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Author Topic: Just plain 'ol "Hard Work" or "MPS" ("Mental Paradigm Shift")  (Read 2882 times)

CodeTRUCKER

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Just plain 'ol "Hard Work" or "MPS" ("Mental Paradigm Shift")
« on: December 13, 2006, 10:42:12 PM »
So... which is it?   ;)

Ha!  I wonder if I just coined a new buzz word for growing old.  Anyway, I am interested in getting back to coding, but I want to do it with my eyes wide open.  I can muster the discipline to work hard, but I don't want to kid myself *IF* something is out of reach.  

I liked coding and development years ago and maybe that would have been the best time to learn C or C++.  This would have been a simple thing to learn way back when. I am frustrated with myself for not being able to grasp things as quickly as I used to. It's frustrating to see kids that I inspire, pick up a book and 6 months later have more knowledge than it took me to learn in 2-3 years.  
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 08:49:32 PM by CodeTRUCKER »

app103

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Re: Just plain 'ol "Hard Work" or "MPS" ("Mental Paradigm Shift")
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2006, 11:46:31 PM »
Learning anything used to be a snap for me.

When I was younger I was a gifted student...very gifted...gifted enough to be able to excel and hide a learning disability at the same time.

Nobody knew I was dyscalculic. I had a bag of tricks that let me hide it from age 7.

I was one of the first students in an experimental program for gifted students in NJ. I was one of only 2 students that qualified from my school. I moved at the end of grade 7 and that was the end of any opportunities that could have provided.

In my new home, in another state, I was made an offer halfway through 8th grade...to complete high school in 1 year instead of 4. The town would then pay for my first 3 years of college. It never happened because I moved again.

High school was one boredom after the other in an inner city school where the majority of students could barely read. I ended up dropping out.

At age 16, the day I dropped out of high school, I registered at a local community college. They made me take an entrance exam. I was the first person in the history of the school to score a perfect score on that test. The deal was that if I could get my father to sign the permission papers, I would receive a full scholarship. Because I was underage, they couldn't accept me as a student without his signature. He refused to sign.

A class I took when I was 14 introduced me to the world of programming. It was magical...it felt natural...it was a discovery of what I really was inside...a programmer.

Life has a way of throwing lemons at you and the idea of ever going to college had to be scrapped in favor of motherhood and marriage to a guy that doesn't like the idea of his wife working outside of the home.

Having all my dreams crushed had a bad affect on me...I avoided technology...even feared it.

It wasn't till my father gave me his old computer back in 1999 that I even owned one. He dropped it off at my house and said "here, you need this".

No truer words have ever been spoken. I have been attached to a keyboard & mouse every moment possible ever since.

Everything I know about computers I have taught myself in the last 7 years.

I am in 'school'...the class size is 1...I am both student & teacher, trying to teach myself programming. It's not easy...I struggle for every scrap of knowledge & skill.

This would have been a simple thing to learn way back when. I am frustrated with myself for not being able to grasp things as quickly as I used to. It's frustrating to see kids that I inspire, pick up a book and 6 months later have more knowledge than it took me to learn in 2-3 years.

And it's not like I don't know how to teach myself...it's that I am just not grasping things like I used to.

But I am not going to give up. That would be denying what I am on the inside, yet again, and I can't do that.

Being realistic, I don't believe I will ever be a good enough programmer to be employable by a company, but I can possibly be good enough in time to be a self employed shareware/donationware programmer and earn enough to cover the necessities of life.

Yes, I have asked the same question as you...at age 40.

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Just plain 'ol "Hard Work" or "MPS" ("Mental Paradigm Shift")
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2006, 12:15:53 AM »
Quote
Being realistic, I don't believe I will ever be a good enough programmer to be employable by a company, but I can possibly be good enough in time to be a self employed shareware/donationware programmer and earn enough to cover the necessities of life.
Here's hoping... for both of us.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 08:53:43 PM by CodeTRUCKER »

mouser

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Re: Just plain 'ol "Hard Work" or "MPS" ("Mental Paradigm Shift")
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2006, 02:46:20 AM »
i have two answers for this, but keep in mind my view is nothing but the uninformed view of someone with no excuse offering opinions on this stuff.

Quote
This would have been a simple thing to learn way back when. I am frustrated with myself for not being able to grasp things as quickly as I used to. It's frustrating to see kids that I inspire, pick up a book and 6 months later have more knowledge than it took me to learn in 2-3 years.

not being able to grasp things as quickly - this is part of life and part of the way the brain works, no sense fighting against it.  you are not going to be able to learn new fundamental concepts like programming as fast as you would in your teens.  so be it, that shouldn't stop you from learning and shouldn't stop you from being damn good at it.  just going to take you some extra time.  it's like that with all things regardless of our ages too, some people will learn faster than others.  that's no reason not to travel down that path.

Quote
Being realistic, I don't believe I will ever be a good enough programmer to be employable by a company, but I can possibly be good enough in time to be a self employed shareware/donationware programmer and earn enough to cover the necessities of life.

this is where things get more complicated.  first of all there are plenty of companies employing people without much skills, and plenty of highly skilled shareware/donationware programmers who aren't making a dime  (you can forget about donationware right now if you want to make money).

making money programming is something i know nothing about and anyone taking advice from me on how to make money should be institutionalized.

if you just wanted to program for fun, then there'd be no question about it and i'd advise you to just learn slowly and practice practice practies.  programming is 95% practice.  it takes many many years to become an efficient coder, but that's part of the fun.

but if it's about making money, the issues get more complicated.. if you don't love coding it might be a painful road trying to make money doing it, especially with kids coming out of college and high school who are ready to program like the pros..  Shareware seems such a hit or miss thing, i don't know how to advise you on that.  Sometimes people do well just writing custom software for people they know in various industries if you have any connections.

Good luck whatever your decision!

nudone

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Re: Just plain 'ol "Hard Work" or "MPS" ("Mental Paradigm Shift")
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2006, 02:49:13 AM »
i'm in no way a coder but i do have a math background. the salient point being that i now have trouble doing simple mental arithmetic let alone anything else.

if i was to try to continue in mathematics i know i wouldn't understand anything right now. i'd have to start at the beginning, get the basics down and then build from that. hopefully a lot of it would seem like riding a bike and things would 'click' a lot quicker than they did first time around.

so, why tell you this?

i'm wondering if your problem is that you've forgotten some of the 'basics'. you don't see the connections as quickly as you did nor grasp the concepts so swiftly because you've lost a few of the simple tools that allowed you to piece it all together.

i still experience that eureka moment when i'm learning something novel, but it's with topics that are relatively new to me - or with things that i feel expert in. so either the subject is fresh in my mind - with the 'basics' still firmly retrievable, or the subject is something that just feels intuitive as i've been doing it that long.

but i've definitely had the experience of returning to things only to be confused and overwhelmed by the topic and i think it's always been because i've lost that 'basic' knowledge that underpins it. my advice would be to just try refreshing yourself with what you think you know - see if you've forgotten a few things.

other than that, i know that i find certain things beyond my comprehension because i'm simply not interested with them anymore, i.e. mathematics. there are other things i'd rather be concentrating on - maybe you've got yourself into a similar position and you don't really want to code as much as you think you do.

tinjaw

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Re: Just plain 'ol "Hard Work" or "MPS" ("Mental Paradigm Shift")
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2006, 09:00:08 AM »
My advice is to do whatever the hell you want. Plain and simple.

As for some suggested tactics to getting into programming as a profession, I have a few. But first, you must know that this is based on one premise -- you are actually good at programming. If you aren't, it doesn't matter what degree you have or what job you gain entry to, it will all collapse when, ultimately, you can't do the job and people learn you just can't cut it.

But if you work at it and you honestly learn what you need to know, then getting a job is easy, but keeping it won't be... because you will quickly be promoted out of it.  :Thmbsup:

Anybody can change their career path drastically. For example I have done so at least a half dozen times. Here is how. Just do it.

What do I mean by that? Let's take programming as an example. Just code. Code your own stuff. Join open source projects and be an active committer. But chose you projects wisely. Don't work on projects that aren't directly related to the targeted area of programming that you want to be a part of. If you want to work at banks, then pick financial projects. If you want to work on large enterprise applications, then work on projects that deal with multiple concurrent transactions spread out among a cluster of servers. Make sure you work with SOA if you want to work on B2B commerce.

Meanwhile, participate. Pick out people in the community you wish to join that you would like to emulate, and emulate them. And, most importantly, interact with them. Post comments on their blog that are relevant to the work they, and you, are doing. Email them directly with you commentary and opinions on the industry. Ask them for advice when architecting a new project. Join forums and post helpful answers to newbies questions.

Why? Because there is no barrier to entry to these worlds other than talent. No gatekeeper other than the peers you are asking to work alongside. If you gain their acceptance, a job interview will only be a formality at that point. I know, I have done it several times, and know many others who have done it the same way.

So, do you have what it takes? I doubt even you know at this point. But you must decide to devote yourself to it 100% and spend as little time and energy on what it takes to survive at a bare minimum. Take a job that takes up the least amount of your time but pays enough to keep you housed, fed, clothed, and able to stay connected to the internet. Then spend every bit of your time working at your goal (to include taking time to recharge you batteries and sharpen your saw). One day it will become obvious to you that you just aren't going to make it or you will look around and realize that you are already a part, a  participating member of a small core, of the community you desired to enter. Then you can walk into any job interview and get the job, even if you don't have some fancy degree. You will have a reputation and a portfolio of completed successful real world applications and a solid base of experience - not to mention a ton of honestly written gloriously praising letters of recommendation.

Sure, it may take you a little longer than it would have 30, 20, or even 10 years ago, but you still can do it.

Good Luck!

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Just plain 'ol "Hard Work" or "MPS" ("Mental Paradigm Shift")
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2006, 06:59:04 PM »
Tinjaw, thanks for the boost.  As a matter of fact, I do have something I am applying this very method.  It has nothing to do with coding.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 11:44:51 PM by CodeTRUCKER »