Author Topic: Where do I begin?  (Read 1313 times)

Offline Psycho_Sackboy

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Where do I begin?
« on: October 25, 2016, 08:54:09 PM »
Let me begin by saying this is my first post and am new to the community! I hope to be very active and cannot wait to meet new people and make friends.  ;D

Now on to my question:

I have always had an admiration for programming and developing and find it an immensely fascinating science but I have no idea where to begin and have absolutely no knowledge (so if I sound rather ignorant or say something incredibly off I apologise in advanced n.n).

I am wondering where do I start? I have tried to Google things but I cannot find many sources that can break it down much to my understanding. Most things I have found seem to assume I have had at least a high school class - which I have not. I'm 22 in community college about to switch my major to the arts (history or appreciation), and I find programming in itself an incredible art and would like to invest time and learn the art. I am a huge fan of old school NES and Genesis games and am absolutely astounded and fascinated by how sequences of a language can create something visual and so diverse.

I know there have been similar threads but it seems most of those threads the OP has had some form experience. I am absolutely new to this and really would like to learn!

Thank you new friends!  :)

-Justin 'Psycho_Sackboy'

Offline fzurita

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Re: Where do I begin?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2016, 12:55:55 AM »
I would pick up an intro to C++ or Java programming classroom book and start from there. Unfortunately, I don't have any good suggestions.

Offline Paul

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Re: Where do I begin?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2016, 11:04:47 AM »
I would recommend a path which starts with HTML + CSS to start thinking like a programmer (without as high of an initial learning curve).  These two are relatively easy to pick up, even for non-technical people, and working with them will teach you some core skills needed in programming, such as attention to detail, formatting for readability, building out from an initial plan, troubleshooting bugs, and so on.

I typically start my own research into new technologies with a Google search for "beginner's guide to [whatever]".  That said, I came across these video tutorials some time ago, which I have since recommended to others who are trying to learn HTML + CSS.  If you do these, be sure to actually work the exercises and write out the code yourself as you go through the videos.  These tutorials start with no assumption that you have any prior programming experience, and take you step by step through building out a website from scratch in Dreamweaver CC.

The author of these videos also has versions of the tutorials for Dreamweaver CS5 and CS6, if you have one of those instead of CC.  For example, I believe CS6 has a 30 day free trial period, which you might be able to take advantage of before deciding whether or not it is worth purchasing after you have had a chance to use it for a while.  There are many other free alternatives to Dreamweaver, but it is in my opinion one of the simplest web development IDEs for folks with no prior programming experience.

Once you are comfortable with HTML + CSS, I would then work on learning Javascript.  This language is one of the simplest "C - like" languages.  It handles lower-level things for you like garbage collection and dynamic variable typing, letting you focus on higher-level concepts, like variables, arrays, objects, conditions, loops, and so-on.  It is also a natural progression from HTML + CSS, as the third of the big three web technologies.

An optional step at this point would be to look at a server-side tech stack (maybe NodeJS + MongoDB).  I say this is optional, because it really depends on where you want to go ultimately.  Learning how to deal with databases can be important for many different development paths, and the NodeJS + MongoDB combination would probably be the easiest first step in that direction after learning HTML + CSS + Javascript.  MongoDB University even periodically offers free online courses, which are quite good.

Then I would move into Java.  You will find that once you have a good grasp of Java, that many other languages are similar and easy to pick up.  If you get this far, you should be able to determine your next steps on your learning path.  Ultimately, learning C and C++ (which comes with the concepts of pointers and memory management) would probably be a good idea, but I definitely wouldn't try starting from there.
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Offline Psycho_Sackboy

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Re: Where do I begin?
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2016, 11:53:42 PM »
I just finished the first video and I have to say thank you! This is my speed of tutorial and the way it explains out the entire program is very clear and easy for me to follow and that the time is taken to show the base for how the program is formatted for use! I hope the rest of the videos are this way!  I have my notebook and pen ready!  :)