Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My typical response

So, I had to code a program using bigrams to generate sentences based on two very different corpora (wsj and shakespeare). I coded it up yesterday afternoon and evening. It took about 2 hours (aside from discussing data structures with Alex - I got to use the collections.defaultdict for the first time.) I sent it, and then suddenly panicked. What if I misunderstood the assignment? I do that sort of thing pretty often (particularly in this class, for some reason). What worried me was, it was so easy to code. I must be doing something wrong. I had actually done it okay. I just had trouble *believing* that I'd done it right.

I run into this regularly - if it's hard, I worry I won't be able to do it at all, or that I'll need too much help from Alex; if it's easy, I worry I did it wrong. It couldn't possibly be that I'm finally getting enough practice and experience coding to be able to do easy things reasonably easily... could it? Nah. That would require me to admit that maybe I do know some programming after all. And, as I've repeatedly stated, "I'm not a programmer; I just use python to get things done."

I'm beginning to think I may have to change that motto. I am not a professional programmer. But, I do program. So, does that make me "a programmer"? I'll have to let that one percolate for a while...

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