3 Replies - 1658 Views - Last Post: 29 October 2008 - 10:28 AM

#1 gothik12  Icon User is offline

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How is better to learn programming ?

Posted 28 October 2008 - 12:16 PM

I have a question. This question started from an old problem of mine. I have never had a teacher that was able to learn me programming. Recently at my school came a teacher which was able to make me understand the basics of programming...but only basics. I am only at high-school,and I am really scared about the idea that at the university they aren't patient with students which had problems like this in high-school...


All the programming that I know and all what I am able to do is what I have read from the books for beginners. Recently I have started to read a book for intermediate and advanced techniques of programming in PHP and I have realized that, even if I understand, I won't be able to create similar codes with those by my own.

Also, I am trying to solve and the intermediate problems in C++, but I realize that I am not even able to think about a way to solve or ideas simply don't want to come. I know...it's all about mastering the concept...but how to master a concept if you didn't find till then a clear explanation for it ?

My question is : should I restart reading books for beginners and then start making problems from the easiest to the most difficult or to look for a good teacher which is able to explain me and show me what to do ?

Or what would you recommend in a situation like this for a guy looking for a job in automatics (control engineering) or research using programming and computer technology ? I have two more years and I finish high-school :cry:

And I wouldn't have put this question if programming hadn't been a passion of mine.

This post has been edited by gothik12: 28 October 2008 - 12:17 PM


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Replies To: How is better to learn programming ?

#2 5ubw0r1d  Icon User is offline

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Re: How is better to learn programming ?

Posted 28 October 2008 - 03:15 PM

First of all I would say don't worry about lecturers at university, the lecturer is only there to guide you and the majority of the learning you will do will come from your own studying. It is my belief that you are your own best teacher.

Whenever you learn a new programming language always start with the basics, although many languages are similar in principle they are all different in execution, otherwise they wouldn't be different languages. You haven't said what languages you are familiar with, however, you have mentioned PHP and C++ so I am assuming that you are at least familiar with the C styled syntax (syntax just means how the code is written).

If I were you I would get a good beginners guide to C programming, books published by O'reily or Wiley tend to be the best in my view. When you have one of these books read through it and familiarise yourself with Datatypes, Conditional Statements and Control Structures, Methods/Fuctions and Parameters, when you have mastered these aspects of programming you should then aim to learn about these aspects in relation to the language you are learning every time you learn a new language. The reason I suggest you learn C first is that so many languages are based on C. Each language has its own special features and ways of doing something but languages such as C++, Java, Javascript, PHP and Perl are to some extent based on C even if it is only the syntax of the language.

As far as thinking of problems to solve is concerned this is something which you will get better at with practice. When you are learning a new language you should try and find out if it is possible to find a solution to a problem you have already conceived and successfully solved in another language. At first when you are learning a new language try and solve some everyday problems; create a simple calculator for example. The worst thing you can do when you first start out programming is to try and solve a complex problem. Complexity evolves from simplicity and complexity devolves to simplicity, this is something which you will better understand with programming experience.

The languages you have mentioned and your career aspirations may not be hand-in-hand in my personal opinion. PHP is server-side scripting language and is therefore very much a web programming language in the first instance, that is not to say that you cannot create all sort of applications with PHP, it just means that there is generally an accepted view on what it should be used for. C++ is certainly a language you should become familiar with. There is a dispute as to whether or not someone should learn C before C++ as C++ is very much an Object-Orient language( a term which you will almost certainly come across in the future) whereas C is procedural. In my opinion in order to get a firm grounding in programming you should always learn C first.

Hope this helps.

Good luck for the future.
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#3 absynthe  Icon User is offline

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Re: How is better to learn programming ?

Posted 28 October 2008 - 10:32 PM

I think you should look for (library, etc) a good book on the foundations of Logic and Design that is non language specific. If you can learn the logic first (with flowcharts, pseudo, etc) then learning any language is just a matter of syntax. My very first Logic class had me write out the steps to making a peanut and butter sandwich if I wanted to develop those steps into a program that worked. IT WAS AMAZING HOW MANY PAGES IT TURNED OUT TO BE :) Theres little things that leave your mind and you take for granted until you start thinking with logically :) Good luck!

EX:
http://www.bestwebbu...l?isrc=b-search
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#4 todiefor  Icon User is offline

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Re: How is better to learn programming ?

Posted 29 October 2008 - 10:28 AM

Look at the w3c or some standards library site online. If you want to learn the PROPER was of programming rather than the Microsoft way of programming, that's the place to go. Why waste your time and money in an university where they'll preach the Microsoft way of coding and then expect you to follow that.
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