I’m thankful to have a position where I can do homework and projects when office traffic is slow. Since May, I’ve been focusing on my online Pre-Calculus and Trig coursework. Though challenging, I’m actually improving everyday and scoring very well on assignments (with a little help from Khan, of course).
For the serious-minded, writing code is just one skill in computer science to gain. Establishing a foundation in math helps me improve my ability to think algorithmically and write code that solves problems completing tasks at hand. Therefore, I’ll be spending the next few months struggling with Calc on top of mastering JS while developing my Java and C skills later on.
My new found enthusiasm for math has caught the attention of my coworkers, who playfully tease me about getting pencil-eraser dust all over my desk when studying for quizzes. Today, I had a coworker ask me about how math related my academic goals in CS. As a writer, I couldn’t help using a metaphor to describe how the two intercept, one I wanted to share as part of my random personal check-ins with all of you.
Learning to code is like learning how to cook. Writing code is basically following a recipe. If you follow it correctly, you’ll have a delicious meal to enjoy. I’m not satisfied with just cooking recipes though, I want to be the chef.
Chefs customize recipes and even develop their own cookbooks for others to use. If you are a good chef, the meals you produce will be popular and profitable at any restaurant.
Likewise, anyone can learn to code if they want, but becoming an effective programmer takes work. In any computer science program, you’ll see that math (discrete, linear algebra, and calculus particularly) is an essential base skill. If you are teaching yourself how to program, math components that can help you write functions in code will go overlooked. I know I have to develop the CS knowledge whether in or outside of school, as well as invest time and effort to practice.
After our discussion, she brought me lunch explaining, “I can’t cook, but look forward to all the yummy food you’re going to make one day”.