Hello. My name is Lauren and I’m an over-thinker…I’ve been learning to program for 29 days.
I commented this week that it seems like the Ruby tutorials I’ve been working through are getting harder and it’s taking me longer to figure out write the code that’s prompted. I have recently realized that half of the time I’m completely overthinking, which just makes me laugh at myself.
For example, I spent 25 minutes trying to solve one particular prompt, trying all angles of writing the code only to result in error message after error message. I stuck with it, miserable yet determined, and eventually realized that I had simply read the prompt wrong. The prompt was to add some code before the print command, and I was adding the code after. It turned out that I had correctly written the code the first time. Rather than going back and re-reading the instructions, I just spiraled down the rabbit hole…my code getting more and more complex with each try.
This is not the first time something like this has happened. I’ve noticed that the fewer angles I examine, the faster I’m able to complete the prompts. This is interesting to me, because it does not feel natural at all!
I’ve always been a Gestalt thinker. I like to know everything about what I’m doing, and examine every possible angle before making decisions. I have built my career on observing human behavior and closely analyzing it in order to make decisions about designing curriculum. There are very few singular “right” answers in how to best teach. You need to be able to respond to individual and group dynamics, and every human is different. I enjoy the necessary time spent in contemplation and discussion.
Learning to code is like starting over as a thinker. I have not nurtured the side of my brain responsible for the necessary formal logic in quite some time. I have to remind myself over and over to simplify my thinking. I have to tell myself that if I find an answer that works, it’s ok to move on rather than considering how many other “rights” I can figure out in that moment. I find I am actually enjoying this challenge, despite my moments of error message purgatory.
As I continue to work out my brain in this way, I can’t help but wonder when these two types of thinking will start to complement each other rather than battle each other.
What is the intersection between the contemplative thinking and the logical thinking?
Are you a beginner too? I have little advice yet, but I thought I’d share a few articles that I’ve gotten a lot out of:
Adopt a Beginner’s Mindset: http://powerofted.com/adopt-a-beginners-mindset/
How to Become a Programmer, or the Art of Googling Well: http://okepi.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/how-to-become-a-programmer-or-the-art-of-googling-well/
Getting Started in Web Development: FAQ for the Absolute Newbie: http://railsmama.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/getting-started-in-web-development-faq-for-the-absolute-newbie/
When Starting is the Hardest Part: http://sarafalkoff.com/2014/11/01/when-starting-is-the-hardest-part/
Eeek! I Want to Learn to Code: http://brownturtlecode.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/eeek-i-want-to-learn-to-code/
Learn the Language: What Code Should You Learn? http://psycodeology.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/learn-the-language-what-code-should-you-learn/