How do you learn a programming language?

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42 Replies - 10419 Views - Last Post: 08 March 2013 - 08:19 AM

#16 j4v3d  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:57 AM

Thank you all for the responses, alot to take on - but definitely some good advice there and approaches.

Will need to be on top of this coding and learning everyday for a while so it can stick to this loose brain of mine. With the help of you guys im sure i will get there in the end but its going to be hard work which im committed in doing.
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#17 Mikhail  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:56 PM

The only way you're really going to learn programming or a programming language is by programming that is the only way. Programming is not a spectator sport.
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#18 j4v3d  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:44 PM

View PostMikhail, on 11 January 2013 - 02:56 PM, said:

The only way you're really going to learn programming or a programming language is by programming that is the only way. Programming is not a spectator sport.


Definitely is not a spectator sport - there is so much watching you can do where as you need to be deep within it to grasp it. Was just wondering what approaches people take and how to remember it.

I tihnk im going to teach myself each chapter at a time for a month hardcore learning and coding solid. Become a recluse and just interact with code! (In a good way that is before people start to get the wrong idea)
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#19 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 11 January 2013 - 04:14 PM

find a problem you wanna solve, use your documentation/book solve it. that's really the whole point, isn't it?
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#20 AVReidy  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 11 January 2013 - 05:51 PM

Writing software is generally a good approach. A book may be helpful if you're not familiar with the basic concepts in programming, but in my experience they're all but useless when you're looking to learn a specific language (unless the book happens to take a "learn by doing" approach in which case you may learn quite rapidly). It's really not about memorization; you're not going to get far if you take that approach. You shouldn't judge your skill by what you remember in terms of obscure, infrequently-used naming conventions: For instance, when I set out to make a web application, I often forget the exact naming of specific PHP functions like mysql_real_escape_string();, but that doesn't mean I'm a poor programmer. Similarly, I'm not a better programmer than Linus Torvalds because I know how to make a Java GUI by memory while he doesn't. Use the Web to your advantage: You can always look things up when you don't remember them -- even syntax. (I often forget the C-like syntax for creating arrays, but I have a good understanding of how to use them, and that's what's important.) If you set out with a goal (something you want to build by programming) in mind, and you try your best to make that goal a reality, you should pick up the concepts and even programming language-specific syntax very quickly. Good luck, and stick with it!
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#21 AdamSpeight2008  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:08 PM

Learn the generic concepts, principles and algorithms.

  • Variables
  • Looping
    Are essentially the same in principle in all languages, except maybe for the actual syntax the language uses.
  • Conditionals
    Eg If Else, ...
  • Branching
    Eg Calling Methods and Functions, GoTo, GoSub ...
  • Collections
    Arrays are not the only (or always the best) choice.
    Do you have to create your own implementations of them, really?
    Eg Dictionary, HashSet
  • Abstraction
  • Encapsulation
  • Inheritance
    Can the object design inherit some of its implementation from a base class?
  • Generics
    Can it apply for different types.
    pub Swap['T](* X As 'T, Y As 'T)
      tmp := X
        X := Y
        Y := tmp
    
    

  • Algorithms
    Get yourself a book on algorithms.
  • Libraries
    Learn to use the libraries it'll save you writing a lot for your self.


Now the moderately simple part is how you can do the above list in your chosen programming paradigm (Functional or Procedural) or language (C#, LISP, C++, Fortran, ...).
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#22 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 11 January 2013 - 11:06 PM

View Postj4v3d, on 10 January 2013 - 04:38 PM, said:

...Any other SENSIBLE suggestions?...


...yes, don't post something like this in the caffeine lounge and expect much of any serious responses.

That being said, this seems to be a rare one that got knocked back on rails.

My steps:
1. Read the history, and find out the inspiration behind the language
2. Find out the key paradigm of the language, do you know it?
a. yes: keep going
b. no: learn about the paradigm, what makes it unique, strengths and weaknesses
3. Learn syntax
4. Learn community style and commonly accepted styles. (eg. Rubyists like blocks)
5. Create a mid scale application from scratch. This can be a game, database, financial, or something else you already know how to do. Make SURE you've already solved this problem once before. If you're experienced you can skip this one.
6. Start a large scale outside your knowledge domain or join an open source (after you research it, A LOT.)
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#23 trevster344  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 11 January 2013 - 11:49 PM

Best advice I have is practice every day for at least 1-3 hours. Try to accomplish something new everyday, but if you feel like you're going to forget something then try to apply the last thing you learned, to the new thing you're learning. If you don't feel stumped at least a little each time you're not challenging yourself enough. Programmers don't just remember everything they've learned the first day. In fact you can't remember something you don't use, but if you don't use it enough and feel like you will need it in the future, then I suggest you book mark it, write it down, take notes on it, or something. Most programmers save all the code they've written and reference it like a good book many times. I've known most experts to adapt most their code to modules that can be used in a new program in the click of a button, or a few lines of code allowing for fast creation. Eventually you'll remember a good portion of the things you've learned. Good luck to you bud! I'm sure you'll be on a roll soon enough.
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#24 jammmie999  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 13 January 2013 - 11:45 AM

I learn by brute force, and a little gluing together of code online.
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#25 AdamSpeight2008  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 13 January 2013 - 11:47 AM

Ahh! The Cut, Paste and Comment out till it works method.
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#26 juryben  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 13 January 2013 - 06:19 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 10 January 2013 - 03:12 PM, said:

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.


You might joke about cognitive enhancing drugs.
I might abuse modafinil.
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#27 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 13 January 2013 - 07:09 PM

Perhaps you should scale back from the 'abuse' ledge.
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#28 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:36 PM

Hey man, the only drug you need to abuse to be a programmer is caffeine.

This post has been edited by creativecoding: 14 January 2013 - 11:15 PM

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#29 Ticon  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:50 PM

God knows every programmer needs caffeine :bananaman:
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#30 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: How do you learn a programming language?

Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:55 PM

It's not abuse. It's totally consensual. The caffeine wants to be in me.
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