Why do people say they "don't like coding"...

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#1 kathy025  Icon User is offline

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Why do people say they "don't like coding"...

Post icon  Posted 14 May 2015 - 02:17 AM

...when they mean to say they're intimidated by it?

Does admitting they can't code insult their intelligence or something?

It's just something I noticed with non-IT people. I'm not a violinist but I don't say I don't like it just because I can't do it. :rolleyes:
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#2 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "don't like coding"...

Posted 14 May 2015 - 04:26 AM

But violin concertos aren't considered an academic endeavor. Indeed, not considered something someone can just learn to do. Unlike this BS: Anybody can learn | Code.org.

There are lots of things a reasonably intelligent person can figure out on their own. Most of school can be passed with very little effort. Indeed, the "pass a test rinse and repeat" methodology is more information regurgitation than anything else, after which it can be forgotten like bad sushi.

Programming, like languages or math or music, requires significant effort and have objective criteria for success. Coding in particular is painfully, coldly, objective in that failure is clear and undeniable. You can't pretend to be a competent coder. There's no faking it.

And, basically, it's hard. A "coding is hard" yielded this, which was fun.
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#3 Atli  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "don't like coding"...

Posted 14 May 2015 - 04:27 AM

They probably just mean they don't like coding themselves.

I like violin music, but I wouldn't like having to listen to my own pathetic attempts at it.
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#4 ge∅  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "don't like coding"...

Posted 14 May 2015 - 05:55 AM

I'm not sure I'm answering your question but I had a discussion with friends who are physicists, biologists or mathematicians. They told me they had put a few quotes or references from history, literature, music or visual arts in their essays when they were at school and even later in their publications (generally after the conclusion), for many reasons : 1- they assumed their readership would understand the references ; 2- they thought it was inspiring and they wanted to share it ; 3- they thought it made them feel (and seem), if snot smarter, more cultivated.

It didn't surprise me much but it made me think that, in my field (graphic design) and in general, the opposite is not true at all : people are proud to be ignorant about science, they are proud to say that they suck at maths, that they don't know anything about programming, that it's "really really not" their thing. And I think there are multiple reasons for that :

1- when you say "Culture" you think literature, music, painting, philosophy, history... certainly not maths, physics, biology, engineering or computer science. It is culture by definition (and if being cultivated means having human knowledge, science should be top of the class), but it's under-represented in media because it's not as accessible as other forms of culture, so people come to forget it's there, they come to forget they can enjoy and be inspired by it.

2- they probably have been traumatised by maths when they were younger. Maths makes anybody think he's stupid when he's learning, and stupid is certainly not how you like to think of yourself, so rejecting science altogether is a way to protect your ego : "it's OK to be stupid not good at maths because maths is not something for me, it's something for cleverer people weidos with spots all over their face and social disabilities. There are literate people on the one side, geeks on the other side, and I belong to the literate group". So being not good at maths doesn't make you a stupid person, it actually makes you an arty sexy literate person. How convenient!

I think this is really sad and that it is of first importance to make people regain interest for science, especially nowadays when beliefs and religions are regaining strength, when people are fed up with pollution and all the "science evils" such as cloning, GMO, nuclear reactors, etc. They tend to think that knowledge itself is bad, which is very dangerous.

This post has been edited by ge∅: 14 May 2015 - 05:59 AM

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#5 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "don't like coding"...

Posted 14 May 2015 - 07:39 AM

My wife doesn't like to eye-ball over lines of text looking for syntax errors. Simply put. She can troubleshoot, she can understand technology & limitations, & so on & so on. But when it comes to matching start brackets with end brackets, or argument lists, or commas, & so forth, she just looses interest at the 1st error.
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#6 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "don't like coding"...

Posted 14 May 2015 - 07:50 AM

I am sure there are people out there who use the phrase "I don't like to code" when they mean "I'm intimidated by code," but I get the feeling that is not the case with the majority of the population.

Is it not possible that many people simply do not enjoy coding? I don't enjoy doing laundry, and - I can promise you - I would not enjoy working in medicine, and I'd sooner gouge my eyeballs out with a plastic spoon than play golf. It's not a matter of being intimidated by laundry or medicine or golf, it's a matter of different people having different interests.

I don't see a reason why "I don't like to code" has to mean anything more than just that.
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#7 kathy025  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "don't like coding"...

Posted 14 May 2015 - 09:02 AM

View Postbaavgai, on 14 May 2015 - 07:26 PM, said:

But violin concertos aren't considered an academic endeavor.

Do you guys think failure at academic endeavours are harder to admit?

View Postge∅, on 14 May 2015 - 08:55 PM, said:

so rejecting science altogether is a way to protect your ego

This is sad and unfortunately true.

This post has been edited by kathy025: 14 May 2015 - 09:20 AM

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#8 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Why do people say they "don't like coding"...

Posted 14 May 2015 - 10:13 AM

I agree with the sentiments that saying they don't like X is not directly a cover for being intimidated, or frightened, by X. I would imagine it is contextually conditional.

Burning books in a small town because of fear from outside and satanic exposure? Probably.

I haven't seen it much in the IT areas.. I haven't heard for calls on boycotting or banning programming, but I have seen quite a few n00blets declare their hate for programming when they are not able to build the next Kings Quest with zero plan and thirty minutes of actual programming exposure.
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#9 ge∅  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "don't like coding"...

Posted 14 May 2015 - 11:02 AM

I agree people can simply not enjoy coding but when I talk to graphic designers, if some of them are like me and like to fiddle around, most will say with disdain "you don't want to be a programmer, do you ? You want to be creative, actually design the thing, not write silly code". It's something I really hear. I don't reply "you don't want to be a graphic designer, do you ? you want to be creative, actually design the thing, not do little drawings with your graphics tablet", but I think I should. It's not better just because it's arty, and it's not silly just because it's technical.
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#10 kathy025  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "don't like coding"...

Posted 14 May 2015 - 07:00 PM

View Postge∅, on 15 May 2015 - 02:02 AM, said:

most will say with disdain "you don't want to be a programmer, do you ?
...
It's not better just because it's arty, and it's not silly just because it's technical.

Disdain. That's the word. Reason I asked this question was that the non-IT people whom I hear it from would say they don't like or even "hate" coding/programming with disdain (borderline disgust) along with other defense-mechanisms to protect their ego. It's just not the same way you'd normally say you hate doing the laundry.

To me, it's fine admitting you don't know everything. It's perfectly normal. If people did that more instead of putting down another profession just to appear superior, the world would be a much humbler place.
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#11 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Why do people say they "don't like coding"...

Posted 14 May 2015 - 08:53 PM

The underlying skill behind programming is algorithmic problem solving. The actual programming deals with implementation details. Some people like the problem solving without the implementation. Some don't like either, and some can't do either. There is a difference between someone not in IT that has the aptitude for algorithmic problem solving and coding but doesn't enjoy it; and someone who has the aptitude for neither.
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#12 ge∅  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "don't like coding"...

Posted 15 May 2015 - 02:08 AM

Quote

There is a difference between someone not in IT that has the aptitude for algorithmic problem solving and coding but doesn't enjoy it; and someone who has the aptitude for neither.


If by "aptitude" you mean "innate ability", I have a philosophical issue with what you said. But since you were talking about "skill" at the beginning of your post, I'm not so sure.

If you mean "skill", your statement is weird because a non-IT person who would have programming skills is very likely to enjoy programming, because acquiring skills takes energy and generally people don't waste energy learning things they are not interested in.

If you mean "innate ability", you fall into the literate/geek dichotomy again, (except that you would probably want to relabel it the dumbass/gifted dichotomy ;) ).

Even if there was an innate factor - and it's debatable : programming "geniuses" are often very young, and today we know that the younger you learn something, the better you perform at it - anybody can decide to learn programming and acquire this skill even if he or she is not "gifted". It will simply be more difficult.

Moreover, you don't need to be good at something to like it! I love maths but you can be sure if I can make a logical error I will make it. The most common one being the off-by-one error : even in my programs I can be confused with indexes, lengths, pre or post increments. It doesn't stop me from doing maths and programming... I simply fill lots of sheets of papers with doodles.
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#13 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Why do people say they "don't like coding"...

Posted 15 May 2015 - 04:11 AM

I know people who are really good at programming, but simply don't enjoy the subject. A couple of examples include a former Crypto and Number Theory professor (who did research in the respective subjects), as well as a peer of mine. So these people exist. I tend to prefer algorithm design to programming but can certainly do both. There are certainly people outside of IT that have the skills or aptitude.

Also, I'm not referring to anyone as a genius. Rather, I feel most folks have some aptitude for algorithmic problem solving and programming, though some folks have to work harder at it than others. This happens in any subject though. There are also folks who, no matter how hard they work, will never get it. I think these folks form the bottom 10% or so of the distribution.

In an intro to programming class, consider those students who are being exposed for the first time to the subject.
Some can pull out A's with some effort. Others struggle to pull out B's and C's, with many late nights and frequenting office hours. Others simply can't cut it.

As in anything, one's success is a function of aptitude and hard work. If aptitude is epsilon-close to 0, well... we know where that leaves the student.
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#14 ge∅  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "don't like coding"...

Posted 15 May 2015 - 05:27 AM

I guess I was focussing too much on the word "aptitude". It is true that if you pick two different persons and ask them to perform a task that is completely new to them, their performance will differ. Whether the strongest is born with the so-called aptitude or has acquired it directly or indirectly during his childhood or whatever is irrelevant.
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#15 BBeck  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do people say they "don't like coding"...

Posted 15 May 2015 - 05:38 AM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 15 May 2015 - 06:11 AM, said:

As in anything, one's success is a function of aptitude and hard work. If aptitude is epsilon-close to 0, well... we know where that leaves the student.


I agree with most of what you said, but I would say interest, personality, and practice rather than aptitude and hard work. I'm not sure if I believe in "intelligence" as it is commonly presented. I think it is weighted in the equation far too heavily most of the time and that most people have roughly the same level of aptitude/intelligence.

I think personality is actually a much bigger factor. Some people are extroverted and would rather spend their time with people rather than reading books or programming. Some people have this personality type that I can't really comprehend where they obsess with practice. I think that's the primary factor in a person's success as a musician. You're most likely to be great at it if you just can't hardly breath unless you have the instrument in your hand. And there are people out there like that. I've spent hundreds and maybe thousands of hours practicing and I got a lot better but it was always something I had to make myself do rather than something I truly enjoyed.

And I think personality is the biggest factor in determining who is going to be good at coding and who isn't as well as who's going to pass the programming class. I think you have to have the personality that needs to understand how things work and wants to design. There's an artistic element in code design that normally goes unrecognized. And I think being good at programming takes a willingness to go find the answers yourself and a willingness to read and research until you do find those answers.

I may be over crediting interest. Maybe that's really a part of personality. If you have that personality that may be why you have the interest. On the other hand, I think you could have that personality and be more interested in using it elsewhere. Maybe you might be interested in algorithms rather than coding like you mention. Or maybe you are interested in becoming an academic musician (which is how I would classify my own musical interest).

And interest plays another role. It turns out that I don't love coding. Coding by itself is something I find so boring I can't do it. What I mean is that I started out professionally as a programmer but one thing I discovered is I can't make myself go home and program. And by that I mean, I can't make myself go home and write business code in my free time just for the sake of practice. I switched to the Database Administrator career path primarily because it was more money, and I'll occasionally force myself to do what it takes to keep up my skill level to keep earning the paycheck. I suppose if I were a professional programmer I could force myself to do what needed to be done. But in a million years I couldn't code just to code without it just feeling outright painful.

And that's why I do game programming (which happily has the side effect of making me better at writing code for business if I ever decide to go back that direction or do database related coding). I loved programming when I was a little kid. But it turns out, I didn't really love the coding; I loved making games and the coding was just the "necessary evil" to do it. I'm doing DirectX 11 now, and I could just focus on that. But, wanting to get good at that makes me want to become a better "craftsman" which has driven me to get better at C++ and study coding that is not game related. I'm studying MFC at the moment to get better at writing non-game C++ code for Windows 7 (looks like I need a whole different direction for Win8 and 10 but I'm still doing Win7). So, this desire to get better at game programming is driving a will to study programming in general that gets outside of the scope of just game programming. And so then I spend an incredible amount of my free time on this for basically no reward or gain just because I enjoy doing it or rather enjoy seeking that goal of becoming a better game programmer.

And then nothing really matters more than practice although I think you have to have the personality to want to practice. If you lack the interest or have a personality that would rather be socializing than reading or coding then you are going to find it a chore to practice coding or reading and researching what you need to know. For me, the will to practice is about using code to write things I enjoy. That can even drive me to practice things I don't particularly enjoy in order to build up my skill at what I do enjoy. But it still goes back to having the personality that has a need to know how game programming works and being willing to read and research to find the answers on my own.

So, I think it all comes down to interest, personality, and practice with practice being the key factor and the other two giving people the will to practice.

This post has been edited by BBeck: 15 May 2015 - 05:42 AM

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