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Discussion on: What is the worst advice for the newbie?

axelledrouge profile image

I don't believe that this advice is bad.
I heard it, practiced it and I'm quiet happy about it.
Most of the time as webdev, I don't care much about memory.
But when I'm starting to work on bigger applications or with bigger API, experience taught me to be careful about it. Especially if my end user cannot up his hardware easily, when my 3D GIS app start to use more than 3GO of RAM.

simonhaisz profile image

The issue is not that "learning about how memory works" is bad advice. The issue is the manner in which you are supposed to learn.

Does learning about pointers, malloc, and free teach you about memory management?

Is what you learned immediately transferable to a GC type language?
No, the rules are different and you have to learn some new things.

If you had no desire to learn C at the moment, could you just learn how memory works within what you are using?

Will that be easier and quicker than having (and this is the key bad thing about the advice, that you have to learn C first or you won't know what you are doing and will be a bad programmer) to learn C first?

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axelledrouge profile image

ok yes I understand your point.
A good advice would be to have a good understanding about the basics, including memory.
But does that mean that you must learn C ? No, indeed.
I guess when you start programming (in general) without knowing which language to use first, C could be considered a good one. But well I started with Java and many started with Python... so the point is more about the concepts and basics than the language itself