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#1 okan  Icon User is offline

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Lost in development

Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:44 AM

Hi there,

My first post, yay. First of all, let me say that my question is about learning something new, not just programming. I'm a 32 years old graphics designer(mostly motion graphics 2d and 3d stuff, no web experience) And my writing english can be a little shitty since i don't use it much :) sorry for that, but you'll get my point.
Back in the old days, when i was 9 or 10, i remember me and my dad went out and bought an Amiga with little balloon pictures on it(it was a german version). While buying the Amiga, we forgot to buy games, thought it came with a few but it didn't. So i would have to wait another week to buy some games. When i opened the box, there was this book Basic for Amiga(in german). I opened the book, without knowing anything or understanding, i started to enter the codes. You know, 10 print this 20 go to 10 stuff..It was magical. It was this book, my amiga and me. No internet, no distractions, no games. It was so much fun. Then i got the games and stopped messing with coding. After 2 decades, and a decade of graphics design, i have this urge to learn coding again. But right now, everything seems messed up. There are millions of tutorials, books, forums..hundreds of programming languages..And i'm lost. I don't even know where to begin..This is also same for people who wants to start learning graphics design. There are lots of 2d and 3d software. Lots of tutorials. But the truth is, everything starts with pen and paper right. Well everybody knows this, but they are just wasting their time with learning new software, instead of focusing on design. The concepts, color theories and everything. If someone asks me where to being learning Graphics Design, i would advice them to start with a book about Color. And for starters. i would advice them to get a Photoshop and start with it. After effects and Cinema 4d would be right tools for motion graphics designers. But when i ask a question about how to learn coding, i can't get any non-confusing answer. One says, get Dennis's C book and start with it. Other says get Python and learn OO, get VC# express, start with PHP etc... the list goes...
I am a simple man, i like things simple and stay simple. Since the computers are dumb, coding is the way we tell computer what we ask right. If computers are so dumb, how come they know so many languages.( i know the facts but this is the way i want to see things) I just want to talk to my computer with one language. In this case, macs seems better for me since objective-c is the language and Xcode is your IDE that comes with it. What about Windows? What about Web Development?

I want to learn coding, like the days i got that Amiga, with a simple Basic book, without internet connection and all that confusing stuff. I don't want to learn Objective-C without learning basic concepts nor web development.

So, since you are getting to know how i look at things, what would you recommend?

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Replies To: Lost in development

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Lost in development

Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:51 AM

For starters - the lounge is probably not the best place for this. I'll move it to the 'software dev' subforum.
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#3 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Lost in development

Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:59 AM

Quote

But when i ask a question about how to learn coding, i can't get any non-confusing answer. One says, get Dennis's C book and start with it. Other says get Python and learn OO, get VC# express, start with PHP etc... the list goes...

Well yes.. people have different perspectives, opinions, and so forth. This is one of those "more than one way to skin a cat" things. Just like graphic design.

Quote

I just want to talk to my computer with one language. In this case, macs seems better for me since objective-c is the language and Xcode is your IDE that comes with it. What about Windows? What about Web Development?
...
I want to learn coding, like the days i got that Amiga, with a simple Basic book, without internet connection and all that confusing stuff. I don't want to learn Objective-C without learning basic concepts nor web development.


First off - we have a plethora of "where do I start" threads. You may want to flip around the forums and investigate.

Second - just realize you are not in the same place as you were twenty some odd years ago. This means learning is probably going to be different ... so if you are chasing some sort of warm fuzzy memory of yore it might be a different reality now. Just say'n.

Third - I am unclear what you want to do. What do you really want to achieve? Is this pure hobby or what does "I just want to talk to my computer" decode to an actual project or goal? See - that is super duper important to us because, as you mentioned, there are innumerable combinations to achieve goals. A desktop app is different from a mobile app is different from a web page sort of thing.

Fourth - paragraphs man! Wall o' text is difficult (well at least for me).

Fifth - if you want that old experience of your Commodore/Amiga, you know you can buy 'em again, right?
http://www.commodore..._amigamini.aspx

So - action points.
1. What sort of project do you have in mind?
2. Are you sticking with mac? I saw you threw 'windows' in there and I am unclear as to what extent.
3. Graphic design? I want to be a snoop - where's your portfolio!?
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#4 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Lost in development

Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:14 AM

View Postokan, on 01 February 2013 - 12:44 PM, said:

I am a simple man, i like things simple and stay simple. Since the computers are dumb, coding is the way we tell computer what we ask right. If computers are so dumb, how come they know so many languages.( i know the facts but this is the way i want to see things) I just want to talk to my computer with one language. In this case, macs seems better for me since objective-c is the language and Xcode is your IDE that comes with it. What about Windows? What about Web Development?



Why so many languages? Different tools for different purposes. Any turing-complete language can compute anything that any other turing-complete language can compute, but you wouldn't want to write web applications in C and you wouldn't want to write drivers in PHP.

What should you do? The answer is always the same: pick a thing and do it. If you want to play with iGizmo apps, obj-C is your way to go. Android? Learn Java. Web? Many options, including the HTML/CSS/JS/PHP stack, python and django, RoR, or whatever.
Whatever it is you want to do, start doing it. It that train turns out to be going the wrong direction, jump off and catch another.
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#5 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Lost in development

Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:07 PM

I think I get what OP is getting at.

When going to graphic design, all those programs and tools are just that, tools. If you want to learn proper graphic design you start with the theory of colour and design, then you move onto the tools. You'll know which tools to use because you'll know what you're attempting to accomplish.

When getting into coding the first thing OP is being told is to select a tool and work with it. This is backwards to the way OP is used to learning. It's backwards to the way I'm used to learning as well and I had similar issues when I started out coding.

I also believe in a jump in and drown mentality as well though... so I just jumped into the tools and figured "what ever, I'll figure this out or die trying".



If you want some theory to start with. I'd say brush up your math (note my signature). Algebra, Discrete Mathematics, the basics. Get an idea of functions and how discrete systems and algorithms work.

I included an already existing knowledge of computers and its hardware and how they work together (to a basic extent). I understand the role of most all components, including the sub-components on the mother-board. I had a general idea of how the CPU operated on instructions, and how its relationship with the memory was. I bet there's books out there on this if you don't already know it.

I also picked up a few books about computer science when I started (I didn't go to college for this, so I just dug around libraries and the sort). Some books I got were:

A book describing the RISC processor architecture and how to write simple programs to operate directly on the RISC processor in assembly language.

Knuth's series "The Art of Programming". Went way over my head at times, but damn was it a good read. I accompanied it with the book "Concrete Mathematics" also written by Knuth with 2 other mathematicians.

A book on XNA and C#. As well as a book on game design. I wanted to get into making videogames... not saying this would help you, OP.



I selected C++ and C# as my starting tools once I got to a point where I felt I wanted to actually write code. This had mostly to do with my knowing my end goal. I wanted to make videogames, and C++ is the defacto language in the game industry (I found this out online). I also added C# to the list because I was looking at XNA which was Microsofts alternative to DirectX. Because DirectX was flying over my head rather often, and hearing that XNA was more indie friendly, I decided to check it out as well. Also getting XNA up and running on an XBOX was cheap and easy, not so with DirectX.

I had a concrete goal that I could google about and ask what tools fit its needs. I wasn't asking "I want to learn to program", it was "I want to learn to program so I can make videogames".

Programming is a bit of a tool as well. So you're going to get tool responses when you ask about it. Saying "I want to learn to program" is like saying "I want to learn to be a carpenter". Ok, well here's a hammer and a saw, go at it... if you want any more information, well what do you want to build?

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 01 February 2013 - 12:13 PM

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#6 BobRodes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Lost in development

Posted 04 February 2013 - 04:25 PM

I would first get some idea of Object-Oriented programming. Think about creating systems of interchangeable parts, instead of crafting things from scratch. Then look at C++ C#, or Java. Of these, C++ is the only one that doesn't HAVE to be OO.

I'm reminded of the same feeling when I studied electronic music back in the days of Moog synthesizers 30 years ago. 20 years later, everything was all about presets, and you couldn't build sounds from scratch anymore by combining sine waves and modulating one signal with another. I definitely felt lost, and in some ways still do. I'd like to go back to a roll-your-own paradigm, but it takes knowledge that most people aren't willing to learn.

If you really want to "go commando" have a look at Assembly. :)

This post has been edited by BobRodes: 04 February 2013 - 04:25 PM

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