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  1. #1
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    Total newbie but interested

    Hi people,

    I'm in the Denver area, totally new to this and have a few very basic questions about learning. I just noticed an article about coding boot camps. I'm 65 now, got my Electronics Research & Development Technician with an ASEET ( Associate in Science in Electronics Engineering Technology ) in 1969 and worked as an electronics R&D technician until around 1995 when it had all but gone out of the United States. Engineers in Asia were making $5 an hour, I guess. So I wandered in the wilderness for awhile, and then in 2006, took up process serving. But the economy has brought that down now too.

    I've been tempted to learn programming since college in 1967-69. Back then, they used punch cards. I suppose that if I'd learned it back then, I would have been rich by now.

    Along the way, I've heard of languages like COBOL, which as recently as 1997, one of my neighbors said he was STILL doing for Denver schools, and of course C++ that I've heard about for years.

    But recently, I've heard there are decently paying jobs out there for people who learn "coding", and that they have "coding camps" ( which I cant afford anyway - I'm low income ) that people attend to to learn it. Now is this the same as learning something like C++ or is "coding" a new language, a universal combo of languages, or what? I never recalled that people were learning something like C++ at a two week camp.

    So what's the demand for this "coding" now, does it require years of study, months, weeks or what, to get started into one of those decently paying jobs?

    Is it something that can be totally done from home, without having to be saddled in a cubicle in the big city? ( I had enough of that, years ago, in electronics. )

    If it's just a general term for learning languages like C++, what can be learned in the least amount of time, that pays the most and might be done from home, no matter where I choose to live?

  • #2
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    Coding and programming:

    Coding (scripting for some languages) is just writing a code that the computer will be able to execute.
    Programming is the overall process from coding to designing to compiling a program.

    But in most cases the two are interchangeable .
    Therefore coding is writing any computer language such as the two you mentioned, COBOL and C++.

    To answer the questions:

    1) These 'coding camps' will be lessons teaching you either one specific language in depth or a variety of languages, you would have to check the contents of the course to be sure. So to answer your question, yes at a 'coding camp' you would learn a language such as C++.

    2) All you need for coding is a computer (with the necessary applications) and preferably an internet connection, of which I assume you have. In other words, it can be done completely from home.

    3) Time - What you get out will be determined by what you put in. At first picking up a new language can be hard, picking up C++ in two weeks seems out of the question if you ask me, months is a more likely scenario. Although once you learn one language, it soon becomes easier to pick others up.


    If you really want to pick up coding fast, I would suggest a course, paid courses are most likely to be better but there are definitely some good free ones out there if you know where to look.

    In my opinion, COBOL is 'old-fashioned' and not used anywhere near as much as it used to be.
    More common languages include:
    C++
    Java
    PHP
    Javascrip
    Python


    Different languages have different purposes, each language is suitable to a different focus, whether on web applications, mobile applications, games and so on.


    In terms of highest pay, this link gives a rundown of all the languages. Although, I can't stress enough that you pick the language that is right for you and not just what pays the most.


    I hope that cleared some things up, if you have further questions just post below and I'll keep my eye out for a while.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Total newbie but interested-chart_2.png  

  • #3
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    Thanks Alijah. Interesting. Can anyone recommend some good online, but low cost programs for learning C++, please ?

  • #4
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    From my knowledge I know that Stanford has a free online course that introduces you to programming and definitely includes some C++, but from feedback I think that it uses other languages as well. Can't say it wouldn't be worth giving it a try, have a look around here.

    I'm sure if you look around on google, you'll be able to get some good advice on what the best online courses are.

  • #5
    Supreme Master coder! Philip M's Avatar
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    I don't wish to be unkind, but I am reminded of the old saying about old dogs and new tricks. Before you invest your time (and money) in learning coding, consider that any employer will almost always prefer a young person to an old one for a "learner" position. Especially a person of pensionable age. As with spoken languages, it takes several years of practice to achieve competence/fluency. Not a couple of weeks. I don't see much hope for employment in this field for someone aged 65-70, even on a home work basis. Employed older persons are in senior positions with many years of experience. If I wanted to hire a programmer to work from home, I would look to Chennai.

    It is usually thought that programmers ought to have a maths background. Like learning a musical instrument, no amount of instruction will make you a good player unless you have the basic aptitude.
    Last edited by Philip M; 03-10-2014 at 09:46 AM.

    All the code given in this post has been tested and is intended to address the question asked.
    Unless stated otherwise it is not just a demonstration.

  • #6
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    Yes, and I have a math background, though years ago. Went all the way up through applied calculus in community college, and enjoyed it, as long as the teachers were good. As far as retiring, who can afford that? Id gladly work as an independent contractor if people were concerned about that. I do that now, in another occupation. Thanks guys!


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