I seriously suck at logic; What should I do?

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#1 Arceopteryx  Icon User is offline

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I seriously suck at logic; What should I do?

Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:18 AM

Hello guys!

I've for a while been wanting to learn to be a kickass programmer.
I'm 20 years old, and I dropped out of a Computer Science course, due to rl drama.

I got a little experience with Java, but I decided to switch to C#, since I can use it as a scripting language for Unity, much later, after I've established a good foundation in programming. I am fully aware that starting out, wanting to program games, and just starting with programming games, might be a bad idea, instead of learning how to think logically and thinking in objects. Atleast that is the general idea that i've been getting from reading a several posts here, or from, well yeah, practice. It's a mouthful that is too big to swallow at the moment, and I need to pratice other things first. However I have a problem or two i'd like to get some responses to.

I suck at thinking logically and/or with math.

Martyr2 has this great list of project ideas, but when i've tried doing some of them, I come to a halt, and have no idea what to do. I do know what a prime factor is, and I've worked with the Fibonacci sequence before, but when it comes to making a program output it, my brain comes to a halt, unless I cheat and look up the solution. I want to be able to solve the coding problems myself, but often I just run head first into a wall, without really knowing what I am doing, and I feel like I learn nothing from copying other persons work.

Is this a common way for people to feel when they start out with programming? I want to learn programming, and I want to learn it bad. The last couple of weeks i've done nothing but think in syntax and i've literally been dreaming about coding and programming. I want to put a lot of work into this, and I really love solving problems like this.

I need some books and some help to start thinking logically, and I have no idea where to start.

I'd just like to know if anyone has been in the same boat as me, or if I am completely hopeless. Sorry for the rather long post, and I am not even sure if it belongs here, but C# is currently my main language, so I figure i'd post it here. Feel free to move it.

Thank you very much!

Arceopteryx

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Replies To: I seriously suck at logic; What should I do?

#2 MrShoes  Icon User is offline

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Re: I seriously suck at logic; What should I do?

Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:32 AM

How much learning have you done? The reason I ask, is that outputting to a program will come easily after following a lot of tutorials/guided learning.

There will be things that will give you trouble along the way. Practice. Doing more than one tutorial on the same subject is perfectly acceptable (I'd even encourage it). If you can't explain it to a child, you don't understand it well enough. Do another.

Believe me, any hurdles along the way will be overcome with sheer bloody-minded determination.
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#3 fromTheSprawl  Icon User is offline

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Re: I seriously suck at logic; What should I do?

Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:42 AM

With the Math part, you can address that by studying. Here's a similar thread I opened up:

http://www.dreaminco...asic-stupidity/

With logic, I agree with MrShoes that you'll improve as you go along. Just practice and practice. I suggest doing the stuff that interests you most first, then tackle the ones you think are hard. ^^
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#4 Arceopteryx  Icon User is offline

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Re: I seriously suck at logic; What should I do?

Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:44 AM

I've actually never moved past console applications. I've spent more time looking for learning resources and trying to decide which language I should learn, than actual time spent reading books and doing tutorials. I got variables, loops and conditionals down. I've got trouble with objects, recursion and, well, anything else really.
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#5 AdamSpeight2008  Icon User is offline

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Re: I seriously suck at logic; What should I do?

Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:49 AM

Console application are a great way to learn syntax and grammar of C#. Windows GUI are and Intermediate - Advanced topic.

I use them to try out ideas, without the complications a Mutli-Threaded GUI frameworks brings along with it.
Also look at vb.net examples, they may be little more verbose is coding but a closer written English and Pseudo code.

Learning C# Series
Ch9 Video Series

This post has been edited by AdamSpeight2008: 09 August 2012 - 02:54 AM

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#6 farrell2k  Icon User is offline

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Re: I seriously suck at logic; What should I do?

Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:53 AM

I have been playing with programming as a hobby on and off for two years, and haven't even got really far myself because of lack of motivation. It sounds like you're just getting discouraged, and that you need something to motivate you to learn more. Maybe a language change is in order, or even a complete platform change. You could try giving some xna stuff a whirl, or if you know Java, you could even play around with Android. I started learning Java, then moved to c#, became bored, then moved to Android, wrote a few apps, made a little money on the marketplace, then became bored again, and now I am back to Java. I think it's all about motivation.
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#7 fromTheSprawl  Icon User is offline

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Re: I seriously suck at logic; What should I do?

Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:54 AM

You should definitely get an Object - Oriented book as soon as you can, as it will build you along nicely if you go with C# or Java. I understand where you're coming from, as I finished college without knowing what exactly an "object" means.

You could try reading this as this book is visually oriented:

http://www.amazon.co...n/dp/0596008678

But I suggest finding people who know this topic and learn from them. You could try tutorials but if you don't even have a simple idea on this matter I think the best way to really learn this stuff is with someone to teach you.
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#8 Arceopteryx  Icon User is offline

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Re: I seriously suck at logic; What should I do?

Posted 09 August 2012 - 03:05 AM

Alright!

fromTheSprawl Your thread helped very much, and i'll be picking up a math book, and learn as I go. I'll consider Khan Academy aswell. Yeah I also have a problem staying focused, so a visually oriented book, might be the solution I am looking for. I'll pick that up as soon as possible. I do know a couple of people that might help out with teaching programming, otherwise there's probably some courses around here somewhere! Thank you!

AdamSpeight2008 Thank you! I'll check those links out, as soon as I get home! It is much appreciated! I'l' take a look at some vb.net examples too!

farrell2k Yeah that might be right. That was an idea that hadn't quite reached my mind yet. There's a good chance that you are right! I'll juggle this thought around for some time! Thank you!
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#9 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: I seriously suck at logic; What should I do?

Posted 09 August 2012 - 05:57 AM

*
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View PostArceopteryx, on 09 August 2012 - 03:18 AM, said:

I suck at thinking logically and/or with math.

Martyr2 has this great list of project ideas, but when i've tried doing some of them, I come to a halt, and have no idea what to do.

and I really love solving problems like this.


  • STOP TYPING
  • Realizing that what you are wanting to do is "Software Engineering", not 'typing code'.
  • STOP TYPING
  • Buy a couple white boards.
  • STOP TYPING.
  • Work towards your strengths.


The single most common problem I see with 99% of all the rookies here is the first thing they want to do is bang on keyboard without a plan. Would you have an 18 wheeler full of lumber delivered to your property and start cutting and hammering in order to build a house with NO BLUEPRINT?

For the most part, C# or Objective-C or JAVA... it doesn't matter what language you are coding in... It doesn't matter if it is a console application, WinForm, Silverlight, or WPF... It all starts with a plan and with objects and their interaction.

You say you like to solve puzzles, that great because that is a huge part of coding. Far more than math skills in my opinion. I can always look up the formula for the area of a pie wedge if I have to make a chart. But you can't look up how to think.

If you are going to create a program to... let's say.... Be a movie library program for your DVD and mp4 collection. You do NOT stare the ceiling for 3 minutes to get some vague idea about the GUI then start whacking on the keyboard. You go to whiteboard #1 and start writing all the features and needs. Then you look that over and start picturing the objects you are going to be dealing with. On whiteboard #2 you start drawing out your classes.
------------------------
|       MovieRecord    |
------------------------
|  Title (string)      |
|  Duration (TimeSpan) |
|  Release (DateTime)  |
| Actors (List<string>)|
|  MoviePoster (Bitmap)|
------------------------
|   LoadRecord()       |
|   SaveRecord()       |
|FetchInternetReviews()|
------------------------

Work out your interactions, and events. In other words you need to ENGINEER your SOFTWARE long before you start typing. This is why the job is "Software engineer". Lastly, you can rough out some look for the GUI once you have solved the puzzle of what are all the players and how do they need to interact. Notice how at this point we haven't done a thing that involves any specific programming language or a keyboard. From here you should be able to hand off your plans to the lower paid code monkeys and have them type. If you haven't documented the plan well enough that you could hand it off to a coder and get what you want, then go back to the drawing boards; literally.

Now comes the grunt work. Type up the code that makes all the stuff you've drawn. I've got an article on doing that.

Now for the hard-truth part of my post. If you can't picture the objects. If you can't see the interaction. If you truly don't think in a logical and object-oriented way. If you can't stand at those whiteboards and draw some blobs and boxes that represent the movieRecord. And if no matter how many project you work on, no matter how many times you try this, no matter how simple the project your mind is as blank as the whiteboards.... It might be time to accept that you aren't going to be a software engineer. That's okay. Not everyone has that x factor needed to be a cop, or a surgeon, or an air traffic controller. You can desire to be a concert pianist all you want, but if you lack the brain wiring to be able to play at that level that is biology and not your fault. You might need to accept that you will only rise to the level of being the coder that builds the modules that the software engineers designs. There is nothing wrong with being the carpenter building what the architect blueprints. A few years of doing that might give you want you need to start designing. Or you might have to accept that programming just isn't in your skillset and search out what you are naturally wired to do.
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#10 Arceopteryx  Icon User is offline

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Re: I seriously suck at logic; What should I do?

Posted 09 August 2012 - 07:19 AM

That is an awesome post! I want to hit that +rep button again, and again. Thank you, very much! I couldn't help it, but smile when I read it. :) You are spot on.
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#11 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: I seriously suck at logic; What should I do?

Posted 09 August 2012 - 01:26 PM

The Klingon speaks wisely.
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#12 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: I seriously suck at logic; What should I do?

Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:39 PM

This post should give you some ideas about the process for exceptionally large projects. It was on teamwork but I believe it's still quite relevant to this topic.

http://www.dreaminco...ost__p__1680493

Quote

Evaluate the members of the team. What do you have to work with? Is one member an algorithmic genius? Is another a database maven? Take all strengths and weaknesses into account. You don't want to go to war with someone unless you know them, and I believe this is a good way to circumvent quite a few problems.

Planning. You're not allowed to think about code or solving the problem at all. In this phase you need to define the issue, what is it and what contributes to it. Why does it need solved? What issue are you hoping to solve or mitigate? What needs to be done?

Analysis. Find out everything about the current method of doing things, what data models they use, the people involved, the pricing. Everything. Unless you can fill a good 5 pages solid of sheer writing you're not being detailed enough. When I say detail I mean you had better know how many specs of dust are on the customers monitor. You need data, now find it at this phase.

Preliminary Design. You get to start thinking about solving the problem now. Brainstorm, come up with ideas, lock yourselves in a room with a few 12 packs (of soda of course) and bounce every idea off the wall that comes to mind. When calmer minds are prevalent after this, narrow down the ideas to the most practical, legal, and cost effective for the client.

Detailing the design. This s where you start laying out the schematics for the problem itself, you need to have the data models and skeletons made for every one of the programs on paper and in solid writing. You need to be able to hand this paper off to some completely unknown development company and they'll be able to build it to the exact specifications required. Detailing means detail, don't skiff or it will cost you.

Development. Hit that laptop and start plugging away. Get everything done and make sure it works. Pretty self explanatory. As always, do not cut corners. Do it right the first time, otherwise you'll pay for it soon enough. Document: DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. Code once, debug twenty times, rinse, wash, repeat. Throw every monkey wrench at the thing that you can, or the client will find it later. Guess who that is calling at 2am?

Installation. You get to deploy the program and make sure it works. By works I mean you can hit it with a metaphorical sledge hammer and it'll stand fast and strong against it. Make sure it's built to last.

Training. Remember when I said to document? You have to make sure the client can understand every last detail of what they need to be able to do. Make manuals and easy to read documentation for usage for everyone. Everything you miss will cost you far more later in support calls.

Support and Maintenance. This is where karma takes you in the pants, every little detail you skipped before comes back to haunt you tenfold if not worse. This is the nightmare stage where you pray it all works, because enough of a failure and you'll be supporting this for quite a long time. Know when to say support is cut off as well, fair warning.

Hope that helped a bit.

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#13 Arceopteryx  Icon User is offline

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Re: I seriously suck at logic; What should I do?

Posted 09 August 2012 - 03:00 PM

I seriously love you guys (no homo). I've never been so motivated for learning this stuff as I am right now. Thank you!

Lemur +rep :-)
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#14 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: I seriously suck at logic; What should I do?

Posted 09 August 2012 - 04:33 PM

Just want to add that if you run into that wall again, stop and ask on a board like this one. We all hit walls and we hit them regularly. It is the challenge in programming. Sometimes we find the answer online in search results, sometimes in an article, sometimes we need to ask in a programming community when all else fails (try to search first, then come talk to us).

I would also suggest you go back to school in computer science as soon as you can. Nothing like working through problems with classmates who are learning right along with you. Plus, if you like challenges, consider the course as another challenge to overcome. When you are finished you will feel accomplished and also have the skills to really knock out some great stuff.

No one ever said you had to program and learn alone.
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#15 Arceopteryx  Icon User is offline

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Re: I seriously suck at logic; What should I do?

Posted 09 August 2012 - 04:43 PM

Martyr2 Thank you! I had some thoughts about going back to the computer science school. I found it fun, and got my hands on a couple of great books, and got to meet people to discuss all of this with.

I have a plan now, for what to do, and I am gonna see it through. I feel like I cannot thank all of you enough for this, since this topic has been a major thing, that have kept me trying to learn.
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