Make a decision

You’ve got a choice to make. You’ve carefully written down the various attributes you care about and how well each choice lines up with those attributes. You’re having a hard time making a decision because with the information you have now they all look very similar. One of the following is true: You’re missing attributes with which to evaluate the choices, attributes which would differentiate the choices for you You’re incorrect about how well the choices match your evaluate criteria There really is no difference between the choices given information you can have now (ruling out somehow getting future knowledge) Don’t discount the possibility that the situation is the last one. [Read More]

Learning debugging

In my learning programming post I wrote about some approaches for learning to program and linked to a bunch of resources. Some of my insightful friends pointed out that most programming teaching doesn’t cover debugging and that lack leads to a lot of frustration. This is particularly hard on those working alone or with other people that don’t know how to debug. Debugging is the art of figuring out why a system doesn’t work. [Read More]

Learning Programming

I’m interested in how people learn to program. Over the past few years, friends or relatives have asked me about resources for learning to program for themselves or for people they know. I’ve collected and refined that advice here. It’s hard to know what approach will work for someone to learn to program. It’s hard work so it’s important that each step be interesting and rewarding enough to keep going particularly when there’s no external force such as formal courses. [Read More]