Teaching Styles

A picture from my sophomore year of high school. The yearbook committee must’ve thought I was doing well wrestling. lol.

I remember back in high school (almost 20 years ago!) I took a class on C++. It wasn’t the most fondest memory I had. As much as I was already building and fixing computers, this class was tough. Trying to understand the concept of programming through that teacher was a challenge. I barely passed the class and forgot about programming (outside of web pages, more on that later) until college.

As I began attending San Jose State University, part of my curriculum was an introductory course to programming. I was sweating bullets before that class started because of my experience with programming in High School. Fortunately, the professor was REALLY good at explaining concepts and showing real life applications. It is the source of my successes. Instead of focusing on the technical aspects of programming, the time spent in the classroom was mostly getting the students to understand the idea of programming.

The biggest take away from the college programming class is the thought process of building a program. We had plenty of logical exercises which introduced me to the idea of pseudocoding. How do you give a child instructions to put together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? How do you know the scope? The answers I came up with helped me become a very efficient programmer.

Now that I’m at a point in my career where I know there’s more work than there is time, there’s a lot to consider. Who am I learning from and what am I learning? The style my high school teacher had in programming didn’t help me but the college professor did. What is the difference? That’s a few questions I keep in mind when I want to learn from someone.

If you’re not learning anything, you either have to adjust your learning style or find a teacher who fits your needs.

Thoughts? Comments? As always, holler @ me, let’s talk story.