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How does a new programmer start?

By EzeComputer ·
Hi all, I'm new to this programming stuff and i will some help on how to really start and get a hand on what it entails. What kind of tutorials do I need to read up on? Which programming language is the most versatile, and what makes the dufference between one programmer and the next? Thanks all for your responses. I appreciate.

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Learn the concepts before programming

by oldbaritone In reply to How does a new programmer ...

One cannot but remember the dialog between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland: "Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" Alice asked. "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the cat. "I don't much care," said Alice. "Then it does not matter which way you go," the cat said, and he disappeared.

My own "steps in programming" are: concept, planning, development, coding, test and debug. Notice how far down the list is "coding."

So, to turn your question around: "What would you like to do (and think you can do) with programming that makes you think you should learn how to do it? (Or, to qoute the Cat, "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.")

You need to understand that coding a few simple (and probably pointless) exercises isn't going to help much. The silly little examples they use to teach usually don't demonstrate anything useful.

But if you start with a concept of something you'd like to do, then work toward that goal, you can define some requirements and make an informed decision about which programming language would be most useful for the task. Define the requirements in REAL WORLD terms so that you can see whether a particular language is useful to you or not.

You might want to start with a "case study" of your own, and study something that interests you. Try to solve a problem you perceive. Start working on your project, one step at a time. After you determine what you want to do, start asking about which language might be better suited to your task.

As for which language, "it depends!" Analogies can be slippery, but this one is pretty good: Asking "What's the best programming language?" is like asking "What's the best car?" A Rolls Royce has lots of luxury, but if you want 35 MPG, a Rolls probably can't do it. A Prius might get 35 MPG, but if you have a family with 4 kids, they're not all going to fit into a Prius. Likewise, the "best" programming language depends on the requirements of the task. And there's no such thing as "best" - every programming language is a compromise of factors like size, speed, performance, versatility and capability.

When you're stumped on something, hit the blogs and find someone who has worked through the same problem. Code snippets are everywhere. Find two or three, analyze what they do and how, and work the ideas back into your own project.

But most importantly, remember that there's a lot to be done BEFORE the first line of code is written! It's easy to tell who "did their homework" by looking after-the-fact. You'll quickly see differences between modular coding and/or structured OOP, as contrasted with "Spaghetti Code." Most beginning programmers create a lot of the latter, because they're more concerned about "programming" than "problem solving."

And I bet you'll find that programming - in ANY language - is a LOT easier if you figure out "what you are trying to do" ... BEFORE you try to do it. (and you'll create a lot less spaghetti!)

Otherwise . . . "Then it does not matter which way you go," the cat said, and he disappeared.

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