One does not simply learn to code
Quincy Larson
5.7K235

Coding *is* easy — it’s the rest of developing software that’s hard: debugging, problem solving, design, learning terminology and concepts such as OOP, etc. etc.

Coding is the easy and fun part where you bash away at the keyboard to bring up some code. Then the errors come and the fun starts. “Oh I missed a semi-colon, no problem”… an hour later “WHY ARE YOU GIVING ME THIS RESULT!?”

I totally agree with the complaints about ‘simply’ et. al. but that’s bad tutorial design/bad teaching. For example, I took up a trial for Tableau. I love stats and analytics. Anyway I am a firm believer of starting from the beginning.

So I opened up the very first getting started tutorial “Now please open this workbook which is available for download” I click one that is very simliar but as the tutorial goes on I realise it’s not remotely the same workbook and within five minutes what’s on the tutor’s screen and what’s on my screen has diverged. It’s a frustrating experience. I then went to the completely overengineered forums and was completely lost. I’m sure I could’ve sat down and figured it out on my own — but when the market is crowded with this kinds of tools, and you’re going to charge me $999 for an annual license, it pays to make sure that your training material is 100% topnotch.

I’ve had similar experiences in learning to code in nearly every language (don’t even get me started how absolutely painful setting up a Python environment can be for a beginner;) and a lot of the time it is not just as you with the ‘simplys’ but also slight errors or divergences in the resources. Assume I know nothing, spell out each step. So many times I’ve worked through a tutorial and come to a step “Please install X dependency” and I will spend hours installing the A, B, C through Z dependencies for X, each requiring their own tutorial. It’s nightmarish for beginners.

So coding is the easy part. It’s the getting to the coding that is absolutely a nightmare at times. And it’s usually a result of bad teaching.

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