I code like a toddler

For the past few weeks in my coding experience (https://sicklysaltysweet.wordpress.com/2015/12/16/if-you-can-read-you-will-read-this/ for more info), I’ve found myself locked in epic battle with myself.  As I said last time, I am very fond of certain tools that are overused by beginners in programming.   I totally want to move on from using those basic tools…but then again I don’t.

The thing about me is that I LOVE when I understand something (especially when I grasp it quicker than most people because I am horribly conceited in that way, not to mention a terrible person).  Of course, that means I become very frustrated when I can’t get the hang of something.  Even though I still want to learn, I don’t want to not understand.  For those of you who have never had this problem, it is a terrible mindset to be in and I highly unrecommend it.  Talk about inefficiency.

What this looks like in practice:

(Note: Italics = thinking)


Me: *writing code with lots and lots of “if” statements (not good form)*

Me: there’s got to be a better way to do this

Me: *continues to write code with lots and lots of “if” statements*

Me: I really should find out if I can do this more efficiently.  But look how much progress I’m making!!! I totally have a plan for how to finish this whole thing.

Me: *still coding the long way, but getting tired of copying and pasting the same code over and over (a definite no-no)*

Me: Ok, if this last piece doesn’t do it, I’ll ask about how to make it better.

Me: *sighs because last piece doesn’t work, obviously*

Me: Sooo….is there a way that I can do X, Y and Z?

My Teacher: Yeah! You can just write property (remember decorators?), use a setter and then define your moves as tuples and then just unpack them when you need it.

Me: ………

My Teacher: *further explanation*

Me: *Tries to do what she says.  Gets stuck on first line of code*

Me: *googles results on “properties,” opens many tabs and doesn’t read them*

Me: *10 minutes later asks clarifying question*

My Teacher: *clarifies*

Me: *sort of getting it, but not really*

Me: I thought I knew what I was doing, but now that I have to add this new code, I have absolutely no idea what to do next.  It’s like I used to be a seer and could see everything in my future code, and now it’s gone dark.  Ugh.  I can’t deal with this.

Me: *opens facebook and wordpress and various other procrastination sites*

Me: *an hour later goes back to code*

Me: …………..

Me: *tries new code halfheartedly.* I’ll fix it later.

Me: *goes back to happily coding with “if” statements*


Eventually, I do catch onto these new tricks and shortcuts, but it always takes a while. I’m just so happy  being ignorant, that I’m becoming more and more resistant to things that seem, at first glance, to be more complex.  Basically, I’m a toddler.

Do you ever get that feeling where you just want to beat up your brain?

Yeah, that’s today’s progress.




2 thoughts on “I code like a toddler

  1. codeinfig says:

    we are at an interesting place in language development: everyone is looking for new ways to do things better, even if its very different from the way things were done in the past.

    this means that paradigms (particularly object-oriented ones) that make complicated tasks easier and simple tasks more complex, have the potential to be replaced with things that are more reasonable and straightforward (at least on the surface.)

    these days, there is merit to avoiding state and mutability. meanwhile, people still bolt entire paradigms onto existing languages through libraries. its exciting and crazy.

    the good news, if any, is that old dogmas are challenged more than ever. so, if someone tries to sell you “the right way” to do something, you can just wait a year or two– or try some other approach. other good news: for now and likely longer, it will still most likely map to all the same old low-level turing rules. so if its not helping you do your best work, look at other choices.

    1. seasaltandvinegar says:

      Thanks for the insightful comment! It’s good to know that the “right way” is always changing, but at the same time it’s terrifying. Just keeping up in this field seems exhausting (I say as one who has barely learned the basics).
      I’m definitely learning in a way that explores a lot of options, so hopefully I’ll find approaches that are increasingly better for me.

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