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Greenhorn from hell

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#1 ridin2high


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Posted 23 January 2010 - 04:02 AM

here it is in a nutshell. i don't know anything about programming, but i want to. the problem is I don't even know where to start!

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#2 doe22


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Posted 25 January 2010 - 11:50 AM

here it is in a nutshell. i don't know anything about programming, but i want to. the problem is I don't even know where to start!

Well, that's a little vague, but I guess I'll try to help you out. You should probably have an idea of what you want to be able to do programming-wise, and maybe have a language in mind. I'm guessing you want to learn about programming just for the sake of learning about programming, so I'd say you should look into some languages to see which mesh with you on level of difficulty, real-world use, ease of finding information, etc. Basically pick the one that sounds best to you. I believe there are a few topics on this site about languages for beginners that you may find useful. (If I'm wrong and you do have a specific goal in mind then try to figure out which language will best help you accomplish your goal)

Once you pick a language look up resources for it. You can probably find some good info online but having an actual physical book is a major asset in my opinion. A book that teaches programming will probably have better, fuller examples and explanations than you would find online. The internet, in my experience, is better for finding spot information or resolving issues by hearing what others have done.

If you have the opportunity I would absolutely recommend taking a class on programming or at least finding someone to talk to about programming in your chosen language. I guarantee you will run into an issue you can't figure out on your own and having someone to talk to about it, and maybe take a look at your code, is invaluable. If that person is experienced (as a teacher would be) they should be able to explain your mistakes and show you how to improve. I've learned pretty much all of my programming at college and having a good teacher is easily the best resource I've had.

Also, and this is going to sound a little cheesy, you're going to need some determination. Learning to program isn't easy and can be very frustrating at times. If you really want to learn you need to be determined to do so. This is one thing that makes a classroom learning experience useful, because you have the external drive of the class, your teacher, and your grades to keep you focused and driven (not to mention the money you laid down on the class). If you're going to do it on your own you'll need to keep yourself motivated. It's not easy but programming can be very rewarding and even fun if you have the right mindset about it.

So that was a slightly longer post than I intended to write, but yeah, to sum up: pick a language, find resources online and a book in your chosen language, take a class or find someone to help you, and keep with it.

If you provide a little more information maybe I could get more specific, but I hope that was helpful. Good Luck!

#3 Andrew


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Posted 25 January 2010 - 10:44 PM

Since I have nothing to add after that great post by doe22, I'll just point at some resources:

Wikipedia's Comparison of Programming Languages
Microsoft Visual Studio Express (Pared down, free version of their Visual Studio Integrated Development Environment)
RealBasic, my language of choice. Not free, but has a trial version.
MIT Open Courseware videos of Programming 101 lectures

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