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#1 RossC  Icon User is offline

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Not sure how to get started

Posted 18 January 2007 - 10:40 PM

Hi. I'm really interested in getting into programming. I have been writing html & css websites for about a year now and would like to start learning how to write software as a hobby or maybe a career if I can get good enough. The problem is, I have no idea where to start.

Should I sign up for a course or should I buy some books and teach myself?

If anyone can point me in the right direction I would really appreciate it.

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Replies To: Not sure how to get started

#2 maggie_noodles  Icon User is offline

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Re: Not sure how to get started

Posted 19 January 2007 - 12:16 AM

I might not be the best person to say these things but I'd be glad to help.

View PostRossC, on 19 Jan, 2007 - 01:40 PM, said:

I have been writing html & css websites for about a year now...

That's a pretty good start.

View PostRossC, on 19 Jan, 2007 - 01:40 PM, said:

... and would like to start learning how to write software as a hobby or maybe a career if I can get good enough.
Yep, HTML isn't a programming language, but as I said, its a good start. You could use that skill to earn money just like most of our masters here. You could promote yourself, I mean what you can do, through blogsites. Or, if you're in school, you could ask kids/students from lower levels if they need assistance on related matters for a price. But free on the first session. If they liked your tutorial/assistance, they could pay on the succeeding ones.

I would've suggested using the school bulletin board but that would not be good considering on the "technology" you are working on.

View PostRossC, on 19 Jan, 2007 - 01:40 PM, said:

The problem is, I have no idea where to start.

Should I sign up for a course or should I buy some books and teach myself?

On the other hand, if your up for the real thing, you could start with the basics. A book would do just fine. But that would mean you coughing out money. Well, you could always borrow one. There's always the internet anyway. And <DIC> of course! We have lots of tutorials right here that you could look at. There are lots to choose from so it won't really be that hard.

I suggest Java. It's fun.
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#3 RossC  Icon User is offline

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Re: Not sure how to get started

Posted 21 January 2007 - 03:08 AM

Thanks for your comments. I think maybe I'll get a couple of books to start off with. Does anyone have any suggestions for some good books for getting started in programming?

Regards
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#4 William_Wilson  Icon User is offline

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Re: Not sure how to get started

Posted 21 January 2007 - 08:39 AM

when you are first starting just about anything will do, pick a language you are interested in, or something popular and give it a try. Just be sure to pick a book for beginners, no point confusing yourself before you get a good foothold, might be discouraging.
Just remember that it is different in application programming than web programming. Have you done any php or logarithmic programming before?
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#5 fooboo  Icon User is offline

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Re: Not sure how to get started

Posted 22 January 2007 - 08:53 AM

I don't know what the job market down on your side of the world :P but here in the UK the adverts for Java programmers wanted out number all the other languages put together. And now that Java has gone open source they reckon it's going to get even more popular...plus it's easier to pick up than C++ which is another useful one to know.

If you do decide to go down the Java route there is a book called 'Head first Java'. It was written by the woman that teaches Sun employees Java and it's really easy to follow.
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#6 eLliDKraM  Icon User is offline

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Re: Not sure how to get started

Posted 22 January 2007 - 09:52 AM

in terms of economics, i'd get the books. the only reason i would have taken a course (other than it being required but since i don't program for shit it doesn't matter) is because i'd need to personally ask questions to an instructor or students who know what the shit they're talking about hands on. but, with all things being equal, i think dreamincode is ALMOST as good as that, i would never suggest that it's better, sorry chris, but it's mostly all about how you learn.
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#7 jstephens  Icon User is offline

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Re: Not sure how to get started

Posted 24 January 2007 - 12:04 PM

I would say grab a couple of books to start off with. I would also agree to start of with java or c++. Personally I like c++ better but again each to their own. As far as parts that you get stuck on just ask your question here. or just look around the forums and see what questions have been asked. That was the best way I have found for learning.

The very best advice is to practice, make up your own exercises, and purposely break your programs. Failure is the greatest teacher.
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#8 ajwsurfer  Icon User is offline

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Re: Not sure how to get started

Posted 23 March 2007 - 11:44 PM

You are already doing HTML and CSS, so Javascript can be added to what you are currently doing without any additional tools. Most of the web stuff accesses databases. PHP is not much of a jump from what you are already doing, and it has easy access to databases.

Database programming for the web is another discipline that will be needed. It's language is SQL which is easy to learn, but database concepts and connectivity take a bit of work.

Java is a huge language, especially when it comes to Web, XML and Databases. It is great to learn and it pays really well. Java also requires it's own server. Tomcat is the easiest one to use, I think.

Then there is the Microsoft .Net World, if you are into spending and making a lot of money.

I prefer Java, but the place I work is really pushing for Microsoft Share point.
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#9 codemonl<ey  Icon User is offline

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Re: Not sure how to get started

Posted 28 March 2007 - 02:07 PM

You have a great start already - at least I'd think so , since it is where I started. :) After doing HTML and websites, I found Java an easy jump, and it opened the door to a whole world of possibilities. It made learning C++ and other languages much easier for me. I would advise that if you were studying on your own, stay with free/open source code and software (or take a course if you feel you have the means). There are a lot of places on the Internet that can help you with this, and offer support for when you get stuck. (Though, I should say, the best I've found has to be </dream.in.code>!)

What I found was that after getting HTML and Java under my belt, being self-taught mostly, I knew both what I specifically wanted to do (career-wise), and it made a difference when I took a class in C++. But those three languages by themselves open a lot of doors for more experience, and seem to be specifically what employers are looking for in beginnners (from a college-intern point of view, of course).
Best of luck, let me know how it goes!
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#10 girasquid  Icon User is offline

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Re: Not sure how to get started

Posted 28 March 2007 - 02:19 PM

View Postcodemonl<ey, on 28 Mar, 2007 - 02:07 PM, said:

You have a great start already - at least I'd think so , since it is where I started.


I'm going to have to second this...I started with HTML/CSS and ended up learning Perl in order to add interactivity. That's where the whole downhill spiral began, I suppose.

I also agree with getting books; even though Google is right at your fingertips, it's easier to learn out of a book sometimes(and much easier to get at if you have a problem and no internet access).
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