[Coco] How do you program?

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at verizon.net
Fri Dec 9 16:43:40 EST 2005

On Friday 09 December 2005 16:04, Jim Cox wrote:
>OK, here's another philisophical question for the group.
>How do you program?  Assuming you know the programming
>langauge you are working with, do you just sit down at the
>computer and bang at the keys like a chimp, or do you
>think about what it is you want to do and what you what
>you need to do it?

I usually try to set myself an outline of what I want to do, sometimes 
just mentally, but more often scribbled on paper and subject to my 
whims for accuracy.

>If your answer is the latter, what steps do you take,
>meaning what is your thought process.  If it's the former,
>how often is your efforts successful the first time out?

Set it up as a flow chart, putting the individ>ual functions into boxes 
that flow naturally from one to the next, or branch according to 
conditional tests.

As for success, generally speaking everything worked or people didn't 
see it.  I got very picky about error handling in later years.  
Version increments released were usually for new features added.  The 
only bug I let get away from me was while working on rbf.mn, and I'm 
not sure I've lived that one down yet!  I thought it was a cute 
feature at the time, but there simply wasn't a good way to add that 
feature in the long view.

>I'm finding that learning how to think like a coder is
>harder than just learning the syntax and functions.

That was much of my downfall, and still is to a large extent.  I find 
I'm a lot more productive when improving someone elses program that 
was well laid out at the start, but sometimes poorly coded.  Their 
initial orgnization, if good, is a tremendous help to me.

The best effort I did was probably vfy, and I had a couple of screen 
shots that helped me to organize it in a meaningfull pattern and 
prevented me from "getting lost in the forest".
>PS: Still would like to get opinions about how to proceed
>with my career and moving to an engineering tech job.

Cheers, Gene
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Copyright 2005 by Maurice Eugene Heskett, all rights reserved.

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