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#1 RyanSorkhpoosh  Icon User is offline

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My future plan because of my teacher?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:44 AM

Hello everyone. I would like to ask a question involving my future plans to continue learning programing because I do not want to change carreers nor stop because of my passion for computers but before I continue, I would just like to say that i typed a lot so if you dont care for reading all of it, i will just give you a one sentence summary of what i am talking about: I want to take the chspe test which will enable me to apply myself for a community college(mesa college and once i have the required units, transfer to university) and skip 11th and 12th grade so i can continue learning and understanding programming to a much greater extent.


Here it is for people that would take the time to read out the issue i am in at the moment. I am 16 years old and in 10th grade. The issue lies with my programming teacher. He is not exactly the type of person you would want to have as a teacher because of a few reasons. One is that he does not explain anything. He basically gives a VERY brief outline of the new things we are learning but he never goes fully in depth about them which gets all of the students confused considering we barely have any information in our head to use while we program. Secondly, he gets frustrated very easily which makes it impossible to ask him questions...Its better to just not speak with him at all because if you dont understand something and you come to him for help, he will raise his voice more then actually assist you.

I know there is the option of teaching yourself the entire language(i am learning java) but I honestly do not have the time for that because of highschool work. Although i have been doing something very similar to teaching yourself in terms of what we are going over in class. Since he does not explain anything, i have to go research about it on my own and practice programming based off that. I honestly do not care about ANYTHING else except programming. Its what I want to do and I know i wont be changing my mind.

What i really wanted to bring up with all of you is my plan that i am going through with. Like i said before, i am only passionate about programming and i do think i am very good at it(could be MUCH better if it wasent for the teacher/mentor). I'm planning on taking the CHSPE(California profficiency examination) test this june so I can go straight into college instead of continue on with highschool. The test is basically the equivelent of a highschool diploma if you pass it. I have multiple reasons as to why i am deciding to take this test but the other reasons dont matter. The most important one is because I want to continue with my programming path. The only way i could possibly understand programming/computer science much more then i already do is if i leave highschool and go to a professor that is willing to help me with my progression. At the moment i am stuck and can not continue my programming because it has been a year now and we have gotten so far into the language that it has gotten too difficult/complex for me do anymore unless i spend hours a day teaching myself, which i dont have time for because of highschool, or if the teacher would actually be willing to help me which he does not. I feel like i would be benefiting myself if i just end all this nonsense thats going on in highschool so i can move on with what I really want to do in life. I am assuring myself that my future college professor will be a good one with explaining so I can finally get to the real learning in java and other languages.

Personaly, I am extremely excited by the idea of finally going to college to learn programming and put most of my focus on that instead of other subjects that will be meaningless for me in the future, but do you guys think that i am making the right choice with my programming decision? If you do, do you have any suggestions that could help me out for the future. If you dont, could you please tell me why? Its a bit strange for me to come out like this and post about whats going on, but many people here have more knoweledge then me when it comes to the industry i want to work in so I have to ask. Thanks for the help everyone.

This post has been edited by RyanSorkhpoosh: 01 May 2012 - 04:49 AM


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Replies To: My future plan because of my teacher?

#2 Oler1s  Icon User is offline

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Re: My future plan because of my teacher?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 05:46 AM

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It looks like you're going to make some decisions for all the wrong reasons and with the wrong expectations, because of an all too common situation. Let me summarize what you said in a few sentences.

You are in high school right now, and your current programming teacher is terrible. Because you really want to learn to program, you intend to graduate from high school early, and then go to a community college, where you expect to have a significantly better teacher. You expect that with this significantly better teacher, you will then be able to learn to program properly, and you will also be to focus on programming to the exclusion of other subjects.

To start off, let's establish a few points that you can practically take for facts:

1. High school programming teachers are generally bad. If someone can program well, they are not going to be sitting around in a high school teaching. A bad high school programming teacher is not news.
2. Programming is self taught. What a class offers is a bit of guidance (possibly useful to beginners) and validation that you're learning the right way. Since programming is a craft, rather than theory, you have to learn by doing. You cannot sit in a class and learn.
3. You're going to have keep learning for the rest of the time you want to be a programmer. As a career programmer, you will also have to set time aside in your life to improve and teach yourself, to stay current. If you don't think you can make time in your life for programming outside of a job, don't expect to go too far.
4. Learning to program in college is not much better. THe real value comes from the computer science focus, which is theory. Programming on the other hand, is still going to be self taught. At a community college, there is no theory, which means the programming classes have very low value.
5. Focusing on programming exclusively is about the best way to devalue yourself. Someone who can only program and not much else usually is an offshore resource. They don't have value. It's typically people who have skillsets outside of programming that have value. First, is that you ahve good communication skills, as well as theory to backup software development. Good computer science and mathematics knowledge opens up options. Then, other domain knowledge can be useful. Programmers in the field of biology, or chemical engineering, for example.

Focusing on programming purely is what offshore resources do. You do not want to do this. It's terrible for you as a person, and detrimental as a career mechanism.

With all this, you should really be reevaluating your plans.
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#3 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: My future plan because of my teacher?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:53 AM

*sigh* Another "mah high school teacher is teh sux0r at da codez" story. I swear if I had a quarter from you rascally kids each time I heard that one.

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I have multiple reasons as to why i am deciding to take this test but the other reasons dont matter.

I would like to hear these.

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I know there is the option of teaching yourself the entire language(i am learning java) but I honestly do not have the time for that because of highschool work

Are you struggling with your other subjects? While homework can be a chore I cannot believe it is *THAT* time consuming where you wouldn't have a few hours free every couple of nights or the weekends to play with some code. Isn't summer breaking around the corner?

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I am assuring myself that my future college professor will be a good one with explaining so I can finally get to the real learning in java and other languages.

This idealized professor your keep going on about may or may not exist. Remember, on the flip side, there is only one of them and forty-plus students vying for his/her time. That grows more in college when the professor is usually trying to juggle grants, research, and students. Well, maybe not so much for the associate professors, but indeed for the higher up ones. I found the high school teachers often to have smaller classes than college folk and were more available than say a college professor.

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Personaly, I am extremely excited by the idea of finally going to college to learn programming and put most of my focus on that instead of other subjects that will be meaningless for me in the future,

FYI - most universities or colleges will require you to take a full well rounded education. That's more english, math, humanities, sciences, and electives that are *NOT* programming based. You will have to pass those classes and let me tell you - if you thought high school teachers (who are familiar with their faculty) disregarded how much homework you were getting from other teachers then college it becomes substantially worse.

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but do you guys think that i am making the right choice with my programming decision?

No, not at all. While having a passion for programming is good - trying to nothing but that, with the exclusion of all other things, is not ideal. It makes you one dimensional. Programming isn't about just memorizing syntax - it's about formulating and planning out a process to tackle a problem, fill a gap, or provide a client a specific need.

As Oler1s pointed out - programming is mostly self taught. A teacher goes over base concepts, the book fleshes them out, and the homework creates an example of putting thought to keyboard.

I may be reading more into this than I should be, but it sounds like you are using 'programming' as a tether to a constructed ideal of college, and flee a larger situation that you do not agree with that may consist of: a troubled home life, struggling with other school subjects, or problems connecting with sophomore peers. Then again I've lost my Dr. Phil compass so I could be off.
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#4 RyanSorkhpoosh  Icon User is offline

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Re: My future plan because of my teacher?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:04 PM

So what you two are basically saying is that its not a good idea to focus on just one thing(programming)? If thats what you guys mean, i am aware that its not a good idea to put all your focus on a single subject but maybe i mis communicated with my post. I want to MAINLY focus on programing but by no means just do programming and programming only. I dont know yet, maybe i will have 2 majors. Aside from that, i understand that programming is for the most part self taught, but I need some sort of guidelines for myself as a beginner. You said "As Oler1s pointed out - programming is mostly self taught. A teacher goes over base concepts, the book fleshes them out, and the homework creates an example of putting thought to keyboard." I completely agree with what you are saying but the fact that my teacher does none of that is effecting the quality and speed of my learning. We also have no textbook to work out of or any website. All the information(if any...) purely comes from him and no other source. Coming back to what i was originally talking about though. You both agree that changing my entire path in life is a bad decision for just programming alone. What if it was not just programming? I know i said i have a strong passion for it, but i could always do something on the side of it as well. I did have something else in mind actually for a preferable second major. It does not have to be JUST programming. If i were to commit myself to something else along with my programing, would my plan be ideal? Maybe i am not completely understanding what you guys are saying but what i typed down is the idea im getting from it.

This post has been edited by RyanSorkhpoosh: 01 May 2012 - 12:06 PM

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#5 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: My future plan because of my teacher?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:22 PM

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So what you two are basically saying is that its not a good idea to focus on just one thing(programming)?

That's part of it. The other parts consist of things like addressing "an idealized belief the grass is greener" theory...

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I dont know yet, maybe i will have 2 majors.

Such as?

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We also have no textbook to work out of or any website. All the information(if any...) purely comes from him and no other source.

I am unclear how that is occurring? No book? Go talk to the department head then. Failing that - go buy a book.

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You both agree that changing my entire path in life is a bad decision for just programming alone. What if it was not just programming?

Clarify this.


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I did have something else in mind actually for a preferable second major.

Clarify.

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If i were to commit myself to something else along with my programing, would my plan be ideal?

Without knowing this nebulous plan I still have to say 'no' because over all it smacks of you trying to run away from a sticky situation on the ephemeral hopes and dreams that some idealized perception of "college" is going to be any different or better by simply being a different environment. I honestly don't believe that the theory you are ready to ditch high school just because *ONE* teacher sucks at teaching *THAT* class. There has to be other issues.

That being said I am still interested in the 'other reasons' mentioned in the first post as well as the whole time management questions. How are the other subjects going?
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#6 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: My future plan because of my teacher?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:55 PM

Yeah, that's a wall of text. :)

Some teachers suck, period. This is unfortunate, because you want them to be helpful and maybe they're not. However; this doesn't matter! Their job is to teach and yours is to learn. Just because they fail at their job doesn't give you an excuse to fail at yours.

The simple fact is, you'll run into incompetent instructors are all levels. It's a crap shoot. You pay the big bucks for a "good" university in the hopes that the instructors are all exceptional, but nothing is certain.

College is much different from high school. But it's still school. You are expected to complete all the requirements to graduate. The freshman year for one major can look very similar to that of a completely different one. Everyone's expected to cover the basics.

Frankly, if you are trying to skip out on your requirements for high school to avoid frustrating work you don't want to do, then you're doomed. Just because you choose a major doesn't give you a pass on all subjects. Even if all subjects you take are completely focused on your degree, I guarantee some will have you wishing for death.

Higher education tells an employer one thing; you can stick it out and do the work. If you're looking to avoid that, you're setting yourself up for disappointment.

Your job, right now, and until you escape school, is to figure out how to adapt and deal with the environment you find yourself in. If the teacher is a bone head, you make sure they know you think of them as Mister bone head. You deal with the work you have and complete it successfully. If you can't do that now, what makes you think another venue will change you?
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#7 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: My future plan because of my teacher?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 05:52 PM

View PostRyanSorkhpoosh, on 01 May 2012 - 07:44 AM, said:

I am 16 years old and in 10th grade. The issue lies with my programming teacher. He is not exactly the type of person you would want to have as a teacher because of a few reasons. One is that he does not explain anything. He basically gives a VERY brief outline of the new things

I will admit that I stopped reading right here.

When I was 26 I got a promotion at the place I was employed at that time. A large, fortune 500 company, chuck full of developers, testers, managers, the typical IT setup. The job I got was titled Applications Analyst Level 3, was on a 24x7 support team that supported what was considered level 2 support. That meant the company was losing money until the issue was resolved. On my resume I had years of experience in many Unix & Linux technologies, along with C/C++ development. When it wasn't hitting the proverbial fan, we all had billable assignments. Building tools, or applying updates to assist in production & environment, & blah blah blah. I wasn't in the job 3 weeks until I got my first large assignment. It was an application to be coded in Java. Java? Yes Java. The only thing close to Java I had on my resume, was the slight possibility of a coffee stain. So after landing this promotion, getting further in my field, & so-on & so forth, am I to tell my manager, & her director that I need some hand holding?

What's the point of this stupid ass story?

Don't get used to the idea of any one doing anything for you. Don't even think that anyone is going to spell something out because they have to, because they should, or because they can. Because they won't. The answer will always be (verbally or not) Do you want your pay check, or do you want to work somewhere else?

Technology is ALWAYS improving & evolving. If you want to stay employed, or find your self unemployed & want to again become employed, you are going to have to get used to learning things, from scratch, relatively quickly. & when the day is done, you'll find that being responsible for yourself provides much more options than a confused class because the teacher sucks. You actually DO want that type of a teacher, because you'll learn a life lesson about how the real development world works.
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#8 atraub  Icon User is offline

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Re: My future plan because of my teacher?

Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:12 PM

The previous guys got it right. Ultimately, it's up to you to become great, no one else. I didn't learn any programming until after I graduated. If you start studying now, you'll have 2 more years of experience than I did when I graduated, if you skip grades, you won't. Everything will come in time. Don't rush it, just enjoy the ride.
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#9 NecroWinter  Icon User is offline

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Re: My future plan because of my teacher?

Posted 07 May 2012 - 04:09 AM

just stick it out. graduate highschool normally(the fact that you have a bad teacher isnt that big of a deal), then goto college. Going to a community college isnt a bad idea though, its much cheaper. Just make sure the credits transfer to the university that you want to goto.

try to find some free time at home, and learn some programming.

heres a little tip though, when you go buy a programming book, you have to realize that typically the programming books that youll find in most stores only teach you language syntax and some of the libraries that come with the compiler.

While this is obviously very important information, you're going to want to study data structures and algorithms as well, which is going to require some math, and if you want to understand time complexity, youll need calculus(if you want to understand it in a formal way, that is).

If you think that going to college for computer science, CIS or whatever else is going to let you only program, you're mistaken. if you're in CIS, most colleges make you take accounting, business, project management and networking classes. If youre in Comp Sci, youll have to take Software Engineering classes, which, despite sounding technical, is actually a class on how to document your programs and deal with customer satisfaction and such. I have my associates in CIS and am almost done with my bachelors in comp sci. I cant even begin to tell you how many classes ive taken that have nothing to do with programming and are required.

As for a websites on programming, I've always thought highly of cplusplus.com
heres a link to the tutorial
http://www.cplusplus.com/doc/tutorial/
this guy does video tutorials on programming and computer science
http://xoax.net/

You can get free C++ compilers all over the place. If you use linux, download G++. Microsoft has a free version of visual C++ available too.
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#10 CTphpnwb  Icon User is offline

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Re: My future plan because of my teacher?

Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:45 AM

The more you know about other subjects the better your writing will be, so you need to study everything. How else can you know if you're writing the kind of code you want to be writing?
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