How should I start learning algorithms

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Only the thick rind lying on the table in front of Lisa ("Programming with C ++") makes a light film of sweat on my forehead. I can't see anything like that under her blonde pony. She calmly explains that the algorithm has to be translated into code that the computer can do something with. After all, he should take over the sorting. "We do this in the programming language C." C? Yes, just C.

Who code read can has an advantage

And from then on it gets complicated. Although they're really nice and patient, between the two of them with their laptops - I'm sitting in the middle with my notepad - I feel pretty ignorant. Counting variables, libraries, for loops, arrays. For them this is probably the multiplication table. But while I try to understand and take notes at the same time, I notice that we are describing the algorithm in a language that I have never learned. It all sounds logical to me, but I still can't retell it without errors. "That is a lot of input now," says Amadeus encouragingly, "I try to teach freshmen that in several weeks."

The algorithm as such is not the problem here, because I understand it as a diagram. When I look at the code, however, I feel like I was in high school when I no longer had to take math exams but still had to be present: looked up from the card game under the table, glanced at the blackboard - nothing gathered, continued playing. In maths, I just missed the boat and due to a lack of knowledge - even if I had wanted to - I couldn't really take part in the class anymore. I can't have a say in programming either.

Do they feel the same sometimes? “You don't have to master every programming language,” says Amadeus. “The similarities are enough to be able to easily understand everything.” Nonetheless, they are of course also impressed by the know-how of other programmers. "But that has more to do with her specialization and experience," says Lisa. That also means: if you learn to program, many doors are open to you.

Who code write can, has the power!

By the way, it all started with her solving her mother's computer problems - initially according to the simple principle “Google is your friend”. She later came to programming in the HPI student college. So even those who have not or had not had (good) computer science lessons at school are not lost. Her hobby is designing apps, in 2014 she was part of the winning team for the “Best Design” award at “Jugend hackt”.

She actually wanted to study media informatics or visual communication until her big brother, himself a computer science student at HPI, helped her to make an important finding: “If you can write code, you have the power,” she says triumphantly, “then you are not up what others are programming. ”After this little computer science lesson, I can guess how right she is.

If you want to learn programming: Here you can find suggestions, material and good links.