I am a student and have obtained a one year placement at a business that develops an e-commerce system using C#, HTML, WPF, javascript, ASP and more. Although I do have a little bit of knowledge, I find myself being assigned a lot of tasks that are beyond me and even when I ask for help, the response I get is often cryptic to me. I stare at as much code as possible to just try and "throw myself into it" but I often just get lost in the code

I like to consider myself a fast learner and I am damn determined to be a good programmer.

I would just like to ask if there are some tips for me to catch up as quick as possible? I don't want to be a nuisance and sit here and ask for help 24/7. I just want to crack on!


Read lots of code. When there's something you don't understand, use a debugger to step through the parts you don't understand. Pair programming can also help with your mentoring. Also, write little programs to explore things you don't understand or aren't very good at yet.

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    cheers for the advise, don't understand why im getting down voted, seeing as this is a forum for programmers, I considered this the most sensible place to ask for advise. haw are people meant to learn in a friendly environment when an inexperienced person asks a question and gets slated? :/ – dizzytri99er Nov 2 '12 at 16:09
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    He has already "stared at as much code as possible". – Tulains Córdova Nov 2 '12 at 16:10
  • +1 for: write little programs to explore things you don't understand or aren't very good at yet. – paul Nov 2 '12 at 18:33
  • @dizzytri99er this actually isn't a forum at all, it's very specifically a Q&A only site, and I agree it stinks that inexperienced people aren't really going to get any help here, but this site's community has determined the questions are to be about programmING not programmERS, your question is about the ladder. – Jimmy Hoffa Nov 3 '12 at 1:57

The stare at/play with code learning model has two pre-requisites:

  1. You need at least a basic understanding of the language and framework that you are using.
  2. You need a general understanding of the expected behavior and functionality of the system you are investigating.

If you don't have both of those, you will find it hard to make progress. For 1, depending on how much .Net work you did in college, you need to read some introductory .Net (C#, WPF, ASP) books and play with some examples of your own. For 2, find a subject matter expert in the company to explain what the app/system is supposed to do.

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