Programming for Beginners

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Williamea, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Williamea

    Williamea Polk High #33

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    I am looking to get into programming/Dev work.
    I have been doing HW/network/tech support for a long time and I am burned out on it. I was talking to one of our developers at work and he suggested reading up on and starting with C# and ASP.net.

    Any suggestions/thoughts/book recommendations for a newby? I have absolutely 0 knowledge as far as programming works.
     
  2. Frequency

    Frequency New Member

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  3. Williamea

    Williamea Polk High #33

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    I saw the Head First book on amazon and was wondering about it.
    Think it will be good for someone who knows absolutely nothing about programming?
     
  4. red

    red New Member

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    I hate those books. They teach you how to write code, not how to design software. If you don't have a good basis, you'll never develop anything other than really bad software.
     
  5. Williamea

    Williamea Polk High #33

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    Any book/Website/Tutorial suggestions?
     
  6. red

    red New Member

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  7. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Thats... from journeyman to master. And so not really a good first book, huh?
     
  8. red

    red New Member

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    :dunno:

    He asked for my book recommendation. The truth is that for coding, most developers don't read books anymore. Theory and design are the areas where books are still really relevant as a format.
     
  9. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    But most people DID read one book to learn how to program whatsoever in the first place. Which is what he's asking for. That first book.
     
  10. red

    red New Member

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    :dunno:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hello_world

    I suppose it depends on your goal. If you want to be able to write one simple program in one language, by all means, buy the "teach me this language in 5 minutes" book, hack it together, and be done with it. If you want to learn how to write software, design is more important, and you should start learning concepts like DRY right away.
     
  11. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    No. You need to play around with basic logic and write some simple programs before reading a book that is supposed to take you from intermediate to advanced.
     
  12. red

    red New Member

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    Hence my hello world link.
     
  13. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Yeah, hello world link is not going to cut it.
     
  14. red

    red New Member

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    Fine, google "beginning <whatever language>"

    My complaint with those books is that they dive into straight into things that you shouldn't be learning, until you have a better understanding of what the hell you're doing. So people end up copying samples in the books to accomplish what they want, and hacking a ridiculously bad application together. Those books lead to bad software.
     
  15. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    The only way to learn to program is to accomplish little tasks. You don't need, and shouldn't be worried about, more advanced concepts while you are doing that.
     
  16. phrozenlikwid

    phrozenlikwid New Member

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    I bought Head First Java when I was younger starting out...

    I thought it was pretty good. It seemed like it more/less encompassed my CS I/II classes (which were in Java), and I much preferred it to the book required for those classes.

    You will still probably have questions/trouble with some of the concepts, but there are plenty of places on the net that can answer them better and with more detail than a book.

    I"m a senior doing CS, and I kinda feel like most of my schooling could have been learned via reading and/or asking questions on various forums. Mainly what it did was push me to actually WRITE code (which is what it takes in the end) but I feel the most pertinent topics to actually coding in the real world were learned by myself in jobs, or from listening to other software developers... not in a classroom or in a book.
     
  17. Williamea

    Williamea Polk High #33

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    Well so far I am looking at This and This.

    I also thought about This one but it is from 2002 and I think it might be out of date.
     
  18. red

    red New Member

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    I agree, and that's my point about the head first books. They're very much oriented toward moving from "I've never seen this language" to "I've written an application that does something useful" in as short a span of time as possible. Which isn't really a good way to learn a language, let alone learn how to program.
     
  19. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Actually, thats the only way to learn a language or how to program thats worth a crap. Otherwise people will give up. They need to apply what they are learning to solve real problems. Your complaint is that people don't learn more. Thats fine. But these books form a good introduction, and your books don't.
     
  20. Limp_Brisket

    Limp_Brisket New Member

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    just a side note, if you are a college/university student right now a lot of schools offer free access to online resources. for instance the library at my university has a subscription to safari books online which is loaded with programming books that you can read for free. anyone who is a student should check it out to see what their school offers.
     
  21. red

    red New Member

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    I suppose it depends on the person more than the book. My complaint is that those books lead directly to bad software.
     
  22. Bruticus

    Bruticus half dead OT Supporter

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    Honestly, I think it is much better to first get a grip of a language by actually putting it into practice writing simple programs for yourself first. Only once you know the language fairly well would I bother with reading up about the more advanced design concepts etc. Until you get to a good level there will be absolutely no need for you to learn them and they may mean nothing to you since you've never coded before.

    Most people, unless they are really driven, motivated or stubborn will need to see some results (like writing various applications) when learning something or they will just give it up as being too hard/slow/boring. Getting an intro book is the way to go imo.
     
  23. Dnepr

    Dnepr Guest

    If you don't know how to write code.... then how can you design a good software piece?
     
  24. Frequency

    Frequency New Member

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    Both are great books and sitting in my collection but they are not intended for someone who has never written code before.
    You need to learn to code before you can develop software just like you need to learn how to use the tools in your workshop before you build yourself some furniture.

    The head first books teach you how to code and they do it well. They give you a strong base for developing software which no book can teach you how to do which you learn through practice and mentors(IMO)
     
  25. Williamea

    Williamea Polk High #33

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    I order the Head First book and Download the Visual Studio 2008 Express from MS. Cant wait for the book to show up. Luckily I have allot of Devs at work that I ca bug for help/advice.
     

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