Best way to learn how to code.

Discussion in 'Support Questions' started by StrongMan Steve, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. I've gone to school for computer networking and I'm almost done with a Associates degree. I'm still new when it comes to coding and executing programs. What's the best way to learn. I know enough about computers where I can build my own and get them working (built 2 already). How did some of you learn or is it an aquired skill? Thanks.
  2. PresidentShaw Member

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  3. Looks like I misunderstood this site. So ignore my question, but still I'm fascinated by Anonymous so I'll stick around and see what events are going on! Thanks
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  4. PresidentShaw Member

    Have fun lurking!
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  5. Anonymous Member

    1. Figure out what you "need to know."

    2. Go learn it.

    3. ????

    4. Profit!
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  6. MeowCat Member

    I haz code. U?
  7. Juice Member

  8. Anonymous Member

    not, perhaps, entirely. there's a number of different constituencies at this site... anyway, some of us work in high-tech.

    OK, well:

    There's two ways really...

    1) you can go through some kind of a course - either you go to a college or something somewhere or you follow a practical course through a book or online or what-have-you. this could lead to some kind of certification, so can be useful if you've got a specific job in mind and they want some specific skill or other.

    2) you go self-taught. this means you get yourself the tools and you play about with them, endlessly. this is sometimes known as 'hacking' but not in the illegal, nasty, you-shouldn't-do-that sense of the word - simply means messing about with hardware and software to educate yourself and build something interesting.

    so the first method is the one that the corporate world likes. If you want to be a Microsoft Certified Whatever, then go that route.

    the second method is the one with more 'street-cred', if you know what I mean.
    just to emphasises here that when that quote says 'hackers', it doesn't mean people who break into other people's computer systems. it means someone using their ingenuity - some kind of definition here:
    although the jargon file is pretty old now... anyway, hacking in the sense that the title of this book uses it
    (just wanting to be clear because I wouldn't want anyone to think that this board is anything to do with the other, illegal, kind of hacking - it isn't).

    so, anyway, to get back on-topic...

    being self-taught is better from the point of view of developing your own creativity and ingenuity. the problem potentially can be that there are gaps in your knowledge that you're not aware of. so a good way to do it is to combine some creative work creating something new, with plenty of background reading that makes sure you don't miss out anything crucial.

    the O'Reilly books are generally pretty good.

    so what do I mean by a creative project? Anything you like, anything that interests you and allows you to learn something new.

    For example, it sounds like you're coming to this from the hardware side of things. So if you're pretty happy with electronics and so on, then an interesting project would be to adapt a remote-controlled plane to become a self-piloting drone that'll take off, navigate to a destination, hold station there, and return and land at a specified location.

    so for that example, you might end up learning about

    - Arduino
    - GPS
    - the Processing language (which is a bit like C)
    - inter-chip communications

    and then hey, why not strap a cellphone to the thing and connect it to the web... Arduino will run a web server for you, but if I were you I'd run it on a different board to the one navigating the plane...

    so then you'd be teaching yourself about serial comms between 2 Arduinos and the cellphone, how a web server works, all of that...

    so the trouble with the self-taught approach is that it is pretty unfocused. so if you're looking for a particular skill for a particular job then that might not be the best way to go about it.

    over the years i've taken both approaches.

    it helps a lot to learn a variety of different programming languages. there are some techniques which work more easily - and are more often used - in one language than another.

    it can be really helpful to have used languages at a range of different levels (as in, assembler up to high-level - google 'programming language levels') because then when you're using a high-level language you kind of know what's going on under the hood.

    where to start? a million different opinions on this obviously - my own personal one:

    start with an interpreted language (as opposed to a compiled one), because there's less steps in between making changes to the code and seeing it run (or not).

    I'd recommend starting with Perl - here are some people who will help you:

    it strikes a good balance between high-level power and low-level control.

    essentially there's a bunch of languages - Perl, Ruby, Java, C++, which are in many ways pretty similar and share a common ancestory.

    someone upthread recommended K&R (book). you should take that recommendation.

    if you don't have a unix-based system then get yourself one. here are some people who will help you with that:

    buying books is never a waste of money. if you buy them second-hand then you can sell them for what you paid for them, you're only losing the postage.

    have fun! :)
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  9. There are a good deal of e-books on various programming languages out there. I've had no formal education regarding programming. I study both paper books, magazines, and e-books to gather information. (As for Ubuntu, I enjoy it, the forums are pretty miserable as far as I'm concerned, thought police run rampant) There are also free lectures and course on Youtube and some universities. If you have the desire to learn, the information is readily out there.
  10. Anonymous Member

    If you want a deep understanding of computation get a computer science degree, there's no substitute.

    If you're only interested in the latest hardware or software, your knowledge will become obsolete in a few years and you'll have to start over again with whatever new technology comes along. The recycling bins are full of books about last year's favorite language/application/OS/etc.
  11. Anonymous Member

    Stay in school, fool.
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  12. Anonymous Member

    The extent of my "coding" knowledge is HTML.
    Sorry I can't help.
  13. Skinnies Member

    Inb4 Cfanon
  14. villian Member

    The interspace used to be cooL. I mean COOL; "you are FREE to use arrogance" now there seems to be some kind of wierd payment method that comes in the form of AT LEAST one whining-row after using arrogance.
    /sigh... Guess we have to guys! Go pay now. You all know our mind belongs to the k1ngdom of guilt! Ohyes it does. <8€
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  15. telomere Member

  16. Anonymous Member

  17. Cyber Null Member

    First of all, you must understand that programming is not somthing you learn fast. Didnt understood if you allready know some programming language but first of all you have to understand basics. Data structures and algoritms. Also do not start by learnign C or C++ its complex for someone like you. Do something where you allready have tools to work with so you can focus on codes. After mastering some language you know LOGIC of programming and codes of course (we call it syntax). But, after you learn LOGIC and how to thikn with LOGIC you can easy learn any programming language. So, If you understand me, most important is to understand how it works, later come codes.
    For example : I can know all codes in VB but how can i use them if I dont have logic to connect them.
    If you still dont get it. Forget about programming.
  18. Anonymous Member

    A Dummies Guide To C.

    One of the better books from the franchise.
  19. Paroxetine Samurai Moderator

    As a person who has an AAS in computer networking, I can tell you honestly that having programming knowledge isn't required but it is extremely helpful to know. Almost having an AAS in programming also was a great benefit....

    ...Ok, it wasn't and it took me years to get a job with my degrees. It pays a little higher than minimum wage but your not here to hear me baww about being fucked over by a college.

    To answer your question: Coding isn't a skill you just know. You can learn coding from your college or just reading some books. I'd recommend learning C or C++ since that is a very powerful language that is easy to wrap your brain around.

    Something you will need that can't be taught is logical thinking and patience. Coding isn't like putting together a box: A program may not run because of a syntax error or a missed ; and you will have to hunt it down... In order to unlock moar errors you overlooked. You fix those and even MOAR errors appear... Fix them and get it to work... Then it works exactly how you DON'T want it to! Like my teacher said when I first started CS/N:

    Still, if you are a self-sadistic fuck wanting to know about programming: Listen to the sage advice above and go to classes, Google, or read books. Just don't be afraid or intimidated. Sometimes LULZ can happen: When I was taking programming a friend accidentally wrote a non-contagious virus that caused the printer to print pages and pages of computer shit. Obviously it wasn't intentional, but the LULZ were still great.
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  20. Anonymous Member

    A false dichotomy, in my view.

    You can get a deep understanding of the principles of computation without owning a piece of paper that says 'Honours Degree'.
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  21. rOOt Member

    I used I highly recommend it to any script kiddie who wants to learn more.
  22. Anonymous Member

    Coding? lols for most people so-called coding is running windows 98 and downloading script kitty programs to make alternating port request to target server.
    • Like Like x 1

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