Programming for noobs, where to start?

By Finchy
May 4, 2005
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  1. I've read alot about how having a knowledge of programming (C++, BASIC etc) can greatly enhance your chances in the computer world. I myself am interested in dabbling in the subject, but im without guideance. I have no idea where to start or how to start, what is involved?, do you need to buy separate software etc. Id be grateful for any help offered
  2. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    Learn C first.

    Try to get your head around the basics first, concepts like procedures, loops, conditions, data types, etc.

    Start here:

    But you can start reading here:

    And go back to the beginning later.

    This is good too:

    Start reading this to:

    Get this book if you can:

    It contains many secrets.

    Also, and most importantly, start programming right away.

    You can program with something like this :

    Start writing code right away.

    But remember that its also about thinking about the best and most efficient ways of doing things, not just how to read code. Try to write a game like hangman, or a card game or something, and program it.

    When you have these sorts of things down pretty well, try to look at Java and SQL, etc, as well which will help you get a job probably, if that's what you want.
  3. BillGates

    BillGates TS Rookie Posts: 88

    Phantasm66 is absoultly correct 10900%

    I started off with Visual Basic 6( not really that good at it but getting better) Then went on to HTML,JavaScript,Flash ActionScript 2, ASP,PHP(really good for those administrative jobs) and now I'm trying to use

    Sams Teach Yourself C++ 2nd Edition in 24 Hours

    Using Microsoft Visual C++ (don't know if there is a difference and how to really tell if your doing anythin can't get any of the programs to run after it says it has compiled.)

    But if you knew most of these languages really really well ( easiest is for basic websites Javascript,HTML, and CSS(Cascading Style Sheets to make your page really cool and organized.)

    You will be set for the future and can probably get a job making websites for people(that's what I'm doing right now)

    So Start off with C or C++ for you computer programming
    and for websites learn the basics of HTML

    Go Programming Language
  4. Tom Mask

    Tom Mask TS Rookie Posts: 48

    I agree with both of you!

    You need to learn fundamentals,
    Start with BASIC, then C, C++, java, and so on.
    HTML is one of the easiest languages to learn (its all in english and can be used on any Notepad program).
    For different languages, you need to use different compiler programs.

    Here's what I use for C++:

    A simple google search will find the other ones (sorry, i'm lazy XD)

    Good luck, hopefully the Command prompt style box won't scare you too bad, you'll be seeing alot of that soon!
  5. Boogityboo04

    Boogityboo04 TS Rookie Posts: 302

    Like Tom said, Bloodshed Dev C++ is a great compiler, and an easy tool to learn C++ on. PHP is a really useful language to learn if you do anything with dynamic web content.
  6. agi_shi

    agi_shi TS Rookie Posts: 385

    Do NOT start with Basic. At all.

    I recommend you start with C++!

    1) Go here and download "[blablabla] WITH MingW Compiler". This'll be your IDE, Code::Blocks. Your compiler will be mingw (windows gcc port), and it'll be automatically installed with Code::Blocks since you downloaded the "with mingw" package. Reason you should do this because it's a lot easier than to get a separate compiler, then install that compiler, then install Code::Blocks on it's own, and then configure Code::Blocks to run with that compiler.

    Hmm... well, to wrap it up, let's just say it's an easy "all-in-one" package that will kick-start you.

    (BTW, yes, there are other IDEs, but Code::Blocks has the best light-weight/features ratio - DevC++ is lighter, but less feature-ful, and VC++ 2005 express is more featureful but bloated as ****...)

    2) Beginning C++ Game Programming by Michael Dawson - best book to start with. It teachers C++ from begin to end (well, not really, but into REALLY advanced topics like polymorphism and inheritance) from a game perspective. No, you won't make the next-gen MMORPG. No, you won't make a 2D RPG. No, you won't make Pong. You'll make Tic-Tac-Toe. In chapter SIX.

    Instead of me stating what everyone else has, read the reviews for it... First one specifically. Michael Dawson (author) is also an admin in, if IRC...

    I read the book and I must tell you it is GREAT.

    3) *hint hint* */hint hint*

    4) Once you feel confident with C++, go get and install SDL. Start some simple 2D stuff. Make Pong. Asteroids. Tetris...

    5) Here comes fun stuff. Get OpenGL into SDL. Or just OpenGL with win32. Or... D3D with SDL... OR D3D with plain ol' win32 ;). -OR- a ready 3D engine like Ogre.

    6) ...

    7) Profit.

    (BTW, guys, DevC++ is an IDE (Integrated Development Environment)... mingw, the compiler it uses, is the... well, compiler - there IS a difference...)
  7. lyeshassaine

    lyeshassaine TS Rookie

  8. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,971   +10

    For a quick start, it usually helps to begin with BASIC (e.g. JustBasic).

    BASIC may be considered archaic, but it is simple and has a negligible pickup time. You’ll be running programs within a day (maybe less).

    And, there won’t be too much to unlearn.

    Then spend some time with ‘c’ (steer wide of explicit usage of pointers).

    Finally, go to java.
  9. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    This is a rather interesting thread. :)

    If the comments are anything to go by, it looks like I'll have my work cut out for me by going straight into learning Java with the start of my degree in Sept. :O

    Better get learning now ! lol.
  10. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,971   +10

    Relax. :)

    There is a difference in self education and formal education.

    You’ll get a lot more support at a school, both from the faculty and peers.

    Also, they will probably cover the elements only.
  11. lyeshassaine

    lyeshassaine TS Rookie


    I just graduated a few months ago, and would consider myself pretty decent at Java.

    Just 3 years ago I started my course without an ounce of programming experience (not even BASIC or python) and got stuck straight in with Java.

    So from personal experience I can tell you its not as frightening or daunting as it may seem.

    If you'd like to get a feel for Java (which would help before you go to uni in Sept.) then I'd advise trying a few 'Hello World' tutorials and see if you like programming or not.

    This tutorial is really basic, and there are plenty of others scattered around the web:

    Hope this helps, and good luck in your degree! :)
  12. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    Thanks mate, but my degree is through Open University, although I will be studying full time its by distance learning. I'm sure like you say, I'll be well supported though. :D

    Thank you for the advice, and the link. I also have a Dummies guide to beginning programming Java book sat in front of me too,

    I think I'm going to have a bit of a read up, and then get as much practice as I can, then at least I can concentrate my time on elements of Java I don't understand once my program starts. :D
  13. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,971   +10

    Yes, I too was thrown into the deep end, quite a while ago, and had to submit a project in Numerical Analysis, within a week. :)
  14. example1013

    example1013 TS Enthusiast Posts: 265

    I know for a fact that you can get some decent programs for a Mac (not sure if they're available for windows) through Apple's Dev program.

    I got into the iPhone dev program with just an application (it's free), and got access to a bunch of tools. You should at least look into it, and see what's available.

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