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Do programmers memorize code?
Or to put it another way, do programmers memorize the block of code of a particular programming language that does a specific task?
The truth is that Programmers do not memorize code. But how do they do it? Let’s find out.
As a programmer, you will be exposed to more than one programming language. Each programming language has its own set of syntax and rules.
Does it mean you will have to master all the syntax and rules of the programming language you are working with?
Absolutely not, this would be a tedious and unproductive task. Plus, programming languages and frameworks are always evolving, and new things are added from time to time.
What then must you do?
THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROGRAMMING
Whatever programming language you choose to work with, you must understand the fundamentals of programming. Nearly all programming languages are fundamentally the same, they just differ in syntax and implementation.
You need to understand how variables work, how to work with functions, understand loops, objects, arrays, and other general concepts. Once you understand how these work, you can code in nearly any programming language.
Whatever you do when learning a new programming language or framework, don’t bother to memorize code. There are a lot of references online just in case you forget the syntax.
Programming is the process or activity of writing computer programs, programming involves tasks such as analysis, generating algorithms, profiling algorithms’ accuracy, and resource consumption, and the implementation of algorithms.
When writing code, you have far better things to worry about than the syntax. You need to worry about resource consumption, optimizations, performance, and more.
Programming is more about the logic and analysis that you will implement to make a program work smoothly and efficiently. Syntax is the last thing that you should ever worry about.
Each programming language and framework has the documentation that has the syntax and rules on how to write this and that. Documentations are free, helpful, and always available.
You don’t have to memorize code, you can simply look it up online, copy and paste it into your workspace. You can also check out our article Do programmers copy code?
HOW DO SOFTWARE ENGINEERS REMEMBER EVERYTHING
Software Engineers don’t remember everything about code or programming language syntax.
The thing is, you will realize that the more you code in a particular language, the more the syntax will become easy to remember. It will just come naturally, don’t bother about it.
It is said that ‘’repetition is the mother of retention.” This applies to programming too, the more you code in a specific language or framework, the more you become familiar with its syntax and rules.
Don’t bother memorizing lines upon lines of code, except where it is absolutely necessary. With time it will just fall in place.
It is more like learning Math, you don’t memorize 253 x 97, you simply understand how multiplication works and you can pretty much multiply any numbers. That’s how you should approach programming.
Note, do not develop the habit of looking up every word online, that can be unhelpful.
Just give yourself time and familiarity with a programming language or framework and in no time, you will be writing from memory without even thinking much about it.
Memorizing code should not be a task that you set out to do, it should be a thing that comes naturally the more you code.0
So, save your brain power for logic and analysis and let the internet take care of the syntax.
Some Code Editors like VS CODE come with intelligence and extensions that you can install to help you with the syntax of whatever language, library, or framework you are using.
What makes you a better programmer is not how much syntax you know about programming languages, but how you can use your programming knowledge to solve real-life problems.
This is going to involve a lot of analysis and research; the syntax is the last thing to worry about.
In conclusion, programmers do not worry about memorizing code, it comes naturally and easily the more you code.
Programmers have many other things to worry about than memorizing lines of code. You should do the same as well.
Here are some of the Tips to Become a Better programmer