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Thread: Is programming a very time-consuming process?

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    Default Is programming a very time-consuming process?

    It is normal for a programmer to take weeks, even months to finish a program - no matter how big or small it is, right? (I'm trying to be realistic about my future.)


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    Default Re: Is programming a very time-consuming process?

    It all depends. It can be hours, days to never finished.
    If you don't understand my answer, don't ignore it, ask a question.

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    Default Re: Is programming a very time-consuming process?

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm View Post
    It all depends. It can be hours, days to never finished.
    I see. The bottom-line though, is that a program sells enough as far as finances are concerned, isn't it?

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    Default Re: Is programming a very time-consuming process?

    I was an employee of a large company. Nothing I wrote was "sold". Everything I wrote was for internal usage by other employees.

    Now I write programs for myself.
    If you don't understand my answer, don't ignore it, ask a question.

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    Default Re: Is programming a very time-consuming process?

    I'm doing something on my own myself: using a textbook to study without a class and/or tutorial. I was also thinking about making money one of these days when it comes to programming. I wonder how much time I would have to do this before the world's technology use changes or something like that.
    Last edited by SOG; June 27th, 2012 at 11:31 PM.

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    Default Re: Is programming a very time-consuming process?

    SOG:

    Take this for what it's worth. I have a good friend who is a higher-end Java engineer out in California. He and I have had similar discussions before.

    Understanding the syntax is well and good, but you must learn how to design software, as well. And designing takes place "on paper", as it were. By "on paper" I mean either designing the look/feel, modules, and such on a whiteboard, or in Visio, or heck, even on paper (although you could use a lot of paper that way). You may want to look into a book on designing software, as well as design patterns. Check Amazon, I'm sure they'll have something.

    And good design should always happen first, before you write a line of code. And yes, it can take time. It may seem frustrating, but it can (and often does) make coding easier. The reason is that if you lay things out clearly on paper, then you have a road map of sorts as to what to do. It also might allow you to do error checking you may not normally see.

    This has stuck with me as solid advice.

    Let's say you want to do a simple command-line calculator. Your design might take you a few hours (remember, this is before you write the code), and you may consider things like: what type of input will it have (i.e. integer only, or floating-point), how many values will it perform operations on, what types of operations, and what happens if something goes wrong (error checking).

    So yes, just the design aspect can take weeks, or months. Especially if you get stuck and are unsure what to do, or what direction to take with a specific piece of functionality.

    My friend in California told me this anecdote, which I think is a good lesson:

    He was working on a final project for his Masters degree. He was on a team of I think 3 or 4 other people. His team decided to actually design their project before they started coding (they had a total of two weeks, I think). He said the other "teams" (who jumped right into coding) would do the proverbial "point and laugh" because it didn't seem like his team was getting anything done, all the while, the other teams were struggling while writing their code.

    His team actually started coding with (I believe) 3 days left until the project was due. They finished the coding in about 2 and a half days. The other teams that did not design first struggled to finish the project.

    But if you're studying Java, I'm sure you'll be employable for quite some time. I don't think computers (or Java) are going away any time soon.

  7. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to mjr For This Useful Post:

    Omnamah (June 29th, 2012), SOG (June 28th, 2012)

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    Default Re: Is programming a very time-consuming process?

    There is not set-in-stone amount of time that "programming" takes.

    There exist game programming contests that challenge users to create a game within 48 hours, or a week, a month, a summer, etc. Plenty of people make money off of the games they create for that.

    On the other hand, plenty of people spend years building one game or application and never see a penny.

    Recommended reading: Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years

    Perhaps it's similar to art: you can spend a lifetime painting without ever selling a single piece, or you can sell your first painting for a million bucks. It's a combination of your skill, your perseverance, and luck.

    So it doesn't really make sense to ask "does programming take long?" - does art take long? It takes as long as you want it to, or as long as you can keep at it without giving up.

    In the end, the answer is to program for yourself and not for some abstract notion of making it big or becoming rich and famous- if that's your end goal, you're never going to make it. Do what you think is fun, what makes you happy, and you won't care how long it takes.
    Last edited by KevinWorkman; June 28th, 2012 at 10:25 AM.
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    Default Re: Is programming a very time-consuming process?

    I got what I wanted from this thread. Thanks!
    Last edited by SOG; June 28th, 2012 at 01:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Is programming a very time-consuming process?

    haha, great question. I myself not a programmer but willing to learn java for my marketing client. I find it too boring, too time consuming. But one of my programmer friend said they are just copying google everytime. How true is that?

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    Default Re: Is programming a very time-consuming process?

    Quote Originally Posted by romanticDale View Post
    haha, great question. I myself not a programmer but willing to learn java for my marketing client. I find it too boring, too time consuming. But one of my programmer friend said they are just copying google everytime. How true is that?
    It really depends on the programmer. Some people would say that simply copy-pasting isn't really programming. Some people would argue that copy-pasting is part of the learning process. I would say that researching is certainly a big part of programming; it's not like we have some magical well of information that "normal" people don't have access to. So when we don't know how to do something, a first source of information might be google (or the API, or some tutorials). But it's an overstatement to say that programming == copying from google.

    In sticking with the art metaphor, I suppose it's as if somebody told you that all they do is trace art originally done by other people. Does every artist do that? Definitely not. Is it even art? I'll let you decide.
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