Some day, when I have time, I will learn what I should know.

I admit it, I am not a high level programmer.  Every bit of programming knowledge I have was learned sitting with a book or a help tutorial or trial and error (lots of error).  I do not count the one semester of Java at my local university, the instructor could not teach a duck to swim.  When I give my students a new programming assignment I am typically a day or two ahead in learning how to do the assignment.  (Every now and then I get burned pretty bad this way but everything is a learning experience.  Damn smart kids.)  Every now and then I bite off more than I can chew.  And every now and then I get bit in the ass, hard.  Early in the year in Programming I the kids drew a house using the Small Basic turtle.  I typically carry this assignment over to Programming II only they do the house in Visual Basic by importing the Small Basic turtle library.  The kids have no problem learning Visual Basic to the extent needed to do the assignment.   It is in turning the assignment in where the problems lie.  For 80% of the kids there is no problem.  But 20% of the kids have some weird saving issue with VS.  This is the problem with learning to program on the fly and in a vacuum.  An experienced VS programmer would look at the saving issue and say “Oh, yah, here is what is happening and here is how you fix it.”  Me, I tinker for an hour trying to figure out why kid A can save a project file in the network homework folder so I can load and run it and why kid B gets weird things in their project folder.  I have had this experience before with VB but though it was a network folder issue.  Just one of the time consuming problems I do not have time to deal with but I sure wish I had time to deal with because I am totally curious as to what is happening to cause this issue but I am too busy right now to satisfy my curiosity so I had better quit writing and get to work.  It has been one of those weeks and it is only Wednesday.

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3 Responses to “Some day, when I have time, I will learn what I should know.”

  1. geekymom Says:

    Yep, my life is totally like this. My students are working on some really complicated projects right now, and I often just have to tell them that I’ll work out their issues before the next class. I just can’t solve a problem in 10 minutes while more experienced programmers can. It takes me an hour or two to work it out. Next year, maybe, I’ll be down to solving problems in just 30-45 minutes.

    Basically, I do all their projects and I try to stay ahead of them.

    The funny thing is I will certainly try to tackle something new and something I’ve never done in the future, so I’ll always be behind.

  2. gflint Says:

    We are never, ever bored. If I am sitting doing nothing, it is on purpose. There is always something new to throw my limited problem solving skills at. I love this job.

  3. geekymom Says:

    It’s true! I always know that if I get tired of something, I can just do something else–switch languages, apply concepts in different ways, etc. It is indeed a great job!

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