Learning coding? Help??

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by amateurmacfreak, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. amateurmacfreak macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2005
    Hey, I feel like I'm being a total n00b, but....
    I have a very, very, very basic knowledge of the different types of coding, but I was wondering what types of coding are generally the best/most important to know and how I should go about learning them (any good websites for beginners, etc.).
    As of now the only type of coding I even have a decent knowledge of is HTML. :eek: Any help would be very greatly appreciated.
    Just thought I'd come to you all for your thoughts! :)
  2. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Some basic scripting in PHP and/or Python might be a good place to start... with PHP5 you can even learn som basic OOP, which can help you later if you want to try Java, C/C++, etc. :)
  3. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    The short answer to your question is that there are tons and tons of resources out there to teach you programming or coding in about any language you choose. No other industry before computing has so much written about itself :)

    That said, it would help for you to be more specific. What would you like to use your skills to do? You could be interested in programming just for the sake of knowing how to program, or you might have always wanted to know how to set up your own blog website, or maybe you'd love to be able to make a simple computer game to run on Mac/Windows/Unix/online, or maybe you fancy yourself one day making an R2D2-like vehicular robot and want to learn some embedded control skills (don't laugh, that's still my dream one day...)

    I learned in BASIC (Applesoft BASIC on an Apple ][ to start, then progressing to QuickBasic) before I learned C and ultimately later a bunch of other programming, scripting, and markup languages like Java, PHP and XML. Different languages have very different purposes which will be greatly impacted by what goals you'd like for learning. (Learning C++ will not be a huge help to you if you want to make great web pages, etc.)
  4. blckout20 macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2006
    I'm in the same situation pretty much. I am pretty sufficient with HTML and visual basic but that's about it. I think I want to start making differant websites and I don't know what else I'd be interested in beyond that. What would you recommend to learn next.
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    dynamic content. there are different solutions for this; i like php/MySQL.
  6. amateurmacfreak thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2005
    I've decided to start with PHP... thanks to everyone who has responded. :)
    Although, so far, I'm not really finding an great resources on it on the web... any sites to recommend? or just personal tips for getting started w/ PHP?
    I try to tackle everything at once then tend to get a little confused.:eek:
  7. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    i used these books to learn php/mysql/css:
    - "Web Database Applications with PHP & MySQL", Williams & Lane, O'Reilly press
    - "Cascading Style Sheets, The Definitive Guide", Meyer, O'Reilly press
    - "MySQL", Michael Kofler, a! apress

    for looking up language specific things: http://www.php.net/

    it was pretty easy for me because i've been programming for years and had a clear idea of what i wanted from my sites. if you're new to programming in general, be prepared for a lot of work.

    good luck.
  8. weg macrumors 6502a


    Mar 29, 2004
    Go for Java, there's even a free book (Thinking in Java), and you're on the safe side, since you can use it for dynamic web content AND other widespread languages are pretty similar.

    On the other hand, if you want to learn a really nice language that allows you to learn different programming concepts (imperative, functional, object oriented), go for OCaml.
  9. macdong macrumors 6502


    Mar 25, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    i can't agree on the Java part.
    i dislike websites that use Java for anything other than simple games.
    my ideal dynamic web pages would be using CSS and PHP.
  10. ryan macrumors 6502

    May 17, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Huh? If you're visiting a well designed site you shouldn't know what language is being used to drive it. Now, if you're referring to website that use Java applet's I would agree, they're generally evil and shouldn't be used.

    To the original poster, I would recommend Learn to Program. It's part of the Pragmatic Programmer series of books and is a great starting place for people who have never programmed before (the examples in the book are written in Ruby, which is language that has gained a lot of attention recently).
  11. macdong macrumors 6502


    Mar 25, 2003
    Seattle, WA

    sorry i did not make myself clear.
    yeah, i was referring to applets.
  12. munkees macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2005
    Pacific Northwest
    Not understanding something you do not know does not make you a n00b, don't be hard on yourself.

    As for programming everybody has an opinion. Really it depends what you want to do. If you want to program on the Mac platform then Objective C is your answer but I recommend the following langauges to learn and in this order.

    perl or phython
    Objective C

    This would set you up for a good programming career. C is the most important. It is used everywhere and tthe basics will help you learn over languages like C++, Java, Objective C. Personally I don't like C++.

    Hope that helps
  13. Soulstorm macrumors 68000


    Feb 1, 2005
    You must be more specific! Will you code just for the sake of it, or do you intend to code professionally afterwards?

    What will you program? Games? Applications? Web graphics and design?

    If you want to program games at a later stage, go for C. Later, you can easily proceed to C++, with which you can make any type of program you like.

    For web design, I recommend PHP. Java is also a good and easy language to learn, and introduces the programmer to the basic concepts of OOP. Programs generated with Java are cross-platform, meaning that you can have the same application working on a variety of platforms. Java performance sucks on the Mac though.

    If you intend to program only for mac, I would also recommend Applescript and Applescript studio. You will be a miracle-man if you know Applescript studio on the Mac. It is fast, easy, and it's syntax is perfectly suitable for beginners.

    Myself, at my early stages, I used Applescript for 2 years (began when I was 14) but later, I had to get involved with C++.

    Note that in order to use different API's in OS X you must know:
    --C or C++ for the Carbon API
    --Obj-C or Java for the Cocoa API

    In my opinion, languages like Python, Ruby, Perl won't get you anywhere. You are looking for a language that will teach you the fundamentals in programming. Well, each language is different, so you won't gain any great knowledge by learning languages that you will surely have to abandon sooner or later.

    I mean that if you want to do some serious coding, you must go for C or C++. Learning C or C++ from the ground up will teach you all the basic things you need to know, and will also give you a good headstart to professional programming.

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