Where should I start?

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  • #172
    Microsoftt
    Participant

    I have little to no experience in any sort of programming, where should I start? Ive tried Codeacademy and had a meh time with it. Where did you guys learn?
    My plan is to be fully sufficient in a programming language by senior year of high school, I’m currently a sophmore. I have 2.5 years!
    So tell me, where should I / Where did you begin?

    #2801
    gravehorrorvacui
    Moderator

    What kind of programming are you interested in? The three big areas are web development, systems and application programming. In web development you’ll see HTML (duh), PHP, SQL, and JavaScript most often. Systems programming is almost always done in C and assembly languages (assembly languages vary by processor, the most common is x86). Application programming is all over the place and covers all kinds of projects from behind the scenes banking software through video games. You’ll see almost every language used in application programming in some way or another. There’s also scripting, which is programming-lite (LITE – the new way to spell light with 20% fewer letters!) and is done in languages built specifically for scripting. Some popular scripting languages are Python, JavaScript, and Bash.

    All languages have little quirks about them that you learn pretty much only through trial and error, but the biggest things to get down initially are ideas like variables (simple algebra concept here) and control structures (iteration and selection!) as well as “Object Oriented” design. You won’t need OO for scripting or web development really, but its the hot thing in application programming right now.

    I learned to program with a focus on application development and my first language was Java. Java has lots of rules to follow that will help make you a good programmer, even without an IDE. At the same time though, its really verbose and it can be a pain to write a little one-off Java program. For instance, Java isn’t really the language you want to use to solve Project Euler problems. However, if you’re making something like Minecraft you’re not going to want to use JavaScript (very different from Java! the two have no relation to one another).

    NINJA EDIT: I’ll finish up the major parts of the links thread and get some more information out there for you in a little bit.

    #2802
    Altimeter
    Moderator

    I had this same problem. Not sure where to start.

    I pretty much had to take a class to get going, because it kicked my ass into gear with the stuff. The organized approach really helped me.

    MIT OpenCourseWare has a section on Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. One of their basic intro to programming courses would be a good bet. If you’ve got a particular language in mind, there’s basic courses on many of the major ones.

    I started with C++, myself, and I feel like it was a good choice, but choice of language really doesn’t matter as much as learning the basic ideas.

    #2803
    Casper3641
    Participant

    Python is probably great for people that haven’t had any experience. The opencourseware that Alti linked above goes into some interesting details. http://learncodethehardway.org/ – He’s organized everything pretty well.

    #2804
    Young_Maker
    Member

    The way I started was in picaxe basic (for PIC microcontrollers). Don’t do this, as its really, really hard to migrate to C based languages. After python, I suggest Javascript because its more like a simplified version of C++, the worlds most common language.
    for javascript, W3 schools has a very good program.
    http://www.w3schools.com/js/default.asp
    I prefer java now, but that’s not as useful in some respects as C++
    I’m only a sophomore now. I started early :D, last summer I learned 4 languages

    for(int i=0; i>"LOL";}
    #2805
    gravehorrorvacui
    Moderator
    for(int i=0; i>"LOL";}

    Too many lulz!

    #2806
    Young_Maker
    Member

    indeed!

    #2808
    FuzzyWuzzie
    Moderator
    for(int i=0; i>"LOL";}

    Won’t actually work :P, but the following will do what you want:

    for(long long i=0; i< 100000000000000; i++){std::cout<<"LOL";}

    Cookies for anyone who tells me why I made the changes I made.

    #2807
    gravehorrorvacui
    Moderator

    Cout and most of the other standard functions in C and C++ are in the std namespace, and that number is too big for a regular int or even a regular long, thus the long long.

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