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Thread: New to Java, but I suck at math

  1. #1
    Gunnadin is offline Member
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    Default New to Java, but I suck at math

    Hi,
    I recently dedicated most of my time to learning Java, but I have a bit of worries. I want to be a GREAT Java programmer, but I suck at math. I recently started a thread on another website that was related to Java. One poster said I need to be good in math. Then he told me that my math skills are not even good enough to be a "shitty" programmer. That right there started a huge argument.

    About me:
    I'm in a virtual high school(K12) and I have trouble with some math problems such as graphs and their formulas(parabolas, eclipses, etc).

    I'm not planning on building any physics based programs or any programs that have to do with math.

    Do I still have a chance to be a Java programmer?
    Do I still have a chance to be a great Java programmer?

  2. #2
    jim829 is online now Senior Member
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    Default Re: New to Java, but I suck at math

    There will be some math in all aspects of programming. Base conversions come to mind. But imo you don't need to be good at math to be a successful programmer. It depends on what you want to do. I doubt that most web design or DBM related professions require a lot of math. On the other hand, scientific programming or perhaps graphics programming can require an extensive math background.

    Somewhere on this forum I know there is a similar thread with other opinions. But I could not find it.

    Regards,
    Jim
    The Java™ Tutorial | SSCCE | Java Naming Conventions
    Poor planning our your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

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    gimbal2 is offline Just a guy
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    Default Re: New to Java, but I suck at math

    I "suck" at math too. By that I mean if I had to use it regularly it wouldn't be a problem, but since I do not I don't retain the knowledge. I get by just fine, but I don't work in environments where math is really a requirement to get the job done - and I work in a financial company too!

    Of course often I recognize situations where I would have been more effective if I knew a little more math, but it has never blocked me from completing a goal.
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

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    superhaNds is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: New to Java, but I suck at math

    You don't need to be good at math to become a good programmer. You won't have to solve tough calculus exercises or whatever.

    On the other hand, it is important to be familiar with math concepts, but in a breadth first manner, not depth first.

    I changed my perception about math after I learnt programming. I thought I sucked, but now I read a lot of math just because it's cool. Not diving into deep waters, just
    reading theories, concepts. They are actually very interesting. I also became better at math after programming, I think.

  5. #5
    JosAH's Avatar
    JosAH is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: New to Java, but I suck at math

    I don't want to scare anyone off, but programming is math; it's a branch of 'discrete mathematics'. Not many people realize it and that's why so much crappy software exists around the world.

    kind regards,

    Jos
    Last edited by JosAH; 05-11-2014 at 09:12 AM.
    cenosillicaphobia: the fear for an empty beer glass

  6. #6
    superhaNds is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: New to Java, but I suck at math

    Quote Originally Posted by JosAH View Post
    I don't want to scare anyone off, but programming is math; it's a branch of 'discrete mathematics'. Not many people realize it and that's why so much crappy software exists around the world.

    kind regards,

    Jos
    Sure, but proficiency in continuous mathematics that is mostly taught in high school is not really necessary. Calculus for example.

    @OP you don't suck at math, you are probably lazy and biased about it and you need some extra time.

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    kneitzel is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: New to Java, but I suck at math

    I think I add my thoughts to this thread.

    If you have problems with graphs then I understand that you have problems to visualize something that you just see as formula.
    I think that a programmer really needs this capability. You have to see code and at least I visualize what is going on. You need to understand how things work together which is like a graph in my eyes.

    It is like an artist: you can learn all technics and master them. But that does not help you, when you cannot visualize what you want to get.

    You can work on a lot of things and you can improve your coding skills. I cannot tell you, if you can be a good programmer or not. And I have to confess that I have no idea, why you even started this thread.

    Why do you think about being a programmer? I simply did it as a hobby when I was a teen and then made my hobby my profession. If you really like to develop software then do it. Then you have a good chance to become a great one. If you simply miss some skills required then you will find out that it is no fun at all...

    Did you write some software already? Was it fun? Only you can find an answer to your question ....

    Do not listen to people who tell you what you cannot do. When you think that you could do something then try it (after thinking about the risks and reasons why they said it of course.) If you really want it, then you might find ways. It might be very hard and time consuming but if it is fun for you: why not?

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    JosAH's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to Java, but I suck at math

    Quote Originally Posted by superhaNds View Post
    Sure, but proficiency in continuous mathematics that is mostly taught in high school is not really necessary. Calculus for example.
    Real continuums are the work of the gods; it makes us mere mortals go raving mad (see Cantor for a nice example).

    kind regards,

    Jos
    cenosillicaphobia: the fear for an empty beer glass

  9. #9
    superhaNds is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: New to Java, but I suck at math

    Quote Originally Posted by JosAH View Post
    Real continuums are the work of the gods; it makes us mere mortals go raving mad (see Cantor for a nice example).

    kind regards,

    Jos
    I'll stick with my favorite book as to not hurt either side -- con-crete mathematics.

    Concrete Mathematics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    gimbal2 likes this.

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    AlexGraal is offline Señor Member
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    Default Re: New to Java, but I suck at math

    I'm just a programming student, so my opinion shouldn't be taken as seriously as the professionals posting here. But I can tell you that math has definitely helped me program.

    It isn't that I've been doing derivatives and integrals in the process of writing apps or games or programs, it's just that logic thinking approach. Being able to visual things, including graphs, is a skill that, despite what a couple of posts mentioned here, I think is crucial to apply to other things. If you decide to take the AP test (which may be worth doing for you next year!), you'll see that the problems aren't as much based on heavy math, but more on logically figuring out how and why forloops insside of forloops with conditionals will work, and other things.

    I've found that I'm better at programming than my peers who have a harder time in math - but AGAIN, not because I'm better at math, but because I think a certain way.

    Of course you can be a great programmer. Just find something that interests you and work on it. If you want to write a game, find a tutorial and do it. If you want to solve complex math problems, go to projecteuler and do that!

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    gimbal2 is offline Just a guy
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    Default Re: New to Java, but I suck at math

    Quote Originally Posted by superhaNds View Post
    I'll stick with my favorite book as to not hurt either side -- con-crete mathematics.

    Concrete Mathematics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Hey thanks, that book looks pretty useful!
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

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