Learning Code

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by schaffinosx, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. schaffinosx macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2011
    Throughout my time searching the web, I've met a lot of people and have started up some websites. Each and every time, I've been more of the community guy, and have never been able to help with the technical side of things.

    I've decided that I'd like to begin learning how to code, from writing script to designing applications. When I started this journey, I thought it'd be pretty easy. Boy was I wrong! As I began my research, I was met with tons of different avenues, and frankly I have no idea where to start.

    I'm sure we've got some experienced coders here, so I'd like to know: How did you learn coding, and what advice could you give to someone who is trying to learn?
  2. Melrose Suspended


    Dec 12, 2007
    Don't be discouraged, but you have years of (at times mind numbing) work ahead of you. I taught myself HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript and whatever involved in web design development, and it's still a learning process.

    Also, factor in if you will need to learn or buy any software in order to get into whatever formed of 'coding' you're interested in - for web design, having a good working knowledge of Photoshop and some web technologies like FTP and all that, is essential.

    And figure out ahead of time what type of programming you want to do. Each language has a very specific role in development - for example, PHP cannot be used to create a desktop application, and C++ or Java cannot be used to create a website or backend system.

  3. wpotere Guest

    Oct 7, 2010
    Not really true, you can create web applications with JAVA. ;)

    As to answer the OP, you need to really figure out what you are trying to do. If you want to program for and let that be a starting point. I learned JAVA in college and I now program in C# for work. I have just started to learn Silverlight to play with some widgets but most of that is me just playing. Figure out what you want to learn and focus on it without straying. Once you get a solid understanding of one you can start to pull apart other languages.
  4. bjett92 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 22, 2007
    Indy, IN
    If you're wanting to do some website work, then you are going to want to learn X/HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP. Start with learning just the basics of HTML and CSS before you pick up the more complicated languages such as PHP. I started teaching myself about 8 years ago when I was in 5th grade. It's by new means an easy process as 8 years later technology continues to evolve and I continue to learn new things everyday.

    Pick up some books on the languages that are specifically for beginners. They are actually very useful.
  5. glossywhite macrumors 65816


    Feb 28, 2008
    Don't do it! Your sanity will suffer, and you'll become devoid of all emotion. Ugh, I tried myself many times, and then abandoned it for more artistic expressions of my skills :)
  6. Melrose Suspended


    Dec 12, 2007
    You can also create websites using Flash. :D

    ...I should have been a bit more specific I guess. I was referring to backend systems, not web applications based on a plugin. :)
  7. wpotere Guest

    Oct 7, 2010
    It isn't a plugin... JAVA can create web applications utilizing Tomcat. Like ASP.Net, the code is compiled and fed to the browser as HTML. This is nothing new and not a plugin, it is a pretty robust way of doing business and is a full fledged backend system.
  8. balamw, Jul 31, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011

    balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    We have two programming specific forums here at MR and several of the mods are quite active in those subforums.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/forumdisplay.php?f=73 (Mac and general code issues)
    http://forums.macrumors.com/forumdisplay.php?f=135 (iOS specific)

    Join us there.

    Personally, I've told my tale many times. Was introduced to BASIC on the HP-85 and Apple ][ back around '79-'80 and never looked back.

    EDIT: The main advice I can offer is to identify some problem you want to solve, figure out which language and environment is good or those kinds of problems and then focus on how to learn that.

  9. Melrose Suspended


    Dec 12, 2007
    I stand corrected. :)
  10. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    Yep, it's what I do 8 hours a day 5 days a week :p

    Java's not so bad for web based development. IBM RAD and Websphere on the other hand.....
  11. schaffinosx thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2011
    Thanks for all the comments everyone. I'll certainly check out the coding areas of the forum to see if there's anything I can learn, and look forward to engaging into some discussion over there.

    The next time I have some free time I'll also see if I can find any good books that'll assist me in my learning of code.

    Lastly, I'm going to start considering a problem I'd like to solve, and determine exactly what I'd like to accomplish through this experience.

    Thanks again guys!
  12. fernandovalente macrumors 6502


    Aug 29, 2008
    Third world **** hole, I mean, Brazil
    I started to program when I was 12 and really, that was not that hard. Have ya tried looking for a school? Some people aren't able to self teach. I don't know if this is your case, but it might be. Start with HTML, as it's a very easy language.
  13. quizzi macrumors regular


    Dec 13, 2010
    Yep, HTML is the way to go first, especially if you post a lot in forums.

    I could suggest having a look at W3Schools as they have great tutorials on how to start coding a website.
  14. schaffinosx thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2011
    I'm confident that, at least to some extent, I'm capable of self-teaching myself code. Like I said, the trouble comes in when it gets down to finding a good place to actually learn the material. Thanks for the advice, though, I'll certainly check out HTML. I know some basic HTML already, but we're talking very, very basic levels of the language. I don't see it as being something I'll struggle with tremendously.
  15. (marc) macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2010
    the woods
    HTML is not a programming language.
  16. fernandovalente macrumors 6502


    Aug 29, 2008
    Third world **** hole, I mean, Brazil
    It's a markup language. HTML = HyperText Markup Language.
  17. srxtr macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2010
    You're in the same situation as my friends. I tried to gather a few of us to start some projects, but given that I was the only one with a technical/programming background I was pretty much doing all the work. Needless to say, the group didn't last long.

    I was once in a dev team in a company where I was the only one who graduated from school as an engineer, most were math and econ majors. Some even had better salary than me grrr

    I helped my friend recently get started by pointing to him some online ebooks on PHP. With PHP having a vast library of functions, and with so many frameworks out there, at the beginning you'll find that you'll spend less time writing your own functions but reusing the open source code that's readily available to you. I knew some guy who didn't really know how to code, but he faked his way into a company as a programmer and all he did was google to copy and paste code until stuff worked lol. Of course I don't recommend you be that kind of guy but you know what I'm trying to say.

    Anyway, once you grasp the concept of programming it'll get easier to learn new languages, you just have to get over the first huge lump first!

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