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  1. #1
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    New to programming. Also, totally lost.

    Hello everyone,

    I apologize if this is in the wrong section, but I was unable to find anything similar on other posts.
    The internet has been little to no help since the information is so varied and relatively vague. I have a few questions that I hope might be able to be answered.

    I've recently developed an interest in programming. I'm unsure where I'd like to take this - possibly a simple game to start, or a basic addition/subtraction calculator (nothing fancy to start with). There is a Computer Programming course at my college (I'm getting my grade 12 equivalency right now) that I'd like to possibly take - but I want to know if I enjoy coding on a serious basis first, before i put the money into it and pursue it as any type of financial obligation.

    I tried Codecademy, but the information in the lessons was minimal at best and I found myself lost by the third lesson.

    My questions are as followed:
    1. What is a coding library, and IDE, and an editor? Do I need all of these things or just one? What do they do?
    2. I've heard you can code with just Notepad - true or false?
    3. Which language should I start with, and how do I know which is best for me? I was trying to start with Python, but all of their updates (and the Codecademy lessons) have me completely lost.
    4. Should I focus on math before focusing on learning any type of programming?

    I tried looking around the internet but these questions were answered using other terms that I don't yet understand or were trying to get me to download a program without explaining what it did.

    Any help at all would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  • #2
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    1. ) Coding library is a set of codes that you or someone created to be used on your programming projects. Mainly used for re-usability (eg. classes)
    - IDEs (Integrated development environment) are text editors (like notepad) that has features that support multiple programming languages depending on your chosen IDE.
    2. ) Yes, but developing with notepad would take **** loads of time since it doesn't have any features that can ease your programming experience unlike IDEs. Besides, programming with notepad is so old school.
    3. ) Start with C language, as it is the easiest one to understand. It has great resources all over the net which can help you learn about data structures and programming algorithms.
    4. ) No, you don't need math. Basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division would do just fine.

  • #3
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    If you want to get into C programing try out the "CodeBlock" program.
    However getting a "windows" or GUI finish to it might take a bit of hard work, unless I have missed a great tutorial out there somewhere on the subject. (My programs have the old DOS or command line type finish to the programs) Or maybe I am just too busy with other things to focus on the topic.

    Otherwise why not start your programing with JavaScript (& HTML) to start your programming skills, then you could ask question here. there are a few strange rules like most languages use
    For example
    If (X==0){do what ever}

    In JavaScript you might need a extra equals sign. for things to work right.
    If (X===0) {do what ever}


    I made a JavaScript Ohms law calculator it works fine with two equals signs. You add in any two values of either PIER the other two values must be 0 (zero) before you press the calculate button, then the 0 changes to a value.
    Last edited by kill_obese_webs; 08-30-2014 at 10:46 PM. Reason: just add a bit more

  • #4
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    I completely disagree with the recommendation to start with C.

    It is essentially completely obsolete. It's true that many of the other languages derived from it (C++, C#, Java, PHP, and even JavaScript to an extent), but there is little point in learning it nowadays. I actually was part of a 3 person team that created a C *compiler* many many years ago, and yet I have only used C a couple of times in the years since then (moved to C++ soon after) and never in the past 25 years.

    What language to study depends COMPLETELY on what KIND of programming you want to do. Do you want to develop server-side code for the internet? Client-side code for the internet? Desktop applications? iPad/Android-pad applications? YOU must decide this part before we can recommend a language.
    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.

  • #5
    Supreme Master coder! Old Pedant's Avatar
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    Oh...and an IDE is also used to DEBUG your code! Learning to debug is AT LEAST as important as learning to code.
    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.

  • #6
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    Yes I must say that when I wrote a program in C I should of said I used the C++ syntax, but have yet to write a real C++ class project apart from what I did at school.

    The C++ (class description) book I used at school was strange, it said something about dogs, and when you ran the project, the dog said "Woof Woof' and it was two years old. I think "Far out man!"

    Since then I have learn I real easy way to get a grip on the C++ class system.

    If you want to covert inches to millimeters or pounds to kilograms or whatever, You send the function what units you want to convert to, the multiple factor, and get the results back.

    But then if you want to convert temperature from say Centigrade to Fahrenheit you just make that a sub-class to the other program you did and add or subtract 32 to finish the program off.

    Bit of a long winded way and maybe more hassle than what is needed to do a problem, but it is a better approach than going "woof woof" at the end, and leave people like me more confused than ever.
    Last edited by kill_obese_webs; 08-31-2014 at 03:41 AM. Reason: made it better

  • #7
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    Hi. I am also very new to this, and have been learning C# at Microsoft's Virtual Academy. The C# for absolute beginners course by Bob Tabor is excellent. He shows you step by step how to download and install the Visual Studio Express 2013 IDE, and the lessons are clearly presented in a logical order. He goes a little fast, but you can rewind the videos as needed. It is all absolutly free, and really is geared to people with absolutly no coding backround whatsoever. I think you'll like it. Microsoft Virtual Academy – Free IT Training, Online Learning of Microsoft Technologies


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