idea or Disaster for Programmers?

Posted 07 January 2012 - 06:10 AM

View PostLanceJZ, on 07 January 2012 - 07:04 AM, said:

Indeed sir, I agree with you. I know up to level four algebra, and basic geometry, is all I need to create video games.

Equations for projectile motion:
X = X0 + V0 * t + 0.5 * A * t^2
V = V0 + A * t
Hmmm, looks like Calculus to me.
Was This Post Helpful? 2
  • +
  • -

#39 111027  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 17
  • View blog
  • Posts: 141
  • Joined: 26-December 11

Re: Codeacademy.com, Good Idea or Disaster for Programmers?

Posted 07 January 2012 - 06:23 AM

Let us not even start on very, very basic graphics: just drawing a line requires a bunch of calculus, trigonometry and algorithm theory. For an example: A line represents the shortest path between two points A and B, which is not exactly a trivial problem. It is. known as the 'Traveling Salesman' problem, and a lot of computer scientists and mathematicians failed to provide the optimal solution for it. Just the basic algorithms for that include Kruskal and Dijkstra, which require a lot of knowledge on data structures, namely graphs. And graphs are mathematics- discrete mathematics, to be precise.

Correct me if i'm wrong, but CodeAcademy does not teach one what i've mentioned now?
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#40 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover

Reputation: -4
  • View blog
  • Posts: 3,638
  • Joined: 26-November 10

Re: Codeacademy.com, Good Idea or Disaster for Programmers?

Posted 07 January 2012 - 05:22 PM

About bad programmers getting into programming, isn't that why companies specify a particular skill set and proficiency in a programming language, for example? Isn't that why they set tests?

I've endured programming tests for all bar one of my programming jobs, and with sites like Codecademy it can only be the organization's fault for hiring someone not suitable for the job.

Valid points given by other posters, but I can't say that it will be the fault of such sites releasing bad programmers into the industry - it's actually universities that are doing that! :bananaman:
Was This Post Helpful? 3
  • +
  • -

#41 joske  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Regular
  • member icon

Reputation: 43
  • View blog
  • Posts: 297
  • Joined: 04-September 07

Re: Codeacademy.com, Good Idea or Disaster for Programmers?

Posted 08 January 2012 - 08:58 AM

So far I miss one important point in this discussion.

On secondary school you get courses to teach you the basics of our world and our society. You get courses like maths, physics, chemistry, economics, geography, history, foreign languages, social science, etc. I miss a field in this education which didn't play an important role up to ten or twenty years ago, but has rapidly become a central part of our society today: internet, software, IT. Since some years schools start teaching pupils how to deal with internet, social media, privacy, etc. But still, most people have no clue at all what software is about. They can install an app on there phone and that is about it.

I think it would be a good thing if every student on earth would get some (basic) idea on what programming and software is about, and what is behind these "black boxes" that play such an important role in their lives. They don't need to become programmers, definitely not. For example, I have learned the basics of economy - and I dislike it very much. However, I'm glad that I know what it is about, and that it is no magic to me.
So I like initiatives like codecademy which attempts to show non programmers what programming is about.

I get cold shivers when people talk about keeping a barrier between "real" programmers and the "dumb masses". People have been kept dumb until the middle ages by not teaching them reading/writing, and by speaking Latin in the churches... Please let us programmers not talk "Latin" to keep up a barrier. I welcome languages which make programming easier and faster, languages like Python, Go, Javascript. Also Visual Basic (though not my favorite), which has been criticized a lot because it enabled non/bad programmers to write programs.

We definitely need good certification to be able to know what skills and experience someone has, instead of having to rely on someones ability to estimate his own level. But this qualification issue is no reason to try to keep up any kind of barrier between programmers and non-programmers.
Was This Post Helpful? 3
  • +
  • -

#42 CTphpnwb  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 2834
  • View blog
  • Posts: 9,740
  • Joined: 08-August 08

Re: Codeacademy.com, Good Idea or Disaster for Programmers?

Posted 08 January 2012 - 01:16 PM

View Postjoske, on 08 January 2012 - 11:58 AM, said:

I think it would be a good thing if every student on earth would get some (basic) idea on what programming and software is about, and what is behind these "black boxes" that play such an important role in their lives.

And I think everyone should have to get at least a B in High School Physics before being allowed to apply for a driver's license. Neither is going to happen though, and people can operate computers without risk of killing other people and minimal risk of creating traffic logjams. It's not going to happen though. The best we can hope for is a general public that is somewhat familiar with the concepts involved.

View Postjoske, on 08 January 2012 - 11:58 AM, said:

We definitely need good certification to be able to know what skills and experience someone has, instead of having to rely on someones ability to estimate his own level. But this qualification issue is no reason to try to keep up any kind of barrier between programmers and non-programmers.

"We" don't need certifications. That's something businesses want so that, in theory, HR can easily distinguish between those who know what they're doing and those who don't. Certification is an artificial barrier between programmers and non-programmers, and it's of very limited usefulness. In fact I think certifications are often counter productive because they create barriers that have little to do with real qualifications. People don't always have the time or money to get certified, and those who do can be better at taking tests than performing in the real world.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#43 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

  • Self-Trained Economist
  • member icon




Reputation: 10185
  • View blog
  • Posts: 37,603
  • Joined: 27-December 08

Re: Codeacademy.com, Good Idea or Disaster for Programmers?

Posted 08 January 2012 - 05:51 PM

*
POPULAR

Quote

For an example: A line represents the shortest path between two points A and B, which is not exactly a trivial problem. It is. known as the 'Traveling Salesman' problem, and a lot of computer scientists and mathematicians failed to provide the optimal solution for it.

This isn't the Traveling Salesman Problem. The TSP is about finding the optimal Hamiltonian circuit, and there is an optimal algorithm (at least relatively speaking) for it- Held-Karp. It runs in O(n^2 * 2^n) time. Computer scientists and mathematicians still study this problem b/c there isn't a good polynomial time solution for it, so it isn't computationally tractable.

Quote

Sure, programming business applications and all if cool and fun for about 10 months, but there isn't much benefit to it (on the social aspect). What's really cool is the scientific application of computer science - interdisciplinary projects that might actually make the world we live in a better place. That's the kind of programming i'm into.

Honestly, if someone developed a better solution to the TSP, etc., mostly people in academia would care. I think a lot of people familiar with the problem would think it's neat as well, but that's probably where it would end. The TSP is fun, but doesn't have a lot of widespread applications. Now let's flipside this and look at Facebook or Google's search engine. Neither of these are highly mathematical or scientific. However, both of these have really facilitated new industries and jobs. Same thing with mobile platforms and app markets. I'd say they have definitely changed the world. Look beyond curing cancer, and look more at the economics of things. Look at new jobs, new ways to make money, new ways for people to communicate. Sure, you might see a DFS implementation. But that's stretching it if you are going to put it on a pedestal b/c it's math related.

Quote

Dare you to write an audio coded without being able to do Fourier transforms and fourth level integrals? Knowing how to program is pretty much useless unless you also understand the thing you are supposed to program.

There is a saying in the industry- the newbie asks how to do something, and the experienced programmer asks where has this been done before. I'm not dismissing learning new things and gaining experience; but by the same token, finding an API that handles a lot of the low-level work is beneficial as well.

Quote

But it's pretty much correct, and is the difference between a good programmer (who understands the basics of all that + what he's trying to program), a programmer (who understands what he's trying to program) and a person who knows a programming language (or ten, but is not a programmer).

I disagree to a large extent. Yes, we are in the industry of information and will always have to be competent if writing software for a specific industry (ie., we would need a basic understanding of accounting if writing software for accountants). Again though, we have APIs to handle a lot of things. I don't need to know AES to use the Java AES implementation. It saves me the time of implementing it myself. For an academic or personal exercise, it would be fun. For my job, I'll pass b/c my boss doesn't really care if I know the ins and outs of AES.

Quote

Let us not even start on very, very basic graphics: just drawing a line requires a bunch of calculus, trigonometry and algorithm theory.

APIs handle this as well. If I'm going to draw a line in Java, I'm going to use the Graphics drawLine() method. For this, I need basic math.

While math, data structures, and other related theory topics are near and dear to me, it's not usually what the industry needs. There are niche fields for scientific computing. Most programmers don't handle that. What the industry needs is more competent programmers; people that can write clean code, work with other people's code, debug, and get the job done well. Computer science is great, and I love it, but a lot of the topics you cover aren't directly relevant when you get into the workplace.
Was This Post Helpful? 6
  • +
  • -

#44 CTphpnwb  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 2834
  • View blog
  • Posts: 9,740
  • Joined: 08-August 08

Re: Codeacademy.com, Good Idea or Disaster for Programmers?

Posted 08 January 2012 - 08:49 PM

Macosxnerd101,

I agree with you but I took his meaning to be that it's important to have at least a basic understanding of those topics in order to be a good programmer. You may call (and usually should) the API to draw a line, curve, or shade an object, but for those times when it doesn't behave as you expect you need to be able to figure out why if you want to find a solution. ;)
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#45 LanceJZ  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 3
  • View blog
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 31-January 11

Re: Codeacademy.com, Good Idea or Disaster for Programmers?

Posted 09 January 2012 - 12:51 AM

View PostCTphpnwb, on 07 January 2012 - 06:10 AM, said:

View PostLanceJZ, on 07 January 2012 - 07:04 AM, said:

Indeed sir, I agree with you. I know up to level four algebra, and basic geometry, is all I need to create video games.

Equations for projectile motion:
X = X0 + V0 * t + 0.5 * A * t^2
V = V0 + A * t
Hmmm, looks like Calculus to me.


I refuse to admit I've being doing calculus all this time.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

  • (6 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Last »