_mitigantsea
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Hey guys, I need your opinion on this matter. I'm interested in learning about coding but I don't know much about computer science (I'm studying Languages at uni..). I definitely don't want to become an engineer, I just want to learn some basics for personal interest. Do you think I could manage to learn something on my own, and do you have some tips on how to start?
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winterscoming
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Programming is definitely something you can learn in your own time, that's how I started with it It's very much a learn-by-doing type skill, so it's good to have a goal and start thinking up some ideas of something you might like to build - for example, a game, web app, Arduino/microcontroller project, etc.

Learning programming is probably analogous to learning natural languages in a way - you'd start out with the basic structure and grammar of the language as well as a lot of jargon to understand what it all means, but to be able to really do anything useul you need to be able to "think" computationally; that will inevitably mean you'll need some understand computer science concepts because any programming you do will be doing things in terms that computers understand, so the context in which you need to be thinking is all about 1s/0s, logic, data, memory, etc, although you don't need to be any kind of expert computer scientist, everything will make a lot more sense and be more enjoyable if you can grok the basics.

There's two different 'pathways' I'd suggest choosing from, depending what kind of thing you want to build - either learning web app development (building websites and apps which run in a web browser), or more general programming (good for desktop UI apps, games, etc.)

For more general programming, Python is a really good language to start with - you'd spend quite a lot of time just making "command console" text-based apps just to get used to it, but you can move on later to building games, UIs, Amazon Echo/Alexa skill, some 'data analyst' stuff like automating excel spreadsheets, hardware/microcontrollers, or even even web apps.

Python links:
  1. https://www.codecademy.com/courses/learn-python (Really good place to start for Python basics/syntax/jargon/etc.)
  2. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...72C720775B213E
  3. https://www.py4e.com/
  4. https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electric...hon-fall-2016/
  5. http://greenteapress.com/wp/think-python-2e/
  6. https://docs.python.org/3/tutorial/index.html
  7. https://pythonforbiologists.com/29-c...s-on-one-page/



Alternatively, websites and web apps are also a really good place to start too - in some ways it's more accessible because you don't really need as much of an understanding of computer science topics, and you'll start out straight away building stuff which you can look at in a web browser and do more visual/interactive things, but you'd end up on a 'detour' on the basics of web design before jumping into any "real" programming (You can mix Web programming with Python , so if you decide to start with Python then you can move into this later and glue everything together to build web apps which sit on Python)




Here's a couple of nice beginner programming communities which are worth looking at:
https://www.codenewbie.org/
https://codebuddies.org/
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_mitigantsea
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(Original post by winterscoming)
Programming is definitely something you can learn in your own time, that's how I started with it It's very much a learn-by-doing type skill, so it's good to have a goal and start thinking up some ideas of something you might like to build - for example, a game, web app, Arduino/microcontroller project, etc.

Learning programming is probably analogous to learning natural languages in a way - you'd start out with the basic structure and grammar of the language as well as a lot of jargon to understand what it all means, but to be able to really do anything useul you need to be able to "think" computationally; that will inevitably mean you'll need some understand computer science concepts because any programming you do will be doing things in terms that computers understand, so the context in which you need to be thinking is all about 1s/0s, logic, data, memory, etc, although you don't need to be any kind of expert computer scientist, everything will make a lot more sense and be more enjoyable if you can grok the basics.

There's two different 'pathways' I'd suggest choosing from, depending what kind of thing you want to build - either learning web app development (building websites and apps which run in a web browser), or more general programming (good for desktop UI apps, games, etc.)

For more general programming, Python is a really good language to start with - you'd spend quite a lot of time just making "command console" text-based apps just to get used to it, but you can move on later to building games, UIs, Amazon Echo/Alexa skill, some 'data analyst' stuff like automating excel spreadsheets, hardware/microcontrollers, or even even web apps.

Python links:
  1. https://www.codecademy.com/courses/learn-python (Really good place to start for Python basics/syntax/jargon/etc.)
  2. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...72C720775B213E
  3. https://www.py4e.com/
  4. https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electric...hon-fall-2016/
  5. http://greenteapress.com/wp/think-python-2e/
  6. https://docs.python.org/3/tutorial/index.html
  7. https://pythonforbiologists.com/29-c...s-on-one-page/



Alternatively, websites and web apps are also a really good place to start too - in some ways it's more accessible because you don't really need as much of an understanding of computer science topics, and you'll start out straight away building stuff which you can look at in a web browser and do more visual/interactive things, but you'd end up on a 'detour' on the basics of web design before jumping into any "real" programming (You can mix Web programming with Python , so if you decide to start with Python then you can move into this later and glue everything together to build web apps which sit on Python)




Here's a couple of nice beginner programming communities which are worth looking at:
https://www.codenewbie.org/
https://codebuddies.org/
thank you so much!
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MyChemicalGarden
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A great place to start is Python, it is one of the easiest languages to learn, has huge expandability and is one of the most widely used in day to day life for things from simple maths to graphics processing. Getting the programming suite set up is easy too and there are many youtube tutorials detailing it.

You could start by making a simple program where you input 2 input numbers and it prints the output of the numbers added together in a console, and then move on to a more complex quadratic equation solver, then turn your solver into a function and learn how to call functions, etc. If you dont know how to print an output for example, a quick google search will quickly reveal the required function. (stack exchange is usually the best search result to go with and includes a short code example).

If you really want to solidify your basic understanding of programming, recreating something like a sudoku solver or the 2048 game are great problems for this, which will also greatly improve your understanding of algorithms.

Obviously if youre more interested in games programming, learning on-the-go with something like unreal engine (free) will help you with C++, or just using the provided interface they have which may be more user friendly.

Bear in mind that C++ is a 'low-level' language meaning you have alot of control over what is happening, but may be too in depth when you could achieve the same thing in python much quicker.

Good luck!
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_mitigantsea
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#5
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(Original post by MyChemicalGarden)
A great place to start is Python, it is one of the easiest languages to learn, has huge expandability and is one of the most widely used in day to day life for things from simple maths to graphics processing. Getting the programming suite set up is easy too and there are many youtube tutorials detailing it.

You could start by making a simple program where you input 2 input numbers and it prints the output of the numbers added together in a console, and then move on to a more complex quadratic equation solver, then turn your solver into a function and learn how to call functions, etc. If you dont know how to print an output for example, a quick google search will quickly reveal the required function. (stack exchange is usually the best search result to go with and includes a short code example).

If you really want to solidify your basic understanding of programming, recreating something like a sudoku solver or the 2048 game are great problems for this, which will also greatly improve your understanding of algorithms.

Obviously if youre more interested in games programming, learning on-the-go with something like unreal engine (free) will help you with C++, or just using the provided interface they have which may be more user friendly.

Bear in mind that C++ is a 'low-level' language meaning you have alot of control over what is happening, but may be too in depth when you could achieve the same thing in python much quicker.

Good luck!
thank you very much
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