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Old 11-18-2014, 06:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by adyn View Post
What about building web-based apps?
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Wandering.
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Originally Posted by adyn View Post
It's very, very easy to begin to learn to code. It's incredibly difficult to master it. Pick a language and get started. No schooling necessary, there are infinite resources available to you in the form of written tutorials, online courses like codeacademy (for the very early stuff), video tutorials, etc.

I currently write in C# mainly but have been working with angular and MVC with entity framework. Bootstrap and Sass rounds out the prettyfication.

Number one thing to remember is that there is TOO MUCH to learn. Try not to try learning it all. You will fail. New techniques and standards come out every day....don't get hung up on that. It's good to keep abreast of current news in the programming world, though. Be focused and build a test project that encompasses something you're passionate about or something you need. For me, my first big project was an invoicing system for my parent's company. Do not become discouraged, because you will never stop learning and you will never stop hitting walls. If you do, you're not pushing yourself enough.

Number two, your code will always be worse than your future code. I cringe at what that invoicing system looks like in the code behind. It is atrocious. It works, but it is terribly difficult to read and understand. I highly recommend reading books like Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship: Robert C. Martin: 0000132350882: Amazon.com: Books - it is invaluable no matter the language you pick.

Number three, speaking of languages, do not get hung up on which is best. Pick one to learn, then pick another when you need to. I wouldn't recommend picking some obscure, worthless language, but any modern language with decent backing will do. Choose the best tool to do the job, don't hammer a nail with the butt of a stapler.

This can be done in your free time. It all comes down to your own dedication.

You can do this!

^^ Could not have said it better.
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:18 AM
 
4,366 posts, read 3,648,486 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adyn View Post

This can be done in your free time. It all comes down to your own dedication.

You can do this!
There are so many things I want to accomplish. Could someone recommend an estimate of how much time I should spend on it per day, like maybe one or two hours, if I want to be proficient in a year?
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:15 AM
 
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I would dedicate as much time as you have to it. 4+ hrs a day if you can. Even 1-2 would help but, at least for me, there's a 'zone' you have to let yourself fall into, and sometimes it takes me upwards of 30 mins to get my bearings and get into it...so if you're spending half your time just figuring out what you're trying to do, you won't get far.

If you're looking into web based stuff and you have no prior experience, I would suggest starting first at codecademy's HTML/CSS course:

HTML & CSS | Codecademy

Then you can move on to other things like javascript or ruby or some other semi-related langauge.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Wandering.
3,545 posts, read 5,682,491 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adyn View Post
I would dedicate as much time as you have to it. 4+ hrs a day if you can. Even 1-2 would help but, at least for me, there's a 'zone' you have to let yourself fall into, and sometimes it takes me upwards of 30 mins to get my bearings and get into it...so if you're spending half your time just figuring out what you're trying to do, you won't get far.

If you're looking into web based stuff and you have no prior experience, I would suggest starting first at codecademy's HTML/CSS course:

HTML & CSS | Codecademy

Then you can move on to other things like javascript or ruby or some other semi-related langauge.

Agreed that it should be as many hours as you can realistically dedicate.

And you need to do two specific things if you want to become somewhat proficient in an area:

  • Focus in on a single area to concentrate on: web, mobile, desktop, whatever, but pick one and stick with it.
  • Build something: It doesn't have to be the next Facebook or Office or Angry Birds, but what you learn from tutorials and courses won't stick without application. You have to decide on a project, and complete it (or at least actively work towards completing it). Solving the myriad of problems that you'll run into while trying to apply what you lean is what will take you from the extremely basic tutorials you'll start with, to a solid understanding of actual development.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:40 AM
 
4,366 posts, read 3,648,486 times
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Originally Posted by Skunk Workz View Post
Agreed that it should be as many hours as you can realistically dedicate.

And you need to do two specific things if you want to become somewhat proficient in an area:

  • Focus in on a single area to concentrate on: web, mobile, desktop, whatever, but pick one and stick with it.
  • Build something: It doesn't have to be the next Facebook or Office or Angry Birds, but what you learn from tutorials and courses won't stick without application. You have to decide on a project, and complete it (or at least actively work towards completing it). Solving the myriad of problems that you'll run into while trying to apply what you lean is what will take you from the extremely basic tutorials you'll start with, to a solid understanding of actual development.
One thing that makes it difficult is ironically the abundance of information about it on the internet.
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Old 11-19-2014, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Texas
1,029 posts, read 1,242,634 times
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What exactly are you wanting to do with a greater understanding of programming? It will be extremely difficult for you to get a job in programming without experience or a degree in the field.
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Old 11-19-2014, 04:26 PM
 
4,366 posts, read 3,648,486 times
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Originally Posted by Aggiebuttercup View Post
What exactly are you wanting to do with a greater understanding of programming? It will be extremely difficult for you to get a job in programming without experience or a degree in the field.
I was hoping I could maybe do something on a freelance basis or start out as someone's apprentice.
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Old 11-19-2014, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities (StP)
3,021 posts, read 1,934,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmb501 View Post
I was hoping I could maybe do something on a freelance basis or start out as someone's apprentice.
What are you looking for as of right now? Where to begin learning? If I were you I would start with either Java or C# then branch out from there. TheNewBoston on youtube has some pretty decent introduction videos. I know that Cal Berkeley, Stanford, and Carnegie Mellon (probably others as well) have youtube videos of comp sci courses so you could learn more of the theoretical side of programming. Also MIT has opencourseware which like the youtube videos are recordings of actual courses. If I am not mistaken they will also have a link to the course website where you can look at the labs and homework.
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