[HELP] Is it okay to be this kind of programmer?

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#1 Untalented  Icon User is offline

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[HELP] Is it okay to be this kind of programmer?

Posted 25 August 2017 - 12:00 AM

Hi guys, I am already having a doubt in myself whether to pursue programming as a career or not. I love learning, and I want to get better at programming. But I dont find myself getting better at it.

I have a diploma in computer technology. But to be honest, I feel like I cheated my way to finish it.

Why do I feel that way? Because if I cant solve the problem, I google the solutions. I finished college being like that. Now im out of college, I am unhireable and I am not surprised.

I want to get better.. I really want to. In fact, I'm done with codecademy, I purchase courses in udemy, tried other online courses like udacity, freecodecamp etc. I regularly watch tutorial videos in youtube. But I still cant solve problems on my own.. If I will try to solve simple algorithm problem, for sure I'll end up googling for solutions. I dont feel good about it.. I feel like Im just doing what I did when I was in college. Is it okay to be like this? I can finish a project, but I google most of the solutions. If not, how can I improve my problem solving skills. I always end up googling for solutions. Is it okay to be a google programmer?

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#2 Damage  Icon User is offline

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Re: [HELP] Is it okay to be this kind of programmer?

Posted 25 August 2017 - 02:52 AM

this is one of those fields that you can be in for years and still feel like you have no idea what you're doing. the complexity of the problems you approach and what you google will vary with experience but you'll still find guys with a lot more experience looking at their screens thinking wtf.

If it's what you want to do, stick with it and keep practicing.

Otherwise if you give up, hey maybe it's not really what you wanted to do
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#3 depricated  Icon User is offline

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Re: [HELP] Is it okay to be this kind of programmer?

Posted 25 August 2017 - 06:31 AM

So here's the thing.

A good portion of programming is understanding how to phrase a question correctly. Typically if you can do that, you'll be able to pick the question apart and answer it yourself.

But another good chunk is solving problems. And let's face it - sometimes there are problems you struggle with. That's normal. You don't have all the answers. When you come to a question you can't phrase, a problem you can't solve - it makes you feel like you're stupid. I've been working with a contractor who is a downright brilliant coder and it's actually been really reassuring to see that he and I come at things from similar angles, and that the same weird unexpected errors hit him and throw him off as much as they do me.

Try not to be too hard on yourself for not being able to solve every problem immediately. It'll wear on you.
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#4 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: [HELP] Is it okay to be this kind of programmer?

Posted 25 August 2017 - 07:27 AM

View PostUntalented, on 25 August 2017 - 03:00 AM, said:

I am already having a doubt in myself whether to pursue programming as a career or not.

Never understood complacency in giving up on ones dreams.

View PostUntalented, on 25 August 2017 - 03:00 AM, said:

Why do I feel that way? Because if I cant solve the problem, I google the solutions.

You say that you enjoy learning, but then look down upon yourself for doing so.

Solving an issue isn't about having the knowledge, it's about knowing how to find & apply the solution.

View PostUntalented, on 25 August 2017 - 03:00 AM, said:

If I will try to solve simple algorithm problem, for sure I'll end up googling for solutions. I dont feel good about it..

Are these solutions covered by the previous schools that you mentioned?

View PostUntalented, on 25 August 2017 - 03:00 AM, said:

I feel like Im just doing what I did when I was in college. Is it okay to be like this?

Dude, I didn't take anything more than basic algebra in high-school (twice, & not because I failed). I am a complete dunce when it comes to math.
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#5 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: [HELP] Is it okay to be this kind of programmer?

Posted 25 August 2017 - 07:48 AM

I wonder what happens if you actually *TRY* to ferret out a problem space and come up with a solution instead of just 'googling' it?

Eventually you will encounter some programming problem that may take TWO different existing solutions and mash them together or you find yourself having to build sometime without others holding your hand.

Picture of two ferrets out.

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#6 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: [HELP] Is it okay to be this kind of programmer?

Posted 25 August 2017 - 07:51 AM

It's fine to google code. With the caveat, you have to understand what you found!

Finding an answer and plugging it in doesn't teach you anything. Finding an answer and then tweaking it to fit your needs will give you a lot more. Indeed, I don't think you'll really understand code until you've run it through your own internal filter.

For me, refactoring code found on the internet serves two, distinct, needs. One, everyone else's code is fucking ugly. ;) If I see extra variables, they must die. Formatting, needless scope, bad naming, omfg globals, etc. Most of this refactoring is usually just personal preference, but it has the bonus fulfilling need number two, fully understanding what the code is doing. Reading line by line is dull and your brain won't really be engaged, but formatting and fixing lines is active involvement and understanding is almost a side effect.

And, of course, program. Actually, program something you already know how to do. When faced with a new language, I'll often do something like tic-tac-toe or card games. I've done this innumerable times, but programming is fun and every language has its own way of doing things. Hell, just going to our C/C++ forum, I can't tell you how many linked lists I've written. While this is repetitive, it's also fun, like replaying a game you beat but enjoyed playing the first time. Or, perhaps, dealing with something that kicked your ass the first time around and now seems so much easier. That is certainly a confidence builder.
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#7 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: [HELP] Is it okay to be this kind of programmer?

Posted 25 August 2017 - 07:52 AM

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received from a CS prof was this: "Only 10% of coding is knowing how to do something. The other 90% is knowing where to look for answers."

I assure you, there's not a coder on these boards that doesn't use Google to help solve problems. Hell, it was Google that brought me to DIC 10 years ago in the first place! And these beautiful people have been helping my ass solve problems ever since.
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#8 CY5  Icon User is offline

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Re: [HELP] Is it okay to be this kind of programmer?

Posted 25 August 2017 - 12:55 PM

View PostUntalented, on 25 August 2017 - 12:30 PM, said:

I want to get better.. I really want to. In fact, I'm done with codecademy, I purchase courses in udemy, tried other online courses like udacity, freecodecamp etc. I regularly watch tutorial videos in youtube. But I still cant solve problems on my own.. If I will try to solve simple algorithm problem, for sure I'll end up googling for solutions. I dont feel good about it.. I feel like Im just doing what I did when I was in college. Is it okay to be like this? I can finish a project, but I google most of the solutions. If not, how can I improve my problem solving skills. I always end up googling for solutions. Is it okay to be a google programmer?


Hi Untalented
First Do it, then do it right, then do Better.
Addy Osmani
Don't get stuck in Genjutsu of problem get out of it by taking help from googling, mentor or some bootcamp, think googling(search for solution) you're strength not weakness.
Learn from mistake or fail fast and Don't repeat it.
Finally you will end up as good programmer.



Note : Genjutsu(anime word for illusion/hypnotism)
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#9 Untalented  Icon User is offline

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Re: [HELP] Is it okay to be this kind of programmer?

Posted 25 August 2017 - 06:09 PM

View PostCY5, on 26 August 2017 - 03:55 AM, said:

View PostUntalented, on 25 August 2017 - 12:30 PM, said:

I want to get better.. I really want to. In fact, I'm done with codecademy, I purchase courses in udemy, tried other online courses like udacity, freecodecamp etc. I regularly watch tutorial videos in youtube. But I still cant solve problems on my own.. If I will try to solve simple algorithm problem, for sure I'll end up googling for solutions. I dont feel good about it.. I feel like Im just doing what I did when I was in college. Is it okay to be like this? I can finish a project, but I google most of the solutions. If not, how can I improve my problem solving skills. I always end up googling for solutions. Is it okay to be a google programmer?


Hi Untalented
First Do it, then do it right, then do Better.
Addy Osmani
Don't get stuck in Genjutsu of problem get out of it by taking help from googling, mentor or some bootcamp, think googling(search for solution) you're strength not weakness.
Learn from mistake or fail fast and Don't repeat it.
Finally you will end up as good programmer.



Note : Genjutsu(anime word for illusion/hypnotism)


Solving algorithms feels like Izanami.. and my only way out is Google. (This is most of the time. I usually try to solve algorithms on my own)

"First Do it, then do it right, then do Better" from now on I will keep this in mind.
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Re: [HELP] Is it okay to be this kind of programmer?

Posted 25 August 2017 - 06:27 PM

View Postbaavgai, on 25 August 2017 - 10:51 PM, said:

It's fine to google code. With the caveat, you have to understand what you found!

Finding an answer and plugging it in doesn't teach you anything. Finding an answer and then tweaking it to fit your needs will give you a lot more. Indeed, I don't think you'll really understand code until you've run it through your own internal filter.

For me, refactoring code found on the internet serves two, distinct, needs. One, everyone else's code is fucking ugly. ;)/> If I see extra variables, they must die. Formatting, needless scope, bad naming, omfg globals, etc. Most of this refactoring is usually just personal preference, but it has the bonus fulfilling need number two, fully understanding what the code is doing. Reading line by line is dull and your brain won't really be engaged, but formatting and fixing lines is active involvement and understanding is almost a side effect.

And, of course, program. Actually, program something you already know how to do. When faced with a new language, I'll often do something like tic-tac-toe or card games. I've done this innumerable times, but programming is fun and every language has its own way of doing things. Hell, just going to our C/C++ forum, I can't tell you how many linked lists I've written. While this is repetitive, it's also fun, like replaying a game you beat but enjoyed playing the first time. Or, perhaps, dealing with something that kicked your ass the first time around and now seems so much easier. That is certainly a confidence builder.


"It's fine to google code. With the caveat, you have to understand what you found!"

I should probably do this.. Instead of beating myself for not able to solve problem...

I usually solve the problem until I have no energy to solve it.. Maybe it is more productive to be like that..

1. Try to solve a problem
2. If taking too much time.. it's okay to give up and look for answers.. But make sure to understand it..
3. Repeat..

Maybe this is better than staying with a problem for a day, when you can just google, learn, and move on..
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#11 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: [HELP] Is it okay to be this kind of programmer?

Posted 26 August 2017 - 02:41 AM

There are a few things packed into number two. Taking too much time really only matters if you're under a time constraint. I suspect you're talking more about: "I'm totally stuck." If you have hit a wall, by all means look at how other people approached the problem.

It is never ok to give up. Perhaps the most valuable quality in programming is perseverance or, as I like to put it, a high tolerance for frustration. You will get frustrated. Every programmer gets frustrated. Looking for answers is not giving up, it's exploiting a resource to help you solve a problem.

The art of programming is breaking large problems down to easily managed ones. Indeed, cobbling together all those small solutions is kind of how programming works. Rather than looking for code, you're looking for ideas. How did someone break that problem down? Does it make sense to me? Importantly, can I take the idea of the solution, rather than the solution itself, and write code based on that.

Think about all those algorithms out there. Abstract datatypes. They don't come with code, though you can find a legion of examples. But, as student, you are often asked to program you own implementation. Take an insertion sort. You know how to traverse an array, so you do that part yourself. Inserting seems confusing, so you google it. You see how it's done, but rather than just copy paste what you found, you go back to your own work and see if you can do it your way.

Your goal is to think like a programmer. It's kind of an abstract skill and not something that's directly taught: you have to find your way there. The path is mostly banging your head against a wall repeatedly until the wall breaks or you do. Remember: high tolerance for frustration.

Heh, a guy wrote a book a "Think Like a Programmer" book. Don't know if it's any good, but if it helps: https://www.nostarch...likeaprogrammer
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#12 Untalented  Icon User is offline

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Re: [HELP] Is it okay to be this kind of programmer?

Posted 26 August 2017 - 05:25 PM

Thank you so much! This is really helpful!

Alright, instead of copying codes in google(and understanding it after). What I should do now is to see how they solved the problem, and make my own solution based on their approach.

"High tolerance for frustration" I will always keep this in mind.

Thank you!

This post has been edited by andrewsw: 26 August 2017 - 11:26 PM
Reason for edit:: Removed previous quote, just press REPLY

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#13 andrewsw  Icon User is offline

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Re: [HELP] Is it okay to be this kind of programmer?

Posted 26 August 2017 - 11:25 PM

There is no need to quote the large previous post in full, use the Reply button further down the page, or the Fast Reply box.
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#14 eazyyzae  Icon User is offline

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Re: [HELP] Is it okay to be this kind of programmer?

Posted 29 August 2017 - 11:06 AM

LOL, only yesterday College started back up. I had never seen this lecturer last year. Well he asked a question, "How many monitors do programmers usually have? 2 or more, 1 for the IDE and 1 for Google". This statement he made could be wrong however I got the point he was trying to make.

Anyway I use 2 monitors and a 50"TV. 1 is usually for google, the TV is for myself and my own insanity sometimes :D
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#15 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: [HELP] Is it okay to be this kind of programmer?

Posted 29 August 2017 - 01:56 PM

The correct answer, is a developer will have as many monitors as the employer allows.
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