On parenting

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GCG (May 30, 2011, 15:17:40 PM):
you've given your kids a helluva head-start by not pushing jebus down their throats. so kudos to you. i think there may be a thin line between pushing your kids to greatness, and pushing them away. thus hordes of resentfull adults that will never touch a piano/clarinet/tennis raquet ever again. if kids are interrested in some thing, then the best you can do is show your support as far as you are able. if you cant afford a R10 000 trip to some camp or overseas trip for them, then such is life, they must understand.
it's cool if a parent shows interrest in their kid's hobbies, but to push them into what they believe the kid should be doing, is just wrong. you may see potential in the kid that they dont, but it doesnt mean that kid wants to be an olypmic runner, he would rather be grounbreaking programmer instead. so if your kid wants to be a pale geek, as opposed to a sunburnt stud, then it's completely their decision.
Wandapec (May 30, 2011, 15:28:21 PM):
Was having a chat to my 14 year old about this over the weekend, his hormones are rampant and raging at the moment and he's got a thing for boobies. Anyway, he couldnt grasp the idea that religion could have an influence on one's (in his case, prospective) love life, until the S/O explained to him that orthodox jews utilise a sheet for the purpose..... the young lad got a tad wiser with this discussion and added religious girlfriends on his list of no-go areas.... Amazing what one teaches one's spawn with good intentions, and as with everything else, one can only hope to do the right thing.
And you've got parent envy....! (wtf!!) :)
Faerie (May 30, 2011, 15:32:41 PM):
Was having a chat to my 14 year old about this over the weekend, his hormones are rampant and raging at the moment and he's got a thing for boobies. Anyway, he couldnt grasp the idea that religion could have an influence on one's (in his case, prospective) love life, until the S/O explained to him that orthodox jews utilise a sheet for the purpose..... the young lad got a tad wiser with this discussion and added religious girlfriends on his list of no-go areas.... Amazing what one teaches one's spawn with good intentions, and as with everything else, one can only hope to do the right thing.
And you've got parent envy....! (wtf!!) :)

We like talking about stuff a lot???? :D I do have a good relationship with my lads, and we really do talk about a LOT of stuff.
Brian (May 30, 2011, 15:34:22 PM):
Quote
I do have a good relationship with my lads, and we really do talk about a LOT of stuff.
Wow that's great....one day they'll think back to those special times with you!
BoogieMonster (May 30, 2011, 15:55:45 PM):
Jokes aside, and no offense to programmers, if you can code like that at the age of 15 maybe you are not getting out the house much! :)

No offense taken. But I would like to comment...

I wouldn't claim to have coded something like this when I was 15, but I could code up a storm for sure. AFAIK there are still small apps I wrote in HS in use today in a business or two... The problem is the QUALITY of the code you produce at that age isn't the best. There's something to be said for understanding the theory properly, understanding software design, and having industry experience... Sure a kid could build a go-cart, perhaps with a working engine, at a stretch all by himself. Your average adult can tell the Go-cart is functional, but not the best, but they have no idea by looking at a piece of software... So the kid's ability gets blown out of proportion (I'm including myself)... Would it pass an industry standard barrage of QA tests? Would the engineering be sound? Would it fall apart after 5 weeks?

Software is similar. I also had a big head as a kid about being a good programmer at an early age, and to this day I can say I "impressed" myself doing certain things at that age. BUT, if I go back and look at the QUALITY of the code I was churning out, I would say they were nice one-off experiments and loosely slapped together functionality that worked just right when the moon was at a certain angle and you burnt the requisite number of black candles. To translate that into "engineering" takes years more of effort, study, wisdom, understanding people and requirements, and understanding the need for proper procedure. Things a kid generally will just scoff at as "old timers being too serious/boring".

That being said, starting at an early age like that does give you a significant boost in later years when your peers are scrambling about trying to understand the basics and you can focus on the higher level aspects. Generally, in the programming circles I move, If you ask a young-ish programmer (esp varsity grad) "How much did you program before your 18th birthday", and they say "nothing" or "just in CS class", you can already tell this person probably hasn't gained a good understanding yet, or doesn't care enough to acquire it. Becoming a programmer is not a "decision" you arrive at after graduating high-school. You have that innate fascination, or you do not. (Feel free to slam me, my industry experience bears it out time after time). Interest as a child in the field, and exploring it yourself with NO other motive than brute interest, does a lot to breed a great programmer later in life. As this guy will be if he can keep his head out of the clouds. - A programmer who thinks he knows it all as a 15yo will have his little brain smashed to bits in a business environment.

As to us "not getting out enough", it's one of those things that seems to be an American stereotype that doesn't hold true so much in SA. We have sunny weather and this kid does list surfing as one of his hobbies. Me, I played sports every day of the week as a kid, and when I got time later in the evening I'd play with the PC. It's a balance thing we tend to get right and generally "geeky" SA guys aren't as sedate or anti-social as you'd expect.

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