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What is the best way to get started on programming?

#1dataDyneSoldierPosted 7/11/2014 1:05:27 PM(edited)
I'd like to start off with the basics and then go from there. Is it okay to use my regular computer to practice with, or is it a better idea to have a separate one for that purpose? Does it cost anything to learn to program?

What are the best websites to learn the basics from? I won't ask which language is best to learn, because from what I've seen I'll get a ton of varying answers anyway. My end-goal is to probably work on creating video games.

Unfortunately, college is out of the question since I'm flat-out broke and don't feel like paying back student loans for the rest of my life. I've known people that get computer programming jobs easily without a degree, and I tend to work very hard once I set my mind to something so I'll be dedicating nearly all my free time toward making this happen.
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#2SinisterSlayPosted 7/11/2014 1:07:36 PM(edited)
http://www.homeandlearn.org/

I got that off google, I don't know if it's any good.
But I think starting with excel (assuming you have excel) is a good place.
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#3dataDyneSoldier(Topic Creator)Posted 7/11/2014 1:13:41 PM
I use LibreOffice. I know that there are some compatibility issues between that and Excel, but I hope it won't be a problem.
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#4SinisterSlayPosted 7/11/2014 1:22:02 PM(edited)
dataDyneSoldier posted...
I use LibreOffice. I know that there are some compatibility issues between that and Excel, but I hope it won't be a problem.


Oh, that has no programming at all.

Are you using windows?
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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
#5dunkisPosted 7/11/2014 1:21:03 PM
codecademy.com
A good place to introduce the basic concepts of programming. Really, you can learn any language as long as you understand the underlying core concepts. Basically, use this website to learn those and then be willing to look into free guides that teach you the syntax of other languages.

And no, it's perfectly fine to do on your own computer. The worst you can do unintentionally is lock up your computer which just requires a restart, and even that isn't common within an IDE. Once you finish codecademy, search around for a good IDE depending on what language you want to tackle. There are a lot of free resources out there.
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#6MyDogSkipPosted 7/11/2014 1:21:10 PM
http://lifehacker.com/the-best-resources-to-learn-to-code-1517844722

http://lifehacker.com/get-a-college-level-computer-science-education-with-the-1573535378
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#7EhjiunPosted 7/11/2014 1:28:17 PM
The best way to learn to program is to program. I couldn't recommend starting with VBA, but Java, C++, and Python are all safe bets as far as being enticing on a resume. Read a lot of books, and don't be afraid to look for help on websites such as Stack Overflow.

Depending on your language of choice, there are many, many, many resources available. For C++, I'd recommend the 'C++ Primer Plus' book by Prata. For Java, 'Java: A Beginner's Guide' by Schildt is very good, though I know many that swear by Head First Java, it's style of writing is not for me.

From there, just start developing. Download an IDE and start doing things that sound interesting to you. XML parsers, GUI applications, simple games. Pick something and start working on it.

The sad truth is that for any development position you will have a lot of competition applying for it. Most of your competition will have a degree. While I don't think it a requirement (not necessarily!) it is certainly the most direct path.
#8dataDyneSoldier(Topic Creator)Posted 7/11/2014 1:43:47 PM
SinisterSlay posted...
dataDyneSoldier posted...
I use LibreOffice. I know that there are some compatibility issues between that and Excel, but I hope it won't be a problem.


Oh, that has no programming at all.

Are you using windows?


Yeah I am.
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BOlieve! http://i.imgur.com/ABd2uA1.gif
"You may not like him, Minister. But you can't deny: Dumbledore's got style."
#9dataDyneSoldier(Topic Creator)Posted 7/11/2014 3:45:11 PM(edited)
My question is:

What's the best career path to take? As far as getting started, what all I need to know, and how to go about getting a job?

Also, I just turned 29. I fear that computer programmers start out a lot younger than I do and it might make it harder for me to find a job.
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BOlieve! http://i.imgur.com/ABd2uA1.gif
"You may not like him, Minister. But you can't deny: Dumbledore's got style."
#10dataDyneSoldier(Topic Creator)Posted 7/11/2014 7:35:40 PM
Sorry for the bump. Just wondering what path I should take at my age.
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BOlieve! http://i.imgur.com/ABd2uA1.gif
"You may not like him, Minister. But you can't deny: Dumbledore's got style."