re: Coming Back to Old Problems: How I Finally Wrote a Sudoku Solving Algorithm VIEW POST


From how you described the school you went to, I can say that the education system in Saudi Arabia is the same. We don't have serious computer or programming classes. In best cases they would teach you how to use MS Office and that's it. I started learning programming earlier in my last year of elementary school. It was all self-learning. I kept studying and implementing some simple code using PHP and MySQL. A few years later I lost interest and gradually moved away from programming.

When I went to college I chose a major that is related to computers (MIS), and I was forced to go back to programming, specially since my graduation project was to design a whole system using Java by my own. Now I'm back again and studying so intensively. I'm happy to be programming and learning more stuff about it, but I still regret that I had stopped doing so for long years, I could've been a much better programming now.

Thank you for sharing this Ali (by the way Ali is a male name in Arabic :p)


Sounds familiar to me. I went to school in Mumbai (Bombay), India where they had 'computers' as a subject since 5th grade. They used to take us to a computer tab filled with computers in late 90s, running software from 1980s and let us play Dragon Ball and Pacman on those monochrome monitors. The syllabus used to start with the chapter 'Introduction to Computers', every alternate year and if consisted of repetitive things like "constants and variables". They made us memorize a few QBASIC programs with no clear explanation and we were supposed to 'spit' it out during our practical exams.

The entire environment was to make students believe that computers are boring, hard and the only good use they had was to play video-games.

It took me long to realize the potential of computer programming when I picked it up during my second year of college that was supposed to be based on Electronics Engineering. I find myself lucky to even realize how fun programming can be and it all happened in class when a teacher was pretending to explain us a C program that added two numbers. Majority of my classmates flunked the subject at the end of the term, probably because of the way the subject was presented (mis-represented) to us, but I have been writing programs since that day in 2004.

Adding to that, it is till today that I mostly focus on what I can make a computer do for me rather than to learn theory that makes it all sound more complicated than it is supposed to be.


The entire environment was to make students believe that computers are boring, hard and the only good use they had was to play video-games.

In retrospect every school I've been to, no matter how much they focused on programming, they always lacked the overall "if a computer can do it, why shouldn't it?" attitude, and were way too much focused on building imaginary systems instead of solving actual problems.

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