Charlie Meyer's Blog

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2022-09-24 02:00:22

Attitude 2 is what I refer to as “the code happening to me”, as it minimizes the agency that a programmer has as they attempt to create software. This post is in no way meant to be a judgment on anyone with Attitude 2 or a proclamation that students who quickly adopt the Attitude 1 are somehow superior. Our goal is to understand the cause of "the code is happening to me" attitude and to give our students tools to overcome it.

Given these bad metaphors (and they likely hear many more), what should a new programmer believe? Elements of each of the preceding metaphors are instructive, but they paint a very poor picture of the full process that the student will be engaging in. Misapplication of these metaphors is a primary cause of the “code happens to me” phenomenon.

Programming does require knowledge and application of technical vocabulary and application of structural rules that loosely resemble the grammars of natural languages. However, the receiver of the translated ideas is not a conscious agent, and most errors result in an unrecoverable failure of a program.

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