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Don't know where to start learning how to Program

#51ViolentAbacus(Topic Creator)Posted 7/8/2014 9:48:46 AM
Our library is crap. It has maybe 5 books on programming, and most of those are on Javascript, and one being on C++. I'm not against buying books though, just want to be sure I'll like it before I drop 80$ down for one.

Thanks for all the advice by the way, everyone!
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#52SinisterSlayPosted 7/8/2014 9:50:03 AM
ViolentAbacus posted...
Our library is crap. It has maybe 5 books on programming, and most of those are on Javascript, and one being on C++. I'm not against buying books though, just want to be sure I'll like it before I drop 80$ down for one.

Thanks for all the advice by the way, everyone!


Then start with VBA in excel and word.
There is mountains of free tutorials for those languages, and if you have word or excel installed, you have access to them already.

If your comfortable with the basics, then move to more useful languages.
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#53HappyHippo04Posted 7/8/2014 10:32:55 AM
C# is easy to get into and setting up the IDE is a breeze. Java has more customization but is harder to get set up initially, especially if you are new to the whole thing.

I'd do C# for now and swap to Java later.
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#54ElementalWindPosted 7/8/2014 11:41:04 AM
I'm not against buying books though, just want to be sure I'll like it before I drop 80$ down for one.
Don't spend the money at this point. There are plenty of decent books that have been made available for free online by their authors/publishers (Learn ____ The Hard Way, How to Design Programs, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, Think Python, etc.).
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#55iBlackice25Posted 7/8/2014 9:49:12 PM
I started with JavaScript, so i'd suggest that.
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#56unsanePosted 7/8/2014 10:44:55 PM
SinisterSlay posted...
Stop recommending javascript.
A beginner absolutely must start with a strongly typed language. Javascript is horrible to start with. You can start using variables just by using them, never explicitly declaring them. A small typo in a variable name can screw up all your code and have you searching for hours trying to find it because you accidentally upper cased a letter once.


I see where you're coming from, and somewhat agree with the logic, but I think the idea here is to dig in and start learning anything at first. Javascript will still teach you fundamentals which you can carry over into other languages; concepts like loops, arrays, and variables, control structures -- if/else statements, switch commands, etc. It may even be beneficial to learn these concepts on a less complex language like Javascript, simply because it's easier to retain. I certainly wish I had tried to tackle JS before PHP, but at the time I started doing web development, JS wasn't used nearly as much as it is now (and libraries like jQuery were still 10 years off).

Either way, I think what you're trying to say is you can't do things half-assed, and I couldn't agree more. Learning to be a competent programmer/developer is key, and sometimes languages like Javascript can allow new devs to develop poor habits -- but it's up to the dev to dig in, do their diligence, and read as much as they possibly can. Learn to understand the relationships between elements of the language; even learn stuff you'll never use, because it's useful in giving you an overall picture of the language and can sometimes help you recognize where errors are coming from.

I work in this industry at a high level, doing corporate development for some major brands, I can't tell you how often I run into incompetence. It is, quite literally, the biggest contributor to project failure I've ever seen. Be good at not screwing up, and you don't even have to be great.
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#57SinisterSlayPosted 7/9/2014 5:23:41 AM
unsane posted...

I see where you're coming from, and somewhat agree with the logic, but I think the idea here is to dig in and start learning anything at first. Javascript will still teach you fundamentals which you can carry over into other languages; concepts like loops, arrays, and variables, control structures -- if/else statements, switch commands, etc. It may even be beneficial to learn these concepts on a less complex language like Javascript, simply because it's easier to retain. I certainly wish I had tried to tackle JS before PHP, but at the time I started doing web development, JS wasn't used nearly as much as it is now (and libraries like jQuery were still 10 years off).

Either way, I think what you're trying to say is you can't do things half-assed, and I couldn't agree more. Learning to be a competent programmer/developer is key, and sometimes languages like Javascript can allow new devs to develop poor habits -- but it's up to the dev to dig in, do their diligence, and read as much as they possibly can. Learn to understand the relationships between elements of the language; even learn stuff you'll never use, because it's useful in giving you an overall picture of the language and can sometimes help you recognize where errors are coming from.

I work in this industry at a high level, doing corporate development for some major brands, I can't tell you how often I run into incompetence. It is, quite literally, the biggest contributor to project failure I've ever seen. Be good at not screwing up, and you don't even have to be great.


That's why I always recommend VBA first. It has huge documentation, a great debugger and the code is dead simple to write and read.

For example.
Here is a for loop in javascript
for (var i=0; i<=10; i+=5)
{
//do stuff 3 times
}

And the same code in vba
dim i as integer
for i = 0 to 10 step 5
'do stuff 3 times
next i

You can easily learn the basic control functions, then move on to useful languages.


Here's some vbscript to imitate a parrot.

dim sMessage 'Holds what you type
dim sMessages 'holds what you type split up by spaces
dim sParrotSpeak 'holds what the parrot will repeat back to you
dim iWords 'loop counter
'First, ask what the parrot will say
sMessage=inputbox("Hi I am a parrot, what should I say?")
'split out the spaces so we can get every word used
sMessages=split(sMessage," ")
'start the randomization
Randomize
'loop through every word, and randomly pick them
for iWords=lbound(sMessages) to ubound(sMessages) Step 1
If Rnd > .5 Then 'rnd generates a number between 0 and 1
'then append the words together
sParrotSpeak=sParrotSpeak & " " & sMessages(iWords)
End If
Next
'Parrots can't use punctuation, lets get rid of some of them
sParrotSpeak=Replace(sParrotSpeak,".","") 'remove periods
sParrotSpeak=Replace(sParrotSpeak,",","") 'remove commas
sParrotSpeak=Replace(sParrotSpeak,"!","") 'remove exclaimation marks
sParrotSpeak=Replace(sParrotSpeak,"?","") 'remove question marks

'Parrots always say brack first right?
sParrotSpeak="Braaack! " & sParrotSpeak
'show the message from the parrot
call msgbox(sParrotSpeak,,"Parrot")

Copy and paste that into notepad, and save the file as a .vbs file. Then double click it to run it.
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He who stumbles around in darkness with a stick is blind. But he who... sticks out in darkness... is... fluorescent! - Brother Silence
#58capgamerPosted 7/9/2014 5:31:57 AM
I started learning on my Ti83+ calculator. I found the basic programming button one day and began playing with it on the bus and during class and stuff. My programs were horrible and full of loops that loop upon loops so they'd eventually crash the calculator... but the fact that I had something small and portable to program with was helpful. I would presume you could probably find an android app that would let you program on the go like that.
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#59Treason686Posted 7/9/2014 5:40:46 AM
ViolentAbacus posted...
Our library is crap. It has maybe 5 books on programming, and most of those are on Javascript, and one being on C++. I'm not against buying books though, just want to be sure I'll like it before I drop 80$ down for one.

Thanks for all the advice by the way, everyone!


If you don't mind me asking, what University? I'd like to look at their degree plan.

They're guaranteed to have a cookie cutter degree plan for CS majors. Take a look at it, find the lowest level programming course (Probably 2000/sophomore level) and see what language the school uses. Start with that. You could even grab the book ahead of time and start at chapter one. Get an old version, even. Languages change, but core programming concepts don't. You can find old versions of textbooks for a few bucks on Amazon.

It's very likely something like Java or C++.
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#60Treason686Posted 7/9/2014 5:45:17 AM
SinisterSlay posted...


For example.
Here is a for loop in javascript
for (var i=0; i<=10; i+=5)
{
//do stuff 3 times
}

And the same code in vba
dim i as integer
for i = 0 to 10 step 5
'do stuff 3 times
next i

You can easily learn the basic control functions, then move on to useful languages.




Maybe I've seen too many for loops, but I can't for the life of me figure out how that Javascript code is somehow harder to interpret. It's almost like you're intentionally making it confusing by incrementing i by 5.
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