Hey MAX Bootcamp Students and Alum. Happy March!
Like all developers, I’m in the process of continuous learning. My personal challenge is maintaining my bootcamp schedule as an instructor, balancing family, and continuing to add to my knowledge base. One of my goals for 2021 is to learn Python. I’ve been taking a Udemy course, ‘100 Days of Code – The Complete Python Pro Bootcamp for 2021’, which I highly recommend. I’m about 25% of the way through and a really good point was brought up that was geared to new developers, but definitely applies to all developers, and I wanted to share. At MAX, we know being a life-long learner requires finding training that fits your lifestyle. A Udemy class is a good fit for the price. It’s not the same as having a person in the room but it’s perfect for adding to my skillset at my own pace.
A good chunk of this Udemy class was lower-level and geared for people brand new to technology, but it was affordable (less than $30) and incredibly comprehensive (from nuts and bolts to covering file processing, db access, web development, and multiple levels of data science).
In any project you have surely questioned “When am I done?” or “What’s the correct solution??” or “Is this solution ‘good enough, ‘most efficient’???”. These are all great questions… at the right time. When you are in your first draft of a solution, though, they are premature. I always tell my students to build a solution as best they can and not worry about the ‘perfect’ solution… because there is rarely, if ever, one perfect, or only, solution. Donald Knuth is a computer scientist, mathematician, professor, and author. He wrote a book called ‘The Art of Computer Programming. In it, he states: “Premature optimization is the root of all evil”. The fact is, as you are trying to learn something if you let your brain get distracted at every statement you write, you are unable to focus on the task at hand. Goal #1 should always be to meet the user’s requirements.
Focus on getting your application to meet those requirements and test your solution thoroughly. There will be a time when optimization is needed, but in these early stages just focus on getting the job done. I always say “repetition breeds cognition”. As you get more experienced you will learn how to optimize code in small pieces. Those pieces will add up and eventually will become a habit. Until then, though, let your best solutions shine through. While we can always ‘tweak’ them, they are likely much better, or more complete, than we realize.
A common core for all Software Developers is curiosity. It drives us to learn new technologies and expand our boundaries. Use your curiosity to continue to pursue your craft.
Senior MAX InstructorSean Blessing
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