Hey all. Worlds worst programmer here. I'm just venting I guess. Really bummed out about a few things going wrong in my life since 2014 began, but that's for another rant/topic.
Anyways, a little background info on me. I'm 35, and trying to go back to school to achieve something resembling success in my crappy life. As it stands, I have no career, no home, no relationship, and nothing really to look forward to at the end of the day except drinking. But again, that's a topic for another rant and another day.
As it is, I'm trying to transfer to Chico State here in California because they have a Mechatronics program there. I'm currently taking pre-calc, chemistry, and advanced c++ programming.
My biggest issue by far is with the programming. Being so old, I just feel stupid in a classroom with 18 year old kids who have been programming ever since they left daddies scrotum in a direct flight for that fertile egg. Or maybe it just seems like that.
They have no problem writing these programs with loops that make all these funny shapes while I spend hours on the same thing with no result. I've pretty much given up on any career as far as programming is concerned because of that. I mean, how can I possibly compete with 14 year olds who already as much as the professor who teaches the course? I just wish I didn't feel like such a dummy when it comes to this.
Even I am your age and I started programming about a year ago. It is tough and challenging, but very enjoyable! I think the one and only thing that matters is whether you like to program or not. Ask yourself this simple question and if the answer is no, then my suggestion would be to not continue with that course.
I'm not sure if you want console for feeling 'out of place' or...
Wrong place for that ;).
if you want advice for how to get better at C++.
It is definitely the right place for that.
Don't get so down. I'm 32 (well will be 33 near the end of this year) and this will be my 20th year programming. I used to be down on myself a lot too, but then someone quoted Henry Ford to me and now I just keep telling myself the quote when I start thinking I can't do something and it immediately turns me around.
Henry Ford wrote:
If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right.
If you think you can't do something, then you are defeating yourself before you ever start. You have to force yourself to be positive and just push through it.
Well its interesting and fun when you work on a program that you understand, but watching other people understand concepts and logic that you can't yourself just feels degrading. I've always been decent around computer tech. I can build a website, install hardware and other similar hobbies but it's like trying to construct a bridge without the material when it comes to coding using that certain unattainable logic. At least with trig I can understand the concept being a visual learner, not so much with c++. It's like I'm double cursed. An aging socially retarded geek with sad programming skills. Besides that they cut off my Pell grant and I have hemorrhoids bad.
Programming is hard for some people and easy for others. Different people think differently that's all.
If you don't think it's for you, you can always do something else. Try to envision what you can be successful at and try not to let your emotions, or your ego cloud your judgement. Whatever it is, just go for it.
And if you can help it, never feel sorry for yourself; it just feeds an unhealthy cycle. Stuff happens. It sounds like you've had a hard time, but you can be assured that with all exaggeration aside, your prospects are probably not too shabby relative to the prospects of so many others in the world.
To figure out how to do something, try to make it into a real life problem and tell yourself how YOU would do it, in the simplest possible steps you can think of. If you write down the logic behind how you as a human would do it, the rest is easy.
I figured this out a while after I started programming; the hardest part is figuring out how to do something, not figuring out how to program it.
Mechatronics isn't about programming. There will be some involved, but to you, C++ is just a super-advanced calculator. For you, it's a tool used to express the equations of motion that you're implementing.
I have engineering degrees in aerospace and electrical. When I got a job as a software engineer three years ago, I had no idea what a pointer was, and had never seen a float before. But really, I was simulating electrical systems so I just needed to know about &&, || and if statements to get my relay logic right. Since then, I branched out slowly and now I like programming just as much as engineering.
If you write down the logic behind how you as a human would do it, the rest is easy.
I absolutely 100% disagree with this. The way humans tackle many problems is extremely different to how the task would be accomplished by a computer.
I think what J4ke meant was to take what a human does process wise and try to break it down. Like the process of figuring up the number of days between two dates (ie. 6/6/1990 to 8/8/1992; 794 days). Making a list of how many days are in each month, figuring up how man days are left in the first month, finding if any of the two years was leap year, then adding all the numbers together. We do most of those steps without thinking about them, but you do have to think of all that when making a computer program to mimic that.