Thursday, September 11, 2014

Where to Start When Learning Programming?

       Have you ever wanted to throw your computer off a 10 story building because it's not doing what you want it to ? Well with a fair share of programming you can change any aspect of a computer that you don't think runs your way! Only months ago I was the one reading articles about programming and where to jump in at. I have learned quite a lot , but still am only scratching the surface to my true potential as a programmer. It takes a while learning all the new jargon and syntax associated with the many languages available. When you first begin to get started you find yourself wondering what language you want to be fluent in and where to start , or what site to use and what approach to take to it. I will "attempt" to list most of what I can about the basics to help you figure out where you might want to begin.
        With so many languages out there , which one do you start with and what is the purpose behind you wanting to learn programming? I found myself reading online for hours figuring out my path. I started with reading about the more common languages everyone has heard of C / C++ (HTML isn't quite a programming language but the format helps you grasp the structure a bit). Long story short , I made an account at Codecademy , a nice little free site that has the tools you need to write and compile programs in certain languages. I began with HTML & CSS for web development after finishing that I dove into Python , quite an awesome language that has incredibly easy syntax compared to say Java(IMO at least). I ordered a few beginner programming books with Python just to be able to study at my own will on any topic that was an issue at the time , and one on Basic & Java to begin to get my feet wet with.
  • Python                      
  • Ruby
  • Perl
  • C / C++ / C#
  • Java
  • Javascript
  • Visual Basic
Just a small list of a few languages that are common to want to begin with.

       Once you finally decide what language to start with you have to find out where or how to make the approach just like any new thing you try! All languages follow the same rules or procedures for the most part, so whichever language you choose will be easily transferable with a little syntax corrections and additions. The structure of each language is almost always the same just different keywords mostly I have found. Now that I'm in college and learning Java in my class I am kind of glad that the syntax is so much more difficult than Python for the simple fact that I have to try harder to truly understand what the program is doing line for line. Knowing how to parse(examine & analyze program structure) and knowing the semantics or meaning is what will be required to learn regardless the language. If you don't understand why it does something then you surely cannot write successful code that does what you want. There are so many great websites out there to list for credit of helping me and many others thru the beginner portal of programming. I'll list a few sites that I have found with tutorials and exercises that seemed to help me out.

  1. - lots of tutorials on web development mostly
  2. - exactly the name almost any language available
  3. - good free site to learn the basics without downloading software.
  4. - interactive site to start programming with python
  5. - interactive site for java programming
  6. - figures right ? seriously any topic of information there is someone with a video explaining why and the hows.
  7.  Last but not least my friend Google!! With a little time and effort always can find the info needed. 
        When it comes down to it , you should start with a language you're interested in , for whatever the reason. Do you want to eventually make video games or huge corporate programs? Maybe you enjoy mobile apps and think you could try your hand creating those. That's about where I am now, trying to figure out exactly what I want to do with programming and with so many aspects of it kinda makes it difficult. But I plan on making Python my main language I do believe, even though college will put me thru all the VB, Java, C and others that are the basic known languages so to speak. But the abundance of information online has helped me get through my first phase of learning, however it plays out I believe I will enjoy myself with programming. There is plenty of problem solving and the thinking process of developers is quite complex but it is continually pushing me to think outside the box and leave no stone unturned!

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