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Thread: Styles of Programming...

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    Default Styles of Programming...

    I have a class where we do programming, and I'm doing quite well in that course. I'm getting the highest mark, tied with another competitive student. We are different, me and him, we have different ways of programming and come up with completely different algorithms. I've noticed though, that our teacher has a slight form of favoritism for this other student, because of his 'style' of programming. He's a calm and collective person that likes to code with data and such, while I'm a sort of radiant person (that's what they say?) that happens to do a lot of animation and game programs, dealing with x and y components and changing them, etc.

    At the end of the term, we've started doing our final project; making any program of our choice. My competitive acquaintance decides to make chess while I'm making a sophisticated game dealing with a lot of x & y components and animation, as I said earlier. As the weeks went by, I feel that both our programs have equal level of hard work and quality involved, but my teacher is more leaned towards this other student's program and tends to help him more, one, because he also enjoys chess, and feels the program is 'better'.

    He says that I'm like a kid who is all hyperactive and has to see moving images on the screen, and that's why I work with animation so much, compared to my competitor who has a 'much more sophisticated' program than me.

    What I'm trying to get at.. is that I'm wondering if there really are 'styles' of programming that have more 'quality' than others. Am I a worse programmer because I deal with games rather than programs like chess? Does that make me more childish? I work just as hard as my competitor and I'm deemed less qualitative because what I'm doing is apparently not impressive. I don't feel this form of thinking is necessarily right, in forms of programming. I don't honestly take offense to what my teacher said, but I do work very hard on my work and programs, and it's a bit discouraging from hearing this after hard days of work.

    So my question is this; is what he said true? Is it better to work on more sophisticated programs rather than games? Why is game programming looked so down on upon certain people?
    Last edited by CuppaCoffee; 06-13-2012 at 11:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Styles of Programming...

    It's better to work on that which you enjoy working on, that which would motivate you best.

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    Default Re: Styles of Programming...

    You don't think one form of programming is claimed to be more 'sophisticated' than another, though?

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    Default Re: Styles of Programming...

    Quote Originally Posted by CuppaCoffee View Post
    You don't think one form of programming is claimed to be more 'sophisticated' than another, though?
    The question has no meaning and cannot be answered. It's as if you were asking what color smells better.

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    Default Re: Styles of Programming...

    I think what Fubarable is saying if your professor sounds like an ass for even suggesting this. I believe the level of "sophistication" of your program is determined by what it does. Yes chess is quite complex I would think, but so can your program as well. Chess has been done over and over and over, but if your program is something new and original, then I would give the cake to you since you would have had to come up with brand new solutions to new problems.

    Just my two cents, i'm a newbie... so what do I know? lol

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    Default Re: Styles of Programming...

    Moved from New to Java

    db
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    Default Re: Styles of Programming...

    I agree with SnakeDoc, it's the quality of the work that counts and not the 'style'. Chess has been done multiple times, creating programs with innovative ideas seems to me a more fresh approach.

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    Default Re: Styles of Programming...

    Perhaps when presenting your program to your professor, make sure to highlight all the "obstacles" or "challenges" you faced in creating your finished product. "I had to apply this knowledge here to accomplish this... There was no online code for this, so I had to come up with this to solve that... You would think this would work here, but it didn't because of this so I had to come up with that to solve this... etc".... you can position yourself to seem like a heavy problem solver instead of just re-inventing the wheel.

    Maybe he doesn't realize some of the things that had to go into getting your program to do what it does. If your professor is "older", I can see why he may be offset by "those new-fangled graphical things" and it is possible he just appreciates "the classics" more. I wouldn't get discouraged, it sounds like you are still getting a good grade in the class, and are almost complete, so you wont have to worry about this professor much longer. Besides, I stand by saying he sounds like an ass if he really is insinuating what you claim he is... I guess the end results will speak for themselves... when your competitor's chess game AI makes a dumb move and/or you find an exploit to beat it every time, that will make you smile.

    Happy coding!
    Last edited by SnakeDoc; 06-14-2012 at 05:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Styles of Programming...

    Yeah, he's helped me with many problems involving the program I'm doing, so It's not an issue of him not knowing my problem solving abilities. In fact, he said I was good enough to be considered to a programming competition, to which my school organized a team, including me and my competitor, to said competition. He knows we're both good, he just favours my aquantaince more.

    What you said is some bit true, though. He's only in his mid 30s, but he doesn't really like, or play games, which is probably the reason for his disdain to my program. It was just his comment of "program's like this [referring to chess] is where is something to be impressed about". I'm guessing he was talking about how hard it would be to program chess, which I could agree, it's hard, but that goes back to me saying we both put an equal amount of effort in our work. His program doesn't even have AI, it's two player. But I'm not here to criticize anyone's work.. I was just curious if it's program like that, that are appreciated more.

    Again, I agree with what you said, SnakeDoc. And I'm assuming that fubarable's claiming that no form of programming should be considered better than another, thanks!

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    Default Re: Styles of Programming...

    Get used to this. Programming is a bit of an art, and art is subjective, so different people are going to have different opinions. Whether something is better, more sophisticated, more interesting, more difficult, whatever, depends on the person asking the question. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and all that.

    It could be worse though. I once had a professor that failed you if you didn't do things "his way", even if your way was objectively better. So in the mean time I would tell you not to worry about it too much. If he likes chess more, just wait until the roles are reversed and you (and perhaps your competitor) have a teacher that prefers your style of coding over the "more sophisticated" style of chess.

    It's a bit like painting. Say you're in an introductory painting class, and both you and your competitor are great at the intro stuff being taught. But your competitor's style is geared more towards still-life while yours is more abstract. The teacher teaching you the basics might prefer one over the other (seems like a bad idea, but then again, we haven't actually seen your program, so we can't really comment on his criticisms), but just wait until you get to the more advanced stuff, when you might take a class on the abstract painting style- then you would have the home-field advantage.
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    Default Re: Styles of Programming...

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinWorkman View Post
    Get used to this. Programming is a bit of an art, and art is subjective, so different people are going to have different opinions. Whether something is better, more sophisticated, more interesting, more difficult, whatever, depends on the person asking the question. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and all that.

    It could be worse though. I once had a professor that failed you if you didn't do things "his way", even if your way was objectively better. So in the mean time I would tell you not to worry about it too much. If he likes chess more, just wait until the roles are reversed and you (and perhaps your competitor) have a teacher that prefers your style of coding over the "more sophisticated" style of chess.

    It's a bit like painting. Say you're in an introductory painting class, and both you and your competitor are great at the intro stuff being taught. But your competitor's style is geared more towards still-life while yours is more abstract. The teacher teaching you the basics might prefer one over the other (seems like a bad idea, but then again, we haven't actually seen your program, so we can't really comment on his criticisms), but just wait until you get to the more advanced stuff, when you might take a class on the abstract painting style- then you would have the home-field advantage.
    Thanks, Kevin. What you said applies to the scenario that happened 100%. I've heard many times people saying that programming is an art and I initially agree with that, and art is subjective, which is probably why this happened in that last few days. I find it much more better to handle situations like this with that mentality, because as you said, this will most likely not be the last time this happens.

    Thank you, everyone, for your words of wisdom. This has will help me quite a lot through my programming journey

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