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  1. #1
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    Question Where the #@$% do i even start? <--- Absolute Beginner to Programming

    Hi everyone,

    So i am considering a career in programming, I've always been good with computers but I never done anything even close to programming. Any recommendations on books (preferably inexpensive), youtube videos, websites, etc?

    Much appreciated!

    Also, how did you know or realize that programming was fun and/or rewarding for you?
    What type of people would make good programmers?

  • #2
    Senior Coder alykins's Avatar
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    "What" do you want to do with it? Web based or machine apps? Two very different approaches. I personally think that starting in web base is easiest as in learning HTML/CSS you start to dive into javascript to do "fun" things (or algorithm things too). You then start getting your feet wet with server side code when you find yourself needing to store things. It offers a nice transition(again, just my opinion). w3schools offers some good tutorials, but they are not affiliated with w3c.org, and if I remember correctly (been a few years) sometimes their code is off (again I have no real evidence supporting this, but I seem to remember things being off).

    I code C hash-tag .Net
    Reference: W3C W3CWiki .Net Lib
    Validate: html CSS
    Debug: Chrome FireFox IE

  • #3
    Supreme Master coder! Old Pedant's Avatar
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    > What type of people would make good programmers?

    Very anal retentive types Perfectionists. Remember, if you get ONE CHARACTER wrong in a program, it's quite possible (even likely, in some languages) that you will get entirely bogus results and might even destroy your company's personnel or financial records.

    If you aren't naturally a perfectionist, you may have a hard time learning to be one in order to be a successful programmer.
    An optimist sees the glass as half full.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty.
    A realist drinks it no matter how much there is.

  • #4
    Supreme Master coder! Old Pedant's Avatar
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    > how did you know or realize that programming was fun and/or rewarding for you?

    When I found out that it was essentially puzzle solving. And I have always loved puzzles.

    The first time I did any programming I read the manual my roommate in college had and wrote a program for his homework. This was in 1963. I was a sophomore and only seniors could take the one and only programming course offered by the school (Carnegie-Mellon! Which is now one of the pre-eminent computer science schools in the world). And it was fun! A whole new concept on ways to solve puzzles.
    An optimist sees the glass as half full.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty.
    A realist drinks it no matter how much there is.

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  • #5
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    > how did you know or realize that programming was fun and/or rewarding for you?

    For me the answer is that I spent every waking minute programming. It was 1978 for me, but poring over Burroughs manuals, trying everything out, and writing programs just for the sake of learning.

  • #6
    Supreme Master coder! Old Pedant's Avatar
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    Hah! Burroughs for me, too. B20 *if* I remember 50 years ago correctly. The language was Burroughs' own version of Fortran.

    For example, the ^ character was used for exponentiation and a special v (but raised from the line, like ^) for subscripting.

    So I had to write a v 3 ^ 2 where even then compliant Fortran would have used a(3)**2

    Fun. Weird stuff.
    Last edited by Old Pedant; 07-22-2014 at 10:12 PM.
    An optimist sees the glass as half full.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty.
    A realist drinks it no matter how much there is.

  • #7
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    By my time I suppose they had dumped that version, we first learned Fortran IV, which I think was pretty much standard. But after one course, we learned Burroughs Algol, which was just way cooler. It had pointers and everything that comes with them, and prepared us better for things like Pascal and C. I spent the latter half of my college years programming in Algol.

  • #8
    Supreme Master coder! Old Pedant's Avatar
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    Yeah, Fortran II wasn't even a standard when I started. 1963. IBM had it, but that was about it.
    An optimist sees the glass as half full.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty.
    A realist drinks it no matter how much there is.


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