[techtalk] This talk of N-ary trees and other things...

jenn at simegen.com jenn at simegen.com
Sat Mar 24 12:11:06 EST 2001

Michelle Murrain wrote:

> I have a question for the group. 
> I imagine many of you are self taught, as I am.

> Do folks have suggestions on how to go about learning some of this stuff- 
> I've thought about just getting a list of CS textbooks, and going through  
> them myself, one by one (I'm a very good book learner). I don't have time to 
> go back to school, either virtually or otherwise. 

I'm college-taught (or university - I'm not sure what our tertiary
education system corresponds to).

To an extent, you never learn /everything/. There's just too much
to learn!

However, I have noticed that formally-trained programmers who attended
really good courses seem to know stuff that people who have just learned
this-language and that-language don't seem to know.

I'm not sure how to learn it, or how to teach it, though I am planning
to try writing a set of articles on 'this stuff'.

Oddly enough, I have some recommendations:

	* study calculus, especially propositional and predicate calculus.
	* study the theory of programming languages, get familiar
with the language families, become familiar with the fact that you
can write a pseudocode for a language family and then translate from
that into any language in the family.
	* learn the architecture of computers. Learn how the CPU
works. Learn at least one assembly language, though you don't need
to write anything more difficult than a fibionacci sequence. This is
to ensure that you KNOW how your program actually runs through the CPU,
or can at least make a good guess.

There's other stuff - you can't summarise a 3-year degree in a single
email. But that's a start.

Jenn V.
     "Do you ever wonder if there's a whole section of geek culture
             you miss out on by being a geek?" - Dancer.

jenn at simegen.com     Jenn Vesperman     http://www.simegen.com/~jenn/

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