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#1 Sean-dev   User is offline

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Is there only one "proper" way to learn programming?

Posted 15 October 2016 - 07:19 PM

I want to learn to develop in C so I can get involved with low-level programming and that is ambitious, I know. Is there only one "proper" book or tutorial I need to read/watch on C for my purposes? I want to learn how to write my own operating system (not as flashy as Linux or Windows), but so far I have dabbled only in a few scripting languages, but never seriously caught on to learning in-depth yet.

And what are the most "proper" books and resources for programming and C?

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Replies To: Is there only one "proper" way to learn programming?

#2 jon.kiparsky   User is online

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Re: Is there only one "proper" way to learn programming?

Posted 15 October 2016 - 07:30 PM

There's basically two ways to go about it: you can get hold of a book or two and try to learn on your own, or you can find someone who teaches in your area and take an intro CS course. The former is doable, but it's not easy. Expect to hit some dead ends and to have to work your way past some confusions.
The latter offers more support and more structure, but you're learning at someone else's pace, which some people find frustrating.

Your call. I suspect that most people would benefit from a good teacher, particularly at the beginning stages, but if there isn't anything in your area or you just feel like you want to do it yourself, then go to it.

The classic book on C programming of course is the Kernighan and Ritchie text, "The C Programming Language". If you haven't done any programming at all, I would suggest Learn C the Hard Way, since it's structured more towards the absolute novice. (K&R expects that you have some idea of what programming is about, and you just need to know how C works)
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#3 macosxnerd101   User is offline

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Re: Is there only one "proper" way to learn programming?

Posted 15 October 2016 - 08:12 PM

Operating Systems, when done right, is a course that basically eats up the entire semester for all but the very best students. You can likely learn a good deal about C on your own. It might be worth starting with some introductory computer organization classes before biting off operating systems, though.

Some good courses, where you can access the assignments and slides:
Comp Org I: http://courses.cs.vt...505/summer2016/
Comp Org II: http://courses.cs.vt...506/Spring2016/

You might also look for meet-ups in your area. The Information Security (infosec) community will have folks whose interests intersect with your own, and so they'll have a fair bit of knowledge regarding operating systems.

Good luck!
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#4 Sean-dev   User is offline

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Re: Is there only one "proper" way to learn programming?

Posted 17 October 2016 - 02:43 AM

Do you think the K&R text is the best way to learn C? In that text, my one minor gripe would be not declaring
 main() 
as an int.
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#5 baavgai   User is online

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Re: Is there only one "proper" way to learn programming?

Posted 17 October 2016 - 04:47 AM

Reading K&R is like stepping back in time. Their programming language, considered very high level back then, is an "elegant weapon, for a more civilized age." ;)

Your take away is that C is simple and there isn't a whole lot there to distract you. In K&R you aren't a programming student, you're a tool user. It reads like a manual, describing the advanced programming tool you have found and how apply it to your projects.

Your next C book will point out the need for the int return, declaring variables wherever you feel like, lots of added sugar, etc... but that's for later. It will also blast you with the plethora of libraries you'll want while at the same time holding your hand and wiping your nose. K&R is a foundation, not the entire construct.
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#6 Salient   User is offline

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Re: Is there only one "proper" way to learn programming?

Posted 23 October 2016 - 01:31 PM

In answer to the original question, no there is no single book, course, whatever to learn coding.

Might I suggest you grab a beginner book in C, those still available? Learn the basic syntax, then pick a project, category of your music for example, and start coding. For help youtube has a decent amount of tech tutorials, and of course post up questions here.

Finished a web technologies course early in the year, which covered php and js, but once you actually start using the languages then you discover courses don't prepare you for real life projects. In short learn by doing, and ask questions, the only truly stupid question is the one you don't ask.
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#7 jay_fox   User is offline

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Re: Is there only one "proper" way to learn programming?

Posted 06 December 2016 - 03:08 PM

Books are great. Also there are tons of free resources available on net. You can only learn by working. try to do some small projects at first to test the water. It will help you understand the basics and how to do this and that and gain some hands-on experience in programming.
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