How Did You Learn To Program?

Tutorials, Books, Coding, etc.

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13 Replies - 2333 Views - Last Post: 27 September 2010 - 08:26 AM

#1 Brewer  Icon User is offline

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How Did You Learn To Program?

Posted 08 September 2010 - 11:30 AM

I have noticed time and time again that even though people suggest that I read this book, or give that tutorial a try, that these things just do not help me. I feel like the only real way I can learn something is by actually doing it. I have much more success when I do something 100 times and get it wrong half of those times, than reading a book cover to cover.

I feel that have reference books, such as API references, is a great thing! But this is because you use these as a reference, you don't actually read them. You open the book, find what you are looking for, and close the book. That is all there is too it.

I have learned loads recently participating on websites such as CodingBat and Project Euler. Way more than I have ever learned from a text.

Discuss. How do you feel about this? Are you the same way? Or do you prefer to have your trusty book by your side?

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Replies To: How Did You Learn To Program?

#2 biggerB  Icon User is offline

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Re: How Did You Learn To Program?

Posted 08 September 2010 - 11:34 AM

Well i believe in learning by trying.. I got some of the basic information off some online tutorials and a book for C# after that the best way to learn is to get the language you want and let loose...
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#3 Nikitin  Icon User is offline

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Re: How Did You Learn To Program?

Posted 08 September 2010 - 11:36 AM

Read book, do exercises.
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#4 Brewer  Icon User is offline

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Re: How Did You Learn To Program?

Posted 08 September 2010 - 11:38 AM

I find that I will think of an idea for a program, and start working on it. When I hit a snag, I will work on that for a little while, and if I need help then I will come here to D.I.C and ask questions. I generally get some great help.

Is this how things work out for you, biggerB?
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#5 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: How Did You Learn To Program?

Posted 08 September 2010 - 11:40 AM

Reading a "Learn to code in 21 days" book means doing the exercises. Just reading and memorizing without doing the exercises and tutorials is just silly. It's like buying an apartment building for the tax break, but not renting out the apartments for income: You only get a small percentage of the benefit.
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#6 biggerB  Icon User is offline

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Re: How Did You Learn To Program?

Posted 08 September 2010 - 11:46 AM

View Post.i7, on 08 September 2010 - 05:38 PM, said:

I find that I will think of an idea for a program, and start working on it. When I hit a snag, I will work on that for a little while, and if I need help then I will come here to D.I.C and ask questions. I generally get some great help.

Is this how things work out for you, biggerB?


Well ya.. That's how i learnt most of what i know.. With occasionally gooling up my problems... I discovered DIC just a couple of months ago before that i really jus relied on google.. I started wanting to learn C# but then VB.net really inspired me more so that's what i learned..
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#7 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: How Did You Learn To Program?

Posted 08 September 2010 - 12:07 PM

I actually learned OTJ. I was hired to help build and maintain an insurance application. I had 10+ years of insurance industry experience and the way it was explained to me was "we can more easily teach someone with the necessary insurance experience to code than we can teach a coder all he needs to know about insurance".

So, I had a mentor for about 6 months, I read books and I attended one "introduction to" course and the rest was/is code/find bugs/fix/code/find bugs/fix/code/find bugs/fix/code/find bugs/fix/code/find bugs/fix/code/find bugs/fix...ad nauseum.

This post has been edited by Craig328: 08 September 2010 - 12:07 PM

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#8 PhunkRabbit  Icon User is offline

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Re: How Did You Learn To Program?

Posted 08 September 2010 - 12:13 PM

Personally I learnt by trying/doing.

Need a script to perform a task, I downloaded a script for it or copy/pasted a tutorial result that did what I needed.

Over time these 3rd party scripts dont intergrate together or dont work quite how you want so you have to make slight adjustments.

Eventually you will find that the small adjustments you are making make sence or you make an adjustment on another script using little or even no outside help (forums etc).

Once you have an understanding of the language books come into play, tutorials will make sence or atleast the logic of them. This is when you really start to learn and hopfully you will develop the hunger to learn more about the language.

Remember, it takes effort, time and practice.
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#9 Somyagupta  Icon User is offline

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Re: How Did You Learn To Program?

Posted 08 September 2010 - 12:35 PM

I learnt new languages byreading the books and doing the exercises along with it.
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#10 jumptrooper  Icon User is offline

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Re: How Did You Learn To Program?

Posted 08 September 2010 - 12:53 PM

I've learned through a variety of methods - class, online tutorials, self-directed reading, and just fiddling around. I think I personally learn best in the class environment because it keeps me focused, but I would say I've learned the most from reading for myself and through online tutorials.

By the way: CodingBat is awesome! I've been looking for a site like that for a while! I knew about Project Euler and I really like it - but I get stuck sometimes because I don't have as extensive a math background as you sometimes need.
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#11 anonymouscodder  Icon User is offline

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Re: How Did You Learn To Program?

Posted 08 September 2010 - 04:52 PM

I always start with a book.
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#12 earlgrey  Icon User is offline

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Re: How Did You Learn To Program?

Posted 27 September 2010 - 06:34 AM

I had the fundementals of programming taught to me at college. But there is only so much a tutor can tell you. I think that you do the majority of the learning yourself and I am a personal believer that you need to get stuck into code to learn. For myself I find that coding personal projects helps me more than anything else, probably because the interest factor is raised. For languages like Java, I really think that you need to learn some theory aswell as code. OOP is a great tool when you understand the fundemental concepts such as Inheritance, Polymorphism, Object life cycles etc.

On the subject of books, I think that alot of books are written by people who have forgotten what it is actually like to learn a programming language or have learned the 'old fasioned' way (lots of boring text, boring words, boring examples). The Head First series for the most part are pretty decent with a visual style that is engaging. I thought Head First Java was a bit silly when I first started reading it, until I started to realise that the concepts were sticking in my head and I was writing truly object oriented code. Just find something that inspires your creativity and play with it, change it, write it but most of all, enjoy it :)
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#13 DaneAU  Icon User is offline

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Re: How Did You Learn To Program?

Posted 27 September 2010 - 06:51 AM

I always have for any thing that is new, glossed over the book and read snippets of each section. This gives me a rough guide to where things are headed. I then systematically work through the book or books and experiment, supplementing with other resources once i hit a road block. If i can't get my head around something I leave it for a while and make a note to return to it. The essential thing is to take that information learnt, out of your brain and put it to use. Do not copy code - write it from your head and understand how each section relates to another. The common analogy i would use is probably - you could know every word in the english dictionary and be incapable of forming a sentence. so writing and putting pieces together is essential in progressing. After all its a new language you are learning, although it is based on logic it is still foreign. Understand at the outset that the language is built on a logical system, expect pieces will fall into place and work to understand the individual pieces so you can learn when and where to use them.

This post has been edited by DaneAU: 27 September 2010 - 06:54 AM

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#14 kowwok  Icon User is offline

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Re: How Did You Learn To Program?

Posted 27 September 2010 - 08:26 AM

Jump into a project that you know nothing about. You'll either fail, or you'll learn something.
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