6 Replies - 1180 Views - Last Post: 31 July 2014 - 11:21 AM

#1 TheFallynOne  Icon User is offline

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Where can I learn the why's and when's of programming?

Posted 30 July 2014 - 09:14 PM

After I've watched a few very good tutorials and read a book on Java, I'm getting comfortable with the how's, almost. When I want to accomplish a program on my own, however, I don't know where to start. I get confused on why things are used in place of something else (an interface instead of a superclass or an abstract class), and when to use something else. What resources can I use to help me understand better why to do something, and also to just learn good coding practices and designs in general?

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Replies To: Where can I learn the why's and when's of programming?

#2 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Where can I learn the why's and when's of programming?

Posted 30 July 2014 - 10:47 PM

Big question. There's a lot to know.

The first thing you have to do to learn to program is always going to be "write lots of programs". That's also the third, fifth, and in fact the nth answer for all odd values of n. It's possible to write lots of programs and not learn how to program, of course, but what's impossible is that you'll learn to program without writing lots of code. So the first answer to your question is "wherever your computer is". Sit down at your machine, and write lots of code. Don't be afraid to do things wrong - make lots of mistakes, and learn from them. Sometimes I think that expertise is only acquired by eliminating all possible mistakes, one at a time, by making each of them.


Other places you might go would include school, work, and forums like this one, I guess. Coursera has a number of useful classes, but the fundamentals are better learned in person.
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#3 Skydiver  Icon User is offline

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Re: Where can I learn the why's and when's of programming?

Posted 31 July 2014 - 06:07 AM

Learning the art of programming is like learning to play chess well. To quote from one of my favorite musicals:

Quote

Each game of chess
Means there's one less
Variation left to be played.

Each day got through
Means one or two
Less mistakes remain to be made.


Yes, there are books about design patterns that will recommend when particular architectures and/or behaviors will work to accomplish a goal, but its still up to you as the programmer to be cognizant of when the pattern my help, and when the pattern will actually make things more difficult in the long run.
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#4 TheFallynOne  Icon User is offline

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Re: Where can I learn the why's and when's of programming?

Posted 31 July 2014 - 07:05 AM

Thanks for all the help! I just wanted to refrain from being "bad" I suppose.
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#5 Michael26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Where can I learn the why's and when's of programming?

Posted 31 July 2014 - 07:55 AM

Skydiver and jon.kiparsky
Is this book good for him?
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#6 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Where can I learn the why's and when's of programming?

Posted 31 July 2014 - 08:05 AM

Don't know, I haven't read it. It comes well recommended, I know that.
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#7 Skydiver  Icon User is offline

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Re: Where can I learn the why's and when's of programming?

Posted 31 July 2014 - 11:21 AM

It's a good book to read and adds many practical considerations. Keep in mind that book is targeted towards writing production code within a team structure. The practices and suggestions made apply to the individual programmer learning the art as well, but to different degree.
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