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Polygot Programmer

posted Apr 9, 2015, 3:41 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Apr 9, 2015, 3:53 PM ]

With this weeks readings I learned a lot about how we as a people learn through failure as well as through collaboration. I also learned a lot about how people view each other and themselves.

    A common message that almost all the videos portrayed was that failure is not a bad thing. What most people don't realize is that failure is a way that we as humans learn. The sooner we learn from our mistakes, the faster we learn. In programming, we tend to have many failures, and it is because of these failures that we end up becoming better. But it is not only the failures that help us in our learning process to become better programmers; we can only learn from our failures if they are corrected. Otherwise we end up in an infinite loop of the same failure. Without collaboration, we can not grow as a programmer. We cannot go from a beginner, who makes constant mistakes, to an expert. Even being an expert or a master does not mean that you can solve every problem by yourself. Interacting and working with others is something that every subject area needs in order to see a mistake or fault in the work that we have done. In English classes, a professor may have you exchange and read another students paper to make corrections; whether they're grammatical errors or a spelling error. The same concept applies to programming. You might have forgotten a semicolon, or misspelled a word wrong and it will be almost impossible for you to find it. Having someone else look at your program will solve a bug faster and save you the time and stress of trying to find the problem alone. Another positive outcome of collaborating with others is the influence they have on you. Most of the time, we ask the help of those who have a good understanding of the subject. Even if its someone who isn't an expert in the subject matter, they might have the reflexes that allow them to step back and look at the problem at hand to see what's really going on. Even if that is not the case, if you both get stuck, there's always the possibility that you both will seek help from someone who can help and both will learn.

    While watching the last few videos where Linda Rising spoke, she spoke a lot about her self as a mathematician and how she became a computer scientist. Her interest in the brain and how we work as a people gave me a lot of insight into how people think about not only others but themselves. I have always noticed the prejudice people display toward one another most of my life, and her take on it was gave me a deeper understanding as to why people are that way. She explained that we are hardwired to connect with others, but we are unconsciously prejudice towards others. We spend our whole lives diving up the world, whether they're good or bad. We choose who we want to work with, whether its based on if we like the person or not or if we believe we can benefit most from working with this person rather than someone else. We always put ourselves first, and she explained that when the experiment was done with the boys at the camp, that they put the interest of their separate groups first. The two groups instantly disliked each other because they felt they felt they were in constant competition. But once there was a common goal that effected both groups, they left their difference behind and came together as one. I believe that in many workplace, a lot of people feel this way; there is a constant feeling of competition with others. Just like at Nearsoft, interns are in constant competition with each other to get a position or somehow prove their worth to the already employees or other interns that have been there already. There should be more of a feeling of accomplishing a common goal, and that is to become better programmers and improve the company. But according to Linda, this is just the way we are hardwired to think and we can't change that.

    Although this was not the main idea for ALL the videos, there was a common message in almost all of them. And instead of writing 10 pages of notes about what I learned from every video, I decided to write about what I connected with the most after watching the videos.