Early vs. Beginning Coders

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I came across this article on Zed Shaw’s blog today and it sums up perfectly something I’ve been trying to get across, but in an actually eloquent way instead of a rambling blog post.

The basic concept is that you should have the terms beginner and early. These terms can be applied to anything, it’s not necessarily programming related. Every time you want to pick up something new you have zero knowledge in it – you are a beginner – so the term beginner should be applied here. If you’ve read a bit on the subject coding, had some lessons, and are familiar with the basics, then you are an early coder.

When you try to learn to code there is an assumption there that you already have some basic knowledge. In my earlier rant I go on and on about coming across terms I don’t recognise provided without an explanation, or having those terms explained with other terms that have no explanation. I think this is a symptom of what Zed is getting at. These terms that I was having trouble with weren’t explained in the book because it was presumed I already knew what they meant.

Anyway, I’d thoroughly recommend giving Zed’s article a read. It is really interesting.