How did you learn programming?

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36 Replies - 2926 Views - Last Post: 10 January 2009 - 04:03 AM

Poll: How did you learn programming? (78 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you preffer learning a language

  1. Books (28 votes [35.90%])

    Percentage of vote: 35.90%

  2. Internet (27 votes [34.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 34.62%

  3. Source Code (12 votes [15.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.38%

  4. Classes (11 votes [14.10%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.10%

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#1 trotski  Icon User is offline

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How did you learn programming?

Posted 12 October 2008 - 12:47 AM

I don't find any way better. Please suggest an option.
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#2 RodgerB  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you learn programming?

Posted 12 October 2008 - 02:53 AM

I personally prefer books when starting from ground zero, because most programming authors are still writing books for the gratification of saying, "Hey! I wrote a book!" (don't lie, you know you'd like that sort of gratification ;) ).

When I'm done with books, usually well commented snippets or tutorials go down quite nicely on top of my new toolkit.
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#3 AdamR  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you learn programming?

Posted 12 October 2008 - 04:41 AM

I've gone ahead and hit internet, thats where i learned my first few programming languages back when i was 14. Now i find it easier to learn from books though, and i'd recommend this way to people going into programming.

Learn by doing, but reference a book :)
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#4 Kingbradley6  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you learn programming?

Posted 12 October 2008 - 05:06 AM

I haven't a preference so I'll just be brief about my views of each of them...

Books - I really like reading programming books and I think they are a great help. I much prefer them over the internet however I don't get out book shopping much and so unfortunately I don't often buy them.

Internet - My main method of learning as it is free and easy to access. I don't like the way some online tutorials are written but then that's all I can get if I don't want to spend any money or effort.

Source Code - Until I'm quite good with a language I hate looking at source codes. They're very confusing when you're new to a language and even when you're good with a language they take a whole lot of effort - which I don't have - to read through them and understand them. My worst method unless I'm really good with coding.

Classes - I would prefer to learn with a teacher with classes and lessons but I just don't have that opportunity unfortunately. This would be my prefered method if I could have them but I can't. That's why I can't wait until university when I can finally just do the subjects I enjoy and learn them how I enjoy learning them: Computer Science & Mathematics In Classes With Books!

So overall if I had to choose, either books or classes but both of which I currently lack.

This post has been edited by Kingbradley6: 12 October 2008 - 05:07 AM

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#5 William_Wilson  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you learn programming?

Posted 12 October 2008 - 05:20 AM

I own several programming books, but they are almost all in near mint condition as I rarely open them. I find examples and documentation are how I learn the fastest.

If there is a good teacher, classes can be the best way to go by far, I don't know about anyone else, but I find a good programming instructor to be VERY hard to find.

EDIT: I am not an English major

This post has been edited by William_Wilson: 12 October 2008 - 05:20 AM

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#6 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you learn programming?

Posted 12 October 2008 - 09:38 AM

books. i dont even pay attention in class, or even understand what he is saying to pay attention, so i spend my class time reading the book and working ahead on my projects and labs :)
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#7 Moonbat  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you learn programming?

Posted 12 October 2008 - 11:56 AM

Except for one lone C++ book I have (C++ Primer Plus, Waite Group Series), I have learned everything I know exclusively from the Internet. I have never felt any dumber than the next programmer just because I learned online, as opposed to a classroom or book.
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#8 BetaWar  Icon User is online

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Re: How did you learn programming?

Posted 12 October 2008 - 12:11 PM

for the most part I learned via the internet, but source is also a very good option (especially when it comes with a tutorial so you can see what the code does if you can't figure it out).

I learned through the internet and source code.
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#9 homemade-jam  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you learn programming?

Posted 12 October 2008 - 12:15 PM

I usually use the internet - I have bought books but I find them a bit of a pain in the arse to read. I like instant results/gratification so books don't really do it for me as it requires a bit of work ;D
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#10 gabehabe  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you learn programming?

Posted 12 October 2008 - 05:47 PM

A bit of everything.

I started with books, and then after a couple of weeks started going on the internet looking at intermediate topics, and literally forced my brain to process them.

Now when I learn anything new, I just look it up in the docs and get going.
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#11 RedSonja  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you learn programming?

Posted 13 October 2008 - 03:54 AM

All of those things, and asking colleagues
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#12 JackOfAllTrades  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you learn programming?

Posted 13 October 2008 - 04:54 AM

We didn't have no fancy intertubes when I was learning, nosiree Bob. We read from marble tablets, wrote our source code with chisels, and dammit, that's the way we liked it!

OK, not really, but close. I started with AppleBasic on AppleIIs in high school. Never did anything with that. Some years later I started running a BBS and wanted some special utilities, so I picked up Pascal. Later I learned C and C++, COM, Python, PHP, VB, Ruby, C#...whatever it takes to do the job, you know?

Having the vast resources of the Internet makes it pretty easy to learn, but it can be difficult to learn *properly*, i.e., best practices. Unfortunately there is no shortage of people out there who fancy themselves programmers and post horrible code that others subsequently copy and paste into their own projects without expending the effort to understand the underlying concepts. Find FAQs on the language(s) you're interested in and frequent them. Read lots of code online and study it and make your best attempt to understand what it's doing and why it's being done that way.
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#13 gabehabe  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you learn programming?

Posted 13 October 2008 - 06:43 AM

Saying about learning from the internet, books, etc~

One big fall back, for me at least, is that I don't know a lot of the technical names to describe stuff. I know how to do stuff, and if I don't, I learn it. But I don't know what a lot of the concepts are called.

I guess you could argue that it's not too important just so long as you can do it, but then again when you're in an interview and they ask you how you would do <insert task here> I'd find it difficult to just sit there and say "oh, I'd use <some technique>" as opposed to saying well I'd do this, then this, then that, then this, oh, forgot to do this, go back and do that, then do this..."

Not very impressive. :(
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#14 homemade-jam  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you learn programming?

Posted 14 October 2008 - 03:49 AM

Thats the same with me - I use my own "in my head naming" that works for me. I think that is a great disadavantage from not having formal tuition in programming because you aren't introduced to terminology, just how to get things done.
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#15 Mangotastic  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you learn programming?

Posted 15 October 2008 - 07:34 AM

I personally learnt by all four options but I prefer books and classes because the internet seems to be so scattered and mostly technical (where is the theory?!) I do wish I read more source code though... it's like seeing real world examples.
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