Interested in programming but don't know where to start

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by jsf8x, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. jsf8x macrumors 6502

    jsf8x

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    Feb 28, 2010
    #1
    Hi. Like my title says, I am a complete novice in the field of programming and cs but I have always been intrigued by its capabilities but have never looked into it much. That is why I am asking for some help. Where should I start? Where do most novices start? What will I need.

    Thanks for any help possible
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #2
  3. zarl1n0 macrumors newbie

    zarl1n0

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    #3
    My route

    I started about three years ago, and I used primarily online tutorials. My advice would be to pick a language and learn it: such as Java or C++ for programs; php and/or javascript for web stuff; perl, python or ruby for shell scripting. There's a lot of stuff to learn for sure, but start with something and learn it.

    My path started with learning a little bit of javascript, and then realizing that it was a bit too slow to do what I wanted it to do, which was to crunch numbers. So I learned C++. I think this was a good way to go, but a little hardcore. I then got a website and learned php, and then it took off from there.

    You might also check out native mac programming, with Cocoa and Applescript.
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #4
    This is why it is important to know something about what the learner actually wants to do before suggesting a path.

    It's just like learning a spoken language, learning German if your goal is to visit China probably isn't the right path.

    B
     
  5. zarl1n0 macrumors newbie

    zarl1n0

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    #5
    Javascript was being taught in one of my classes in grad school, so I got into it then.

    The language analogy is certainly true, but fortunately all the computer languages are much more related than are the spoken languages. Picking Chinese over German is a much bigger choice than javascript vs. c++, for example.
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #6
    I actually chose those two spoken languages as they are my weakest languages and my brain actually does occasionally confuse them.

    C++ and javascript are more closely related like English and German, but I think you underestimate the sheer variety of languages out there http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_programming_languages_by_category and how difficult it can be for a fluent speaker of one to switch to another unless they already have a proficiency for languages.

    B
     
  7. jerry333 macrumors member

    jerry333

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    #7
    Start with either a book or a class on structured programming rather than a specific language. A structured programming beginning will build good habits that you don't have to unlearn and will make everything else you do much easier.
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #8
    Suggestion for a book? Most of them I am familiar with already assume some programming knowledge. Classic chicken and egg problem.

    B
     
  9. larswik macrumors 68000

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    Sep 8, 2006
    #9
    Also look in to your city college. I'm almost finished with my C book I picked up 4 months ago but I lacked the ability to talk to people about code. I enrolled and just had my second class Monday and the interaction is nice. I don't care for Pascal and ':=' Variable assignment is driving me nuts. But the interaction is great.

    -Lars
     
  10. jsf8x thread starter macrumors 6502

    jsf8x

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    Feb 28, 2010
    #10
    Sorry it took awhile for me to respond. I am in Costa Rica on vacation and the internet connection is spotty at best.

    I am not quite sure where I want to begin although my interests are not in creating programs/applications, or any shell scripting. I would like to lean into web stuff and things like applescript.

    Any further tips would be great.

    Learning from books would be fine for me. Are there any other ways of teaching it to myself?


    Thanks for the help
     
  11. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #11
    Sounds like javascript may be a good choice for you.

    B
     
  12. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #12
  13. jsf8x thread starter macrumors 6502

    jsf8x

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    Feb 28, 2010
    #13
    I've decided that as a part of my college application (high school junior now so will be applying next fall) I would like to create my own website from scratch as a part of my application. I would like the website to be a combination of my biography, my wordpress blog, and a photo gallery for my most recent works in photography.

    It looks like I am going to need to learn javascript and basic html. Can anybody at least give me a semi straightforward path? What applications should I use to build this website. I am obviously on a mac.

    cheers
     
  14. jsf8x thread starter macrumors 6502

    jsf8x

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    Feb 28, 2010
    #15
    So to create a basic website. The only codes I am going to need to learn are javascript and html? can somebody confirm.

    Also, should I use a simple application such as textwrangler or something like Dreamweaver CS5 (I have both)

    Thank you
     
  15. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #16
    Since you have a longer term goal to learn programming, I'd stick with TextWrangler where possible.

    B
     
  16. Hansr macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 1, 2007
    #17
    Actually for basic web sites html is enough. But js gives you an option for client side dynamics. You're better off with a text editor then a WYSIWYG tool.

    Don't see how this is relevant to the original topic thought.
     
  17. schafer4016 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 14, 2011
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    San Diego, CA
    #18
    Great tutorials

    I just started learning to seriously learn to program. In the past I would buy books but never follow through with actually memorizing and using what I learned so it was soon forgotten. This time, I have been watching a YouTube channel called The New Boston: http://www.youtube.com/user/thenewboston . His tutorials are awesome and he makes it really easy for people with no CS background to learn. I have been watching his tutorials for about 3 weeks now and I now know the foundations/basics of C and Objective-C. I'm learning about arrays and pointers now. It's well worth it. Check it out!
     

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