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User Info: OrangePoet

OrangePoet
3 weeks ago#1
I’m trying to learn how to program. I know a little bit of Java and C# ... I’ve been learning through books.

If you are a programmer, how hard was it when you first started? Is it still difficult for you?

Do you guys have any pointers for a beginner programmer?
PSN: BurningSun7 O death where is your sting? O grave where is your victory?

User Info: Masamune_DS

Masamune_DS
3 weeks ago#2
More of an on and off programmer hobbyist right now. To stay motivated, I suggest finding something to work towards. Simply learning to program is great. Finding something that you would like to apply that knowledge to is even better.
If a wizard turns me into Dawn then I would sooo touch myself every single night. ~ SoulGainDestiny

User Info: Naysaspace

Naysaspace
3 weeks ago#3
it really depends what you want to do. If you want a career in it, it's best to have a well-rounded repetoire with core competencies in Java. Python, Javascript are "nice to haves".

However, if you just want to automate small at-home tasks, VBA or Google Apps Script plus a solid understanding of SQL is a great area to start.

I recommend "Learn Python the Hard Way". It's offered free online.

Also, there's always this dumbed down flowchart:
https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/2600/1*OF594B5qtCJR9MFSRTI-5g.png

I started coding when I was 14 but it only remained a hobby. I lost touch with it when i was about 20, and now 12 years later, I don't know a "hello world" from a SQL injection attack. However, I started the tough way: C++ on Microsoft's proprietary IDE. In school, I took classes in Java, C++, and VB. Java was the most frusterating, but I think that was the teacher. VB was the easiest, but the stuff you can build with it looks straight out of Windows 98.

For at-home stuff, I've learned a bit of Google Apps Script to do small tasks in spreadsheets. It's based on Javascript, so it wasn't too tough to learn with my C++/Java knowledge
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User Info: Voidgolem

Voidgolem
3 weeks ago#4
Not terribly difficult, as least as far as java and javascript goes.

Learn mostly by doing and re-doing.
https://i.imgur.com/Uiyemc7.jpg

User Info: -CJF-

-CJF-
3 weeks ago#5
I'm not a professional programmer yet, but I am a CS student and have done a lot of programming. It was hard when I first started and it's still hard now. I suspect it will always be hard, but it does get easier with experience.

Tips:

(1) Realize that programming is not a single skill. You do not learn how to program. There's tons of different skills involved with programming any specific thing. Focus on the things that are common to all languages and that will ultimately matter when approaching any problem you're given.

Things like problem solving, the fundamentals of programming like control structures (e.g. loops & switch statements), conditionals (if/else), error handling (try/catch), and the fundamentals of object-oriented programming and creating abstractions, which will help you eliminate redundant code.

(2) Reading (theory) is good, but ultimately you need to practice making as much stuff as possible.

(3) Don't just follow tutorial after tutorial, try to apply the concepts you learned to create other stuff.

(4) Practice reading code and understanding it. This will come later though.

(5) Don't look at the big picture. Writing programs is like building anything else, you implement functionality bit by bit and eventually have a fully functional program. For example, if you want to write a chat application, you'd need to focus first on displaying the window, adding the controls for the interface, then implementing the functionality one button at a time. Some actions that occur when interacting with a particular control may even be comprised of many many functions that were each implemented separately.

(6) Don't get discouraged or fall to imposter syndrome. Even senior programmers use Google and StackOverflow for help all the time. However, don't copy and paste code blindly without understanding it because it won't help you.

Good luck.

User Info: SinisterSlay

SinisterSlay
3 weeks ago#6
I've been at it for a very long time.

The simplest way to learn is to build stuff. As you encounter issues and Google them, you'll learn.

Programming isn't really about languages. It's a way of thinking. You need to be able to invision a problem, and logically plan every possible path to a solution.

For example, say you want to walk cross a street. Explain how you would do it.

I'll start you off:
Are you at a crosswalk?
No:
Move to crosswalk and start again
Is a car coming?
Yes:
Are you on a bike?
Yes:
How long does it take to cross?
10 seconds
Will the car arrive in 10 seconds?
No:
Safe to cross

What if your not on a bike?

Plan like this and you've taken the first step.

Beginners get hung up on languages, but they really don't matter. I have over 30 languages and variants and I will still have to look up simple things like does php array search start with the needle or the haystack. It's important to know arrays exist and how they function. But language specific features are largely unimportant.
He who stumbles around in darkness with a stick is blind. But he who... sticks out in darkness... is... fluorescent! - Brother Silence

User Info: Naysaspace

Naysaspace
3 weeks ago#7
ah yes, the "method of thinking" necessery for programming success. I think that's why I dropped the hobby in favour of spending more time playing Hockey and Basketball.
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User Info: -CJF-

-CJF-
3 weeks ago#8
Naysaspace posted...
ah yes, the "method of thinking" necessery for programming success. I think that's why I dropped the hobby in favour of spending more time playing Hockey and Basketball.


It's surprising how much our mind generalizes solutions to logical problems and makes them seem simpler than they actually are at their core. Writing algorithms can be very frustrating because you have to account for every little detail which our minds are not used to doing when we think out solutions.

User Info: OrangePoet

OrangePoet
3 weeks ago#9
@Naysaspace I think my biggest problem is what you mentioned in earlier: discouragement.

I’m using primarily books to learn, and I haven’t really put it into practice... although the books have a ton of program examples to write out. It’s a little difficult for me to remember all of the syntax, keywords, etc.
PSN: BurningSun7 O death where is your sting? O grave where is your victory?

User Info: shmirlywhirl

shmirlywhirl
3 weeks ago#10
Here's a pointer for you.

int a = 5;
int* b = &a;


I can't really offer any advice that hasn't already been said. Just keep at it- it really isn't that hard if you get in to the right mindset. Granted I've only been in industry for a few years, but a lot of the senior people I work with are still learning new things every day. Don't think this is something that you can learn and be done- you really want to develop the ability to figure out what you need to learn and the ability to go learn that thing.
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