How do you learn a programming language?

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#1 j4v3d  Icon User is offline

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How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:59 PM

Hi all

Just wondering how do you guys learn a new programming language.. Well I know there is reading books but how do remember stuff - I find it hard to remember the so called easy stuff. It's like I have to keep reading a chapter in a book multiple times to understand it and then a week later I forget it.. Anyone else have the same problem and how can you overcome this problem? I like the rest of you guys want to be a solid programmer and remember certain stuff at the drop of a hat but I'm currently struggling. Programming language I'm currently using and learning is C#

If in wrong section apologies in advance

Thanks

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Replies To: How do you learn a programming language?

#2 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:09 PM

cocaine.
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#3 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:12 PM

Quote

Well I know there is reading books but how do remember stuff - I find it hard to remember the so called easy stuff. It's like I have to keep reading a chapter in a book multiple times to understand it and then a week later I forget it..

So you question is really how do you remember things?
Posted Image

A bit more proactice approach was told to me by my friend Eric. He said there was a camp people can go to for concentration. He was recommending it to my buddy Kyle.
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#4 AthenaDX  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:32 PM

Honestly, the best way to remember things is to use the information that you want to remember on a regular basis. I forgot most the stuff I learned in school, easy stuff I mean, until I used it on a daily basis. You'll learn to google things a lot less often. Tis normal.

Or, just do cocaine or memory boosters as the above posters mention. ;D Faster.
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#5 j4v3d  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:38 PM

Cocaine? I'm not in to drugs lol

Memory Booster? Do people actually use that? Could be addictive!

And for the last post yes I'll have to just learn like topics at a time and practice them regularly and consistently so I can remember it. Any other SENSIBLE suggestions?

Thanks
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#6 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:39 PM

Practice with the language. That's the only real way you're going to learn it.
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#7 Raynes  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:49 PM

*
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At this point, I don't really 'learn' new languages. I just use it. I don't try to learn a new language unless I actually have something to write in it, and then I just write it. If I need to know something, I google it and/or look at other code. Eventually you just realize you've accidentally learned the language.

This post has been edited by Raynes: 10 January 2013 - 03:50 PM

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#8 Ticon  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:53 PM

I learn by seeing source code mostly. Take a look at the snippets around here, some of it seems genuinely useless. like finding the distance between 2 X Y points, but it turns out that it can be very useful in the right context.

If all else fails ask a question about something you don't understand.
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#9 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:55 PM

The first couple of languages, I think are usually a matter of conscious learning. The better you are at writing programs, though, the better you get at looking for the tools you need. Then, as Raynes and mac say, it becomes a matter of writing programs. When you need a tool, you go get it.

This is one reason it's a good idea to make your second language very different from your first: it's going to be hard anyway, but if you learn lisp after Java (for example) then you're going to learn a lot of new ideas in a hurry. Those ideas will help a lot when you go to something in between, like python, because you'll be looking for a lot more different tools. And you'll find them.
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#10 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:08 PM

Programming at it's basic form is problem solving. What your program does will usually solve a problem. Medical programs diagnose patients or help doctors, hotel management software helps keep track of customers, and porn site help those... you get the idea.

Programming languages will give you a multitool containing a bunch of tools that are VERY good at solving problems, if you know how to use them correctly. However a new tool will present some problems: How do I use this tool? This is where problem-solving skills are essential. This is why people who skip through their classes and copy paste code fail: They have bad problem solving skills, and it will catch up to them sooner or later (hopefully).

This is what you want. You want to learn how to use the multitool. How do you normally learn how to use a new tool? Well that's up to you. You can Google is, lookup videos on Youtube, maybe even eHow if that's your thing.

The more tools you will learn to master, the easier it will be for you to solve problems. Can you solve a complex trigonometry question using addition only? Probably not. Can you dig a 6 foot deep hole using a screwdriver? Maybe, but it will take you quite awhile. This is why the more experience you have, the larger and more complex systems you can build. Know only hello world? That's like trying to dig a hole with a screwdriver.

To expand on problem solving, that is also what you should be doing when making programs. Of course not all programs need a whiteboard and devoted file folder with sketches and diagrams, but just enough to help you realize your path and what tools you will use along the way to get where you're going.


Not sure why I typed all this up, but I hope my analogy and rambling helped.
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#11 farrell2k  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:24 PM

The same way you learn anything. By comparing and contrasting it to a language you already know. They're all pretty much similar. It usually just comes down to syntax.
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#12 h4nnib4l  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:32 PM

You're learning an object oriented language. Learning the language is important, but learning the paradigm is vital. To continue the tool analogy, you could have every carpentry tool in existence, but if you don't understand carpentry itself, you'll build a piss-poor entertainment center.

With your first language, you're learning to program as much as you're learning the language. To add to jon.kiparsky's advice, make your next language a functional language. Learn the different paradigms, and you'll eventually figure out when to apply each.
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#13 ishkabible  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:49 PM

I'm in the boat with Raynes here. I can use another language with next to no start up. It doesn't mean my code is idiomatic but my code works. as farrell2k said you compare it to other languages you know. The first language is a lot harder but after that you have a base for other languages. Eventually you learn the idioms and you program in the language without comparing it to one you already know.

Quote

They're all pretty much similar. It usually just comes down to syntax.

I couldn't disagree more with this. Any half decent language is totally different from others. I forget who said it but it went something like "if a new language doesn't make me think differently, what good is it?". Certainly there are common traits and paradigms but the part that really makes a language a language is very different.

This post has been edited by ishkabible: 10 January 2013 - 04:53 PM

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#14 alicemenezes  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:42 AM

Well there's three things you could do. Practice, practice and.....practice. Programming is just like math. you can't really memorize it. the syntax etc must be written and studied and the programs actually written and practiced can be a huge help. Try to develop little easy programs on your own to keep things interesting.
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#15 raghav.naganathan  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:41 AM

Well, basically if you need to learn a programming language, you should be passionate about it...the more passionate you are about programming, the more interested you will be in the logical analysis of situations. You need to have that fire in you to become a better programmer and work towards that goal.

That is where practice comes into place, as alicemenezes says. It is impossible for anyone to become an expert programmer in a day. The main ingredient for becoming one is constant practice, which helps you keep in touch with the language.

Now is the most important part...don't be afraid to make mistakes. Make plenty of mistakes and when you make mistakes, make sure you learn from your mistakes. This will help you to become a better programmer.

regards,
Raghav
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