Aprender a programar.. en horas o en diez años?

Les comparto un artículo que generosamente me han hecho llegar.
El título es “Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years” y este párrafo resume el disparador del mismo

The conclusion is that either people are in a big rush to learn about computers, or that computers are somehow fabulously easier to learn than anything else. There are no books on how to learn Beethoven, or Quantum Physics, or even Dog Grooming in a few days

Luego de planteado el tema y de analizar la variable de tiempos para el aprendizaje, propone una receta para ser un programador en 10 items, los transcribo

Here’s my recipe for programming success:

  1. Get interested in programming, and do some because it is fun. Make sure that it keeps being enough fun so that you will be willing to put in your ten years/10,000 hours.
  2. Program. The best kind of learning is learning by doing. To put it more technically, “the maximal level of performance for individuals in a given domain is not attained automatically as a function of extended experience, but the level of performance can be increased even by highly experienced individuals as a result of deliberate efforts to improve.” (p. 366)and “the most effective learning requires a well-defined task with an appropriate difficulty level for the particular individual, informative feedback, and opportunities for repetition and corrections of errors.” (p. 20-21) The book Cognition in Practice: Mind, Mathematics, and Culture in Everyday Life is an interesting reference for this viewpoint.
  3. Talk with other programmers; read other programs. This is more important than any book or training course.
  4. If you want, put in four years at a college (or more at a graduate school). This will give you access to some jobs that require credentials, and it will give you a deeper understanding of the field, but if you don’t enjoy school, you can (with some dedication) get similar experience on your own or on the job. In any case, book learning alone won’t be enough. “Computer science education cannot make anybody an expert programmer any more than studying brushes and pigment can make somebody an expert painter” says Eric Raymond, author of The New Hacker’s Dictionary. One of the best programmers I ever hired had only a High School degree; he’s produced a lot of great software, has his own news group, and made enough in stock options to buy his own nightclub.
  5. Work on projects with other programmers. Be the best programmer on some projects; be the worst on some others. When you’re the best, you get to test your abilities to lead a project, and to inspire others with your vision. When you’re the worst, you learn what the masters do, and you learn what they don’t like to do (because they make you do it for them).
  6. Work on projects after other programmers. Understand a program written by someone else. See what it takes to understand and fix it when the original programmers are not around. Think about how to design your programs to make it easier for those who will maintain them after you.
  7. Learn at least a half dozen programming languages. Include one language that supports class abstractions (like Java or C++), one that supports functional abstraction (like Lisp or ML), one that supports syntactic abstraction (like Lisp), one that supports declarative specifications (like Prolog or C++ templates), one that supports coroutines (like Icon or Scheme), and one that supports parallelism (like Sisal).
  8. Remember that there is a “computer” in “computer science”. Know how long it takes your computer to execute an instruction, fetch a word from memory (with and without a cache miss), read consecutive words from disk, and seek to a new location on disk. (Answers here.)
  9. Get involved in a language standardization effort. It could be the ANSI C++ committee, or it could be deciding if your local coding style will have 2 or 4 space indentation levels. Either way, you learn about what other people like in a language, how deeply they feel so, and perhaps even a little about why they feel so.
  10. Have the good sense to get off the language standardization effort as quickly as possible.

Más allá de los 10 puntos, luego cita un ensayo sobre tres pilares para encontrar “grandes diseñadores de software“.

En una industria local donde el “pleno empleo” y la constante demanda no satisfecha de profesionales logra muchas veces que los mismos no terminen una carrera, que se autocapaciten y que usen la experiencia profesional laboral como base de la capacidad ante un requerimiento de puestos técnicos en desarrollo,  
¿ podemos decir que estamos mas cerca de llegar a tener un buen programador en 10 años o en un libro “for dummies” en 7 horas? ¿ Qué opinión les merece? 

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Un comentario en “Aprender a programar.. en horas o en diez años?

  1. Yo creo que el titulo del libro ya lo dice, es for "Dummies".Hay trabajos que se pueden enseñar y uno puede ser bueno en ellos pero son los trabajos en los que generalmente no existe el concepto de brillantez. Sin animo de desmerecer y solo porque es el primer ejemplo que me viene a la mente en este momento, no existe alguien que sea brillante liquidando impuestos. La liquidacion de impuestos se hace de una manera y no hay mas vueltas para darle.En el caso de la programacion o las matematicas por ejemplo, uno le puede enseñar a otra persona comandos, reglas y operaciones pero no se puede enseñar a pensar. Hay personas a las que la logica le resulta natural y personas a las que no. Del mismo modo cualquiera puede anotarse en una academia de musica y aprender las notas pero no hay profesor en el mundo que te puede enseñar a sentirlas.En mi opinion se requieren 2 cosas: 1) Pasion2) DedicacionSi algo, cualquier cosa que sea, te apasiona, le vas a dedicar la mayor cantidad de tiempo que te sea posible y solo con esa pasion y la practica constante vas a llegar a un entendimiento profundo de lo que estas intentando aprender. Ese tipo de aprendizaje, no termina jamas.

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