I had a few jobs where programs written in the C++ language (an oop computer language) were communicating with the control systems that I was responsible for supporting. I picked up a book on C++ and I tried to read it, but I was not able to get half way through the first chapter. The big problem that I had was that I couldn’t pronounce any of the words that I was reading. C++ was developed 35 years ago by the Danish computer scientist Bjarne Stroustrup and I saw that it had some really cool features and that it could be used to do many powerful things. I had a good concept of computer principles knowing about index pointers, stacks and stack overflows and I also understood the theory of Turing-complete to describe abstract machines. Anyways, I quit and picked up a book on just plain C language and although I was able to read and understand that, it was not what I wanted and I found it boring.
Most of my career, I worked as a consultant, which meant that I was never trained like other employees, but where there is a will, there is a way and I taught myself how to program PLC’s Programmable Logic Controllers, by reading the manuals. Yes, this may have been the harder way to learn, but the manuals are probably much better than taking some short course and if I had difficulty, I knew exactly where to look for the answers. Computers work with Ones and Zeros and I actually programmed and early PLC model with strings of hex code. My boss wrote the program, and all I did was enter the code and I guess he let me do that because it was such a boring and tedious job, but I relished the opportunity. Computers understand digital code and every program gets broken down into 1’s and 0’s so that machines can understand it, but the problem is that these 1’s and 0’s don’t make much sense to people and that is why higher-level programming languages were developed.
I was always good at math and numbers usually make sense to me. I learned Basic, COBOL and Pascal programming languages when I was in college and when I got my first personal computer, I learned DOS. The idea behind C++ was that programmers would work harder in return for more-efficient code and this allowed it to be a general use language that would be applicable for a huge range of applications. I am sorry that I quit trying to learn the C++ language, but I just couldn’t make any sense out of these commands that were made up of clusters of consonants with hardly any vowels (jkuidsPrefixing vndskaIdentifiers ncqWith ksldjfTheir nmdsadType), hey like wtf.
Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday where this week the prompt is oop.