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Computer programming/coding Advice

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Cassidykc

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Jan 30, 2019
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I am interested computer programming but don't want to pay a million bucks for courses just yet. I would absolutely love some advice as to where to start, like which books are the best to read for beginners or course websites that don't charge an arm and a leg. I did a some research and found that Code Complete by Steve McConnell is recommended in quite a few websites. I am just looking for a few more recommendations! I just want to start as "self-taught" and then progress from there ya know?
 

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404profound

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I am interested computer programming but don't want to pay a million bucks for courses just yet. I would absolutely love some advice as to where to start, like which books are the best to read for beginners or course websites that don't charge an arm and a leg. I did a some research and found that Code Complete by Steve McConnell is recommended in quite a few websites. I am just looking for a few more recommendations! I just want to start as "self-taught" and then progress from there ya know?
I would recommend first giving consideration to what you want to achieve with coding. Coding just for the sake of coding is a sure path to a lot of pain. I found that out the past year or so.

Here's my progression.

1. 404profound hears Python is coooool. 404 then spends two months learning python, with no end goal or clear objective other than.. to learn python. Well, it was about that time that 404 realized: he f*cked up. I was learning for the sake of learning, because it was in vogue, so to speak.

2. Regrouped, decided to first understand a market on a deep level and map out a series of solvable problems. Once I found the one with the most promise, determined that a web app is the optimal MVP solution. To achieve this I needed to learn javascript, css, html, database configuration, REST APIs, a few other application-specific tools. That's when the mementum came (this was in October).

3. Now, My app is ~80% done, aiming for late April / early May for initial launch.

Moral of the story, do not ask what language you should learn. Ask what problem you are going to solve, then select the right tool to get it done. Starting with a language first is an elitist / academic approach. It can work, don't get me wrong, especially if you know a language so well you can do many things with it. But this path will delay your progress and frustrate you.

- Just my two cents.
 

Ninjakid

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I am interested computer programming but don't want to pay a million bucks for courses just yet. I would absolutely love some advice as to where to start, like which books are the best to read for beginners or course websites that don't charge an arm and a leg. I did a some research and found that Code Complete by Steve McConnell is recommended in quite a few websites. I am just looking for a few more recommendations! I just want to start as "self-taught" and then progress from there ya know?
  1. Go to Codecademy. It's free. Choose a programming language to learn. Many people start with Python because it's relatively simple, but any language is fine.
  2. Complete the course.
  3. Do some tutorials. Go on YouTube, and follow a tutorial or a few. Just choose something that interests you, don't overthink it.
  4. Build your own programs. Even if it's something nauseatingly simple, like a program that prints your name do it.
  5. Rinse and repeat.
Some points to consider:
  • Don't stress over which language to learn, only noobs do this. All languages are more or less the same. When you first learn a language, you're learning how to program. You're learning what a variable is, what a variable type is, what conditionals are, what loops are etc. etc. Try learning a second language right after the first, and you'll notice how many similarities you'll find.
  • You can Google literally any code related problem and find the answer. Most likely it will be on Stack Overflow. And if it's not, ask it on Stack Overflow and people will help you right away. Maybe even mention you're a girl and you'll have an army of help.
  • The best programmers in history are mostly self-taught. They learned the language out of a book, and just played with it until they got good. If you follow the same path, you'll get good.
  • In fact coding bootcamps and courses are relatively new, and they don't produce elite coders. They coders who use this only learn to code in a very linear way and can't think outside the box.
  • Be consistent. I started learning programming 4 years ago and I'm nowhere near as good as I should be because I was never very consistent. If you program every day, even for less than an hour, it will always be fresh in your mind and you'll consistently get better.
  • There's so much free material out there I'm convinced you should not EVER need to pay to learn to program.
Good luck!
 

nyc217

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Jul 7, 2017
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Both of the answers given are spot on. I definitely agree with Ninjakid. Start with codecademy and get your feet wet.

If you still do not know what language, start with JavaScript. It is a good language to learn.

Hope this helps!
 

real_rbl

Contributor
Mar 5, 2019
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33
23
I'd definitely recommend javascript & python. It's the core of my stack these days... javascript front end, python back end.

@404profound gives great advice. Pick a project you deeply want to create/solve. That'll drive you to learn new concepts. That's how I learned machine learning. I wanted to create a trading signal based on twitter stock sentiment and use that along with my RSI mean reversion to trade stocks back in the day.
 

Danczyk

Contributor
Feb 20, 2019
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Belarus
I would recommend first giving consideration to what you want to achieve with coding. Coding just for the sake of coding is a sure path to a lot of pain.
This. Without some goals in mind it's waste of time to even try. I dabbled with C++ just for the sake of learning how to code. All I did was a stupid calculator which noone needs. Got frustrated.

Later on however I decided that I wanted to learn web development. I was learning much faster.

If you can tell us what you really would like to achieve we could point you a direction. I would advise you to take a udemy course which is generally 10 bucks first because it's visual, videos are always more captivating than books and and second because you will always have a problem to solve here and there, there is generally a person who already met the problem before you and posted at the questions section so you could get help easier.

Just don't start learning it just because it's cool. You will hate it.
 
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OP
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Cassidykc

New Contributor
Jan 30, 2019
4
3
13
Canada
I would recommend first giving consideration to what you want to achieve with coding. Coding just for the sake of coding is a sure path to a lot of pain. I found that out the past year or so.

Here's my progression.

1. 404profound hears Python is coooool. 404 then spends two months learning python, with no end goal or clear objective other than.. to learn python. Well, it was about that time that 404 realized: he f*cked up. I was learning for the sake of learning, because it was in vogue, so to speak.

2. Regrouped, decided to first understand a market on a deep level and map out a series of solvable problems. Once I found the one with the most promise, determined that a web app is the optimal MVP solution. To achieve this I needed to learn javascript, css, html, database configuration, REST APIs, a few other application-specific tools. That's when the mementum came (this was in October).

3. Now, My app is ~80% done, aiming for late April / early May for initial launch.

Moral of the story, do not ask what language you should learn. Ask what problem you are going to solve, then select the right tool to get it done. Starting with a language first is an elitist / academic approach. It can work, don't get me wrong, especially if you know a language so well you can do many things with it. But this path will delay your progress and frustrate you.

- Just my two cents.
Thank you! Yes, I'll be more specific, I would like to design apps and websites, and to also learn valuable skills to have with the computer itself.
 

404profound

Platinum Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
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Aug 27, 2017
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Thank you! Yes, I'll be more specific, I would like to design apps and websites, and to also learn valuable skills to have with the computer itself.
That's a start. A few other questions to ask yourself:

1. What type of app / website? Mobile apps? Desktop Apps? Web Apps? Getting to this level of specificity is important, because each domain has a different set of tools, design considerations, market alignments, etc. You don't have to answer this overnight, but it's something to keep in mind as you start learning.

2. What market / industry interests you? It will be easier to be motivated when you build programs that satisfy a need in an industry you're curious about / knowledgeable about.

I don't mean to overwhelm you, just want to be sure you give yourself the best chance of success. @Ninjakid makes a good point that Udemy is a great starting point. You can try out a few different languages / projects and see what clicks, or even better, what you hate and should avoid.
 
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Cassidykc

New Contributor
Jan 30, 2019
4
3
13
Canada
That's a start. A few other questions to ask yourself:

1. What type of app / website? Mobile apps? Desktop Apps? Web Apps? Getting to this level of specificity is important, because each domain has a different set of tools, design considerations, market alignments, etc. You don't have to answer this overnight, but it's something to keep in mind as you start learning.

2. What market / industry interests you? It will be easier to be motivated when you build programs that satisfy a need in an industry you're curious about / knowledgeable about.

I don't mean to overwhelm you, just want to be sure you give yourself the best chance of success. @Ninjakid makes a good point that Udemy is a great starting point. You can try out a few different languages / projects and see what clicks, or even better, what you hate and should avoid.
Oh no, you are not overwhelming me! This is very helpful, I really appreciate it because frankly, I just have no idea where to start and your questions are definitely helping me narrow it all down.

1. I had more in mind a mobile app and informative websites. I would also like to create desktop apps as well because I get quite frustrated with how there aren't many, at least not for what I want.

2. I do a lot of snowboarding, but its hard to find snowboarding specific information, the majority is all for people who ski. For example, gear reviews for women: the reviews that I do find are poor quality, boring, and not the right gear. I'd like to create a website and mobile app specific for this kind of thing

I will definitely be checking out Udemy
 

awestbro

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Nov 13, 2018
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West Virginia
If you're going for a fastlane endeavor, I would recommend finding a business idea that you think is interesting then trying to validate it before doing any programming at all. Come up with an idea, build a simple site (will teach you basic HTML/CSS/JS), and see if people are interested. Once you have an idea validated, then focus on what tech stack would be the best fit for the problem. @Fox has a great thread/ Youtube for getting into marketing site creation here WEB SCHOOL - Fox's 2019 Make $100k Starting Web Design from Scratch Challenge

Learning programming when you have a problem to solve is 100x easier than learning to learn.
 

404profound

Platinum Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 27, 2017
1,344
2,779
662
Desert of Desertion
Oh no, you are not overwhelming me! This is very helpful, I really appreciate it because frankly, I just have no idea where to start and your questions are definitely helping me narrow it all down.

1. I had more in mind a mobile app and informative websites. I would also like to create desktop apps as well because I get quite frustrated with how there aren't many, at least not for what I want.

2. I do a lot of snowboarding, but its hard to find snowboarding specific information, the majority is all for people who ski. For example, gear reviews for women: the reviews that I do find are poor quality, boring, and not the right gear. I'd like to create a website and mobile app specific for this kind of thing

I will definitely be checking out Udemy
Sounds like a potential opportunity. You should do some research to see if other people have this problem too. You could be onto something.
 

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