13 Replies - 219 Views - Last Post: 24 October 2019 - 11:12 AM

#1 rico042002   User is offline

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New programmer

Posted 21 October 2019 - 10:37 AM

My name is Rico. I'm 33 and I have been self learning web development as a hobby for the last few years. I decided to take it full scale and went to finish my degree in computer science that I started years ago. Little did I know the difference between web development and actual programming. It's way harder than I thought, I'm still at a basic level of Javascript understanding, but I was thrown into a mental hell of C++. The professor jumped from basic data types and if/else statements to nested loops and recursion. He skipped the chapter on arrays and string manipulation to discuss recursion and function overloading. I'm completely lost. I failed my first exam and took another one today and I think I failed that also. It's the only class I have earned a bad grade in... I have a friend who mentors me and walks me through the code, even taught me how to attempt to do a code walk through. It's just not enough... I don't know what to do and I want to pass so bad it's unreal. I want software engineering/web development to be my job. How can I achieve my goal if I'm failing the one class I'm supposed to pass. I know this professor is an a-hole, he uses pre and post decrements in almost every exam question we have. One of the questions required me to have 3 t-charts with like 9 or 10 variable states with one static variable! My mind is not a computer, I can barely write a function to reverse digits in C++! How does he expect me to do this stuff? What material can I read to help me? Why aren't there more code walk through videos on YouTube? Someone please help. And if you took the time to read this, Thanks in advance.

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#2 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: New programmer

Posted 21 October 2019 - 12:25 PM

I am not certain if I would declare your teach an asshole. Things like the different decrements is important to know. Order of processing is important.

Truth tables are important as well for boolean logic that go in loop controls, if statements, etc. Basically anything that uses a boolean type.

It's all good base level information.

The best I can suggest is rereading your book, and working through the examples.
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#3 rico042002   User is offline

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Re: New programmer

Posted 21 October 2019 - 12:44 PM

I think he has just been teaching too long. He discusses intermediate topics as if they are elementary and assumes everyone has a calculus background! I failed the math part of my assessment test so I am taking pre-college math emporium class and havenít made it that far. Iím stuck on a lab where I have to make a quadratic equation calculator with 6 cases! Every code Iíve read has 3 base cases to calculate a quadratic equation. I love that Iím learning so much from him but I canít fail this class because I entered an agreement with financial aid to get a 2.25 GPA or higher. I have 2 Aís and my math class is pass or fail. I donít know how weighted averages work on GPAs but I feel like after all the self learning Iíve done and being this old, I canít afford to fail.
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#4 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: New programmer

Posted 21 October 2019 - 12:45 PM

Not to make light of your situation, but CS is a hard discipline - in at least three senses, but right now I just mean in the sense of "difficult". If you're having trouble, that's expected. There are a few ways to address this:

- talk to your fellow students. Are they having trouble too? Great, you can work together and figure it out. No? Great, maybe they can help explain it to you
- ask questions in lectures. If something comes up that doesn't make sense, ask a question. Being an engaged student is usually a good thing.
- if you feel like you need in-depth help, the prof should have office hours. Talk to them

Sometimes, though, the problem is that the problems are just hard, and they're meant to be, because they're working you through difficult concepts and testing your grasp of them. You might have to fight through those ones.
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#5 rico042002   User is offline

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Re: New programmer

Posted 21 October 2019 - 12:54 PM

I just hate even having assignments due for other classes because all I want to study is C++ and Algebra. Iím attempting to try hacker rank more because I donít even know when loops are necessary in my code. I walk through and read about C++ but Iíve basically only written toy programs and itís all overwhelming. If it werenít for my mentor I would be lost, but even he has work and personal life to deal with. I just have so many questions at a beginner level itís enough to drive a person crazy. I could discuss decrement and nested for loops for an hour at this very moment. But he has moved to intermediate subjects like static integers and void functions, function overloading. I just need more time than Iím given and I work everyday Iím not in school but 1! I actually need that time to study, you know how it feels to be over 30 considering moving back in with your mom to make a career switch?
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#6 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: New programmer

Posted 21 October 2019 - 01:11 PM

I do know how it feels to be over thirty and switching careers into tech, yes. As I recall, it was not easy, and I did not get a lot of sleep, and I basically did nothing but study and work.
And I didn't even have the option of moving in with my folks, so I was working to pay the rent and bills the whole time.
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#7 NeoTifa   User is offline

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Re: New programmer

Posted 21 October 2019 - 01:51 PM

It took me a while before the light bulb went off. Don't give up hope. I know there are tons of great tutorials on youtube for basic cs stuff.

Think about if you need to do something repeatedly or want to go down a list or some set. That's when you'd need a loop.

Usually it's a grading scale on your schools website. You multiply the grade factor by number of credits for each class, add them together, then divide by credit hours. (I think)

A = 4.0, A- = 3.7, B+ = 3.2, B = 3.0, B- = 2.7, etc.

So you got a 4 credit class with an A, a 3 credit hour class with an A, and a 4 credit hour class with a D.
4*4=16
3*4=12
4*1=4

So, 32 points, divided by 11 is a 2.9 for that semester. Assuming you're not below like 2.5 already you should be fine. That doesn't mean slack, but you're fine. Also you can do "freshman forgiveness" where you retake a class to replace a grade and it makes it to where the previous grade doesn't count towards gpa.
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#8 rico042002   User is offline

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Re: New programmer

Posted 23 October 2019 - 05:35 PM

Well my fellow Nerds I bombed this test also. I was so nervous and hell bent on passing that I got the first question right, number two was off by one decrement, number 3 I completely lost track and number 4 I stopped after the first iteration of a recursive call. I still canít write my own functions and I donít know what to do. My mentor said to read the book and go over the basics. How can I catch up if he is already on solving matrix problems and I canít write functions and solve algorithm problems? Like was I destined to fail? I been taking this class seriously but with my health and financial issues, I dedicate all my spare time to homework! What am I doing wrong? Am I taking it too lightly or hard?
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#9 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: New programmer

Posted 23 October 2019 - 09:51 PM

I think he's right - if you want to learn, you have to have the basics. If you could skip them, they wouldn't include them in the first place, because they wouldn't be the basics. So go back and go over the book, work the problems, and see where you're having trouble.

I would also caution you about thinking of homework as something for your "spare time". If you're taking a class and intend to pass it, homework is not something you do in you spare time, it's something that becomes part of your work for the day. If you can't make time for the homework, then maybe this is not the right time to take the course load you're taking - regardless of the reason. I would also suggest that you get out of the habit of inserting mitigating factors into the discussion. While I understand that health issues and financial issues are hard to deal with, they are not relevant to the discussion of the time you bring to the work. Without meaning to be harsh, it sounds like you might be preparing some pre-emptive excuses for a failure that you're anticipating. Don't do this - if you plan for failure, failure is the most likely outcome.
Plan on success, work for it, or exit with lessons learned and come back with a better plan next time.
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#10 rico042002   User is offline

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Re: New programmer

Posted 23 October 2019 - 10:51 PM

Your absolutely right I realized today I was trying to be perfect and pass all my classes with an A+, I graduated in 2004 and have been out of school for 15yrs. I need to get back into the swing of things and should have made time for all my classes. I coincide with everything you said and l need to plan better and do better! Sorry for getting off topic.
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#11 NeoTifa   User is offline

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Re: New programmer

Posted 24 October 2019 - 08:41 AM

To be fair, I had health issues and financial issues, and that most certainly did impact my ability to do homework, it's even why I dropped out. I had to work full time on top of going to school, and being in the hospital or unable to focus due to illness definitely cut into my study time. Just playing devil's advocate.
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#12 rico042002   User is offline

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Re: New programmer

Posted 24 October 2019 - 09:06 AM

@NeoTifa I see how you did the math for 4 credits per class. Iím only getting 3 and I have 4 classes and one of them I donít get credits because itís a pass or fail Math Emporium to get me ready for college algebra. Ive been to bent on being the perfect student and I graduated in 2004. Thereís no way I was going to get all Aís but I strive for them, once Iím in the swing of things I will be fine. Even if I have to take the programming fundamentals again, I will be ready!
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#13 astonecipher   User is offline

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Re: New programmer

Posted 24 October 2019 - 10:56 AM

Stop focusing on being the perfect student. You are there to learn, there is no competition. I'll tell you what I tell my kids, if you make an A in an easy class, so what. If you make a C in a hard class and did what you could, good for you! Little secret, a Doctor that made C's all through school is still a doctor. No one will care what your grades are when you start working.

Learn the basics, learn how to do what it is you are working on. If you get an A, so what; If you get a C, so what. Learning it is what is important. If you struggle with functions, focus on them and know why they are important and how to properly write one. You are still seeing the forest when you should be narrowing in on the tree. The forest is important, but you don't cut down a forest at one time.
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#14 rico042002   User is offline

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Re: New programmer

Posted 24 October 2019 - 11:12 AM

View Postastonecipher, on 24 October 2019 - 10:56 AM, said:

Stop focusing on being the perfect student. You are there to learn, there is no competition. I'll tell you what I tell my kids, if you make an A in an easy class, so what. If you make a C in a hard class and did what you could, good for you! Little secret, a Doctor that made C's all through school is still a doctor. No one will care what your grades are when you start working.

Learn the basics, learn how to do what it is you are working on. If you get an A, so what; If you get a C, so what. Learning it is what is important. If you struggle with functions, focus on them and know why they are important and how to properly write one. You are still seeing the forest when you should be narrowing in on the tree. The forest is important, but you don't cut down a forest at one time.


Thank you very much for your word of encouragement and I appreciate all of you for replying!
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