Coding is Thinking

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2 years ago

I have noticed that many people think that coding is loosely described as "knowing and applying a programming language" and although this response is true, I think it gives space to misunderstandings that could prove harmful for coding students, or people interesting in educating others in this field, let me explain.

Although you cannot code without using a coding language, to conclude that coding is ONLY using a coding language could lead (and has lead) people to imagine that if you know how to use certain instructions on a certain language that therefore you are already set for life, and what's even worse, that you can resolve any problem or challenge thrown at your way if you only figure the correct instructions (or code) to follow.

This type of thinking is inefficient, since it leads to a reductionist view of what coding is, with people googling for answers and copy pasting code to resolve bugs that they cannot even comprehend why they appear in their code base.

So allow me to introduce you to an expansive view of what coding is.

Coding is, fundamentally, thinking.

You are not just writing instructions for the computer, you are writing your thought processes in a way that the computer can understand you.

You are exploring your thought while you code, and since you (I assume) love to think, it is not painful or confusing, but exciting and interesting, revitalizing.

If you conceive of coding as thinking you will sharpen your general thinking skills as playing chess, playing go or writing a novel in your spare time, and that depth i your thinking might lead you to create an insightful algorithm that has impact at scale, as sometimes good code does.

Is by this understanding of coding as thinking that you can be able to debug code before it even crashes and not just wake up and yell at the computer for throwing a random error.

This expansive understanding leads you to express your creativity in your code by rewriting it in a simpler way.

This is specially apparent with genius hackers, they usually didn't confine themselves to the already written rules, to the already published documentation, they think outside the box and use seemingly neutral tools to sometimes force change in the world, like with the creation of the bitcoin client.

So remember, coding is thinking.

Think more, think better, think creatively, think orderly, think more deeply, think more simply.

Think, think, think.

Everything else is just politics.

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Avatar for code4040
2 years ago