Talk to the teddy bear

A friend of mine is currently working her way through University learning how to program these darned computers. She's come at it at a later stage in life than is probably usual (no piercings ... well, actually, she used to has piercings and the tats are fairly proud so maybe she's in with the gnarly programming crowd).

Anywho - she had a day of tracking down a '{' in her code yesterday and I asked her if she used her teddy bear. She replied, "Huh?" to which I said:
I'm sitting in my first programming lecture all those years ago back in GlosCAT and the lecturer finished the hour by saying:
"Now, when you write your first program it will fail. And you will stare at the code for hours and hours thinking it's something that you should see. Eventually you'll convince yourself it must be some strange programming technique that you'll need my advice with. So, bundled with reams of printed code you'll arrange a meeting and we'll sit together in my room as you start to explain the issue, about 30 seconds into it you'll then slap your forehead, exclaim, "Of course!" and gather it all up and leave. I won't have said a thing. Now, to save me time can I ask that before you arrange a meeting you to sit with your teddy bear (or whatever it is that works for you) and explain it to them - you will have the same effect"

And it's probably one of the biggest things I learnt at college.


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