learning to program

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learning to program

#1 Post by Scribbles » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:22 pm

does anyone think it's possible to learn to be a programmer -without- college? Like with stuff online? I like programming and working in renpy and I've learned a lot more that I ever thought I would but I wonder if I could ever learn to make my own engines and do all the fancy advanced stuff. codeacademy is nice but I wasn't sure if it would really be enough? (college is not an option for me) any other code-learning recommendations? I have to balance learning it with gamedev stuff, so I just wanted to have some other things noted for when I need a break from that.

I remember loving code when I took the two semesters of software engineering in college, and how I thought it was so weirdly fun and satisfying but I also didn't think I was cut out for it b/c no matter how hard I tried I could only manage a "C" in the courses. and I only wanted to work on games and teacher and advisers told me that was not going to happen (ha.. showed them I guess?)

my mind isn't good with mathematics and that kind of thinking so it's something I struggle with doing but I like it anyway.

sorry if creator discussion wasn't the right place to post this? It seemed like the most appropriate.

tl;dr
give me you code-learning resources please? (other than codeacademy - because I'm already using it ^^ and I really recommend it!)

also if you're on here and have ever helped me with coding questions know that I hold a lot of affection for you and really appreciate it :)
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Re: learning to program

#2 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:03 pm

I think it is definitely possible to learn to be a programmer without college. I think the only thing college provides is the forced motivation. Everything else still comes down to self-initiative on pursuing and practicing things yourself.

You sound like me - I did some programming courses in college, but never managed much past a "C" in most of them. Only difference is my programming classes were specifically geared towards game programming.

Like you, I do fine with most programming concepts, but when it gets to the math part of calculating vectors or multiplying arrays (shoot me now) my mind starts screaming "You are an ARTIST, what are you doing?! All neurons abandon ship!" The most complex thing I ever programmed was a 3D procedurally generated maze with moving traps and a build logic that made sure the result was always solveable and the maze only had one entrance and exit. That was done in MEL script. And I should note that the code was not flawless - it had a logic error in it (introduced by my puny human brain) that would result in the maze being unsolveable about 5% of the time, a problem that took my programming teacher hours to find and correct for me.

I've learned just as much on my own since then, and at a MUCH reduced cost. I personally look for well-reviewed books on my programming language of choice and follow along with those. And relying on the kindness of strangers on forums like these when my artist brain has designed moon logic code that gives no errors, but also does not work like it should.

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Re: learning to program

#3 Post by Scribbles » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:38 pm

LateWhiteRabbit wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:03 pm
I think it is definitely possible to learn to be a programmer without college. I think the only thing college provides is the forced motivation. Everything else still comes down to self-initiative on pursuing and practicing things yourself.

You sound like me - I did some programming courses in college, but never managed much past a "C" in most of them. Only difference is my programming classes were specifically geared towards game programming.

Like you, I do fine with most programming concepts, but when it gets to the math part of calculating vectors or multiplying arrays (shoot me now) my mind starts screaming "You are an ARTIST, what are you doing?! All neurons abandon ship!" The most complex thing I ever programmed was a 3D procedurally generated maze with moving traps and a build logic that made sure the result was always solveable and the maze only had one entrance and exit. That was done in MEL script. And I should note that the code was not flawless - it had a logic error in it (introduced by my puny human brain) that would result in the maze being unsolveable about 5% of the time, a problem that took my programming teacher hours to find and correct for me.

I've learned just as much on my own since then, and at a MUCH reduced cost. I personally look for well-reviewed books on my programming language of choice and follow along with those. And relying on the kindness of strangers on forums like these when my artist brain has designed moon logic code that gives no errors, but also does not work like it should.
thanks ^^ hopefully I can force all the information into my brain
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Re: learning to program

#4 Post by davedr » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:44 am

I think it is possible to learn programming freely, when you set yourself up with a strong determination. As you know, most people who begin to learn freelance will leave unfinished for some reason (mostly because there is no time) you might have to think hard to give up. You have a very good decision. Also google is a good teacher you can learn a lot through it. good luck

sorry for my bad english : (

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Re: learning to program

#5 Post by Scribbles » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:34 am

davedr wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:44 am
I think it is possible to learn programming freely, when you set yourself up with a strong determination. As you know, most people who begin to learn freelance will leave unfinished for some reason (mostly because there is no time) you might have to think hard to give up. You have a very good decision. Also google is a good teacher you can learn a lot through it. good luck
thanks for the encouragement :)
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Re: learning to program

#6 Post by TheJerminator15 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:38 am

As someone currently at uni with a programming module, I learned just as much online, if not more than I have from my tutor about programming.

Especially if you're using Ren'Py. The engine is noticeably easier to code a basic VN for than other platforms. I don't have any other suggestions apar from codeacademy since that was what I personally used.
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Re: learning to program

#7 Post by gammastre » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:33 pm

I've taken a couple CS classes for my major (computational linguistics), but honestly, the majority of my coding knowledge has come from having some project [mostly for a class], not knowing how the heck to do any of it (because the class teaches nothing ...), and googling / reading stackoverflow. If you know how to read API Documentation, then you'll mostly be set :D

The best things I've gotten out of the classes were:
  • How does recursion work
  • Know exactly what's going in and out of functions
I haven't used it personally, but some of my friends swear by https://www.freecodecamp.org/
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Re: learning to program

#8 Post by Scribbles » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:13 am

gammastre wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:33 pm
I've taken a couple CS classes for my major (computational linguistics), but honestly, the majority of my coding knowledge has come from having some project [mostly for a class], not knowing how the heck to do any of it (because the class teaches nothing ...), and googling / reading stackoverflow. If you know how to read API Documentation, then you'll mostly be set :D

The best things I've gotten out of the classes were:
  • How does recursion work
  • Know exactly what's going in and out of functions
I haven't used it personally, but some of my friends swear by https://www.freecodecamp.org/
i'll check out that site thanks ^^

I'm slowly getting the hang of reading the documentation, I've gotten decent at Renpy's doc... most of the time lol working on something def helps me learn it through lots of trial and error
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Re: learning to program

#9 Post by RyuKing » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:21 am

Hello!

A majority of programming is learned through the internet. In college, not all languages will be taught by the university (mine has only one language as a specialization - C#) although you'll learn the fundamentals of programming logic.

Best places to learn are directly from the documentation of that framework or API ex. MSDN (.Net framework), developer.android.com (Android), docs.unity3d (Unity 3D), and many more.
Why? Because here you can completely see the different supported functions and parameters a syntax can have.

I would avoid using any sites like stackoverflow or youtube.
Why? It usually has the direct answer to your problem which will make you lazy and just copy paste the code into your project. Besides, in coding, doesn't mean it works it should be. Meaning an answer made through a forum will be unoptimized code which will mess up your projects with bugs or other stuff. Codeacademy is fine though, as it gives examples for a specific function.

In game programming, youtube is the best place for learning specific genres basics ex. VN (main menu, scene select, etc) but don't rely on doing exactly the same thing as the video does. Use Ren'Py's documentation.

Lastly, just like any art or kung fu, practice and repetition make perfect. Programming is basically scavenging through google and understanding on why a code works. Next is just not forgetting what you already learned in order to not waste time searching for the same syntax over and over again.

It's good to see someone who's not a major in programming love coding.
If you need keywords (loops, OOP, Classes, etc) for basic programming logic don't hesitate to ask. :D

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Re: learning to program

#10 Post by Scribbles » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:06 pm

RyuKing wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:21 am
Hello!

A majority of programming is learned through the internet. In college, not all languages will be taught by the university (mine has only one language as a specialization - C#) although you'll learn the fundamentals of programming logic.

Best places to learn are directly from the documentation of that framework or API ex. MSDN (.Net framework), developer.android.com (Android), docs.unity3d (Unity 3D), and many more.
Why? Because here you can completely see the different supported functions and parameters a syntax can have.

I would avoid using any sites like stackoverflow or youtube.
Why? It usually has the direct answer to your problem which will make you lazy and just copy paste the code into your project. Besides, in coding, doesn't mean it works it should be. Meaning an answer made through a forum will be unoptimized code which will mess up your projects with bugs or other stuff. Codeacademy is fine though, as it gives examples for a specific function.

In game programming, youtube is the best place for learning specific genres basics ex. VN (main menu, scene select, etc) but don't rely on doing exactly the same thing as the video does. Use Ren'Py's documentation.

Lastly, just like any art or kung fu, practice and repetition make perfect. Programming is basically scavenging through google and understanding on why a code works. Next is just not forgetting what you already learned in order to not waste time searching for the same syntax over and over again.

It's good to see someone who's not a major in programming love coding.
If you need keywords (loops, OOP, Classes, etc) for basic programming logic don't hesitate to ask. :D
thanks :) I don't know why I enjoy it but I do. Google has been my bff so far lol. i feel better knowing it's possible to learn without college (bc omg the loans/cost in the USA are horrendous) I will say I don't like copy/paste-ing code because i want to understand what it does since I always end up needing to customize it lol.
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Re: learning to program

#11 Post by Errilhl » Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:54 pm

I've been programming for about 12-15 years now, and I've never gone to college - at all. What college can do, and some do very well, is teach the fundamentals. The things you often don't learn by yourself, since what you teach yourself while watching YT vids, and reading docs, is how to use the language you're studying to manage to do some tasks you have set forth. Which is fine, and will teach you a lot, often more practical programming than a uni-course will. However, what you'll be missing will be the background, the knowledge of why some things are considered good practice, why some things are bad, and so on.

Depending on which language(s) you pick up, you might also learn quite a lot of bad practice from online-resources. Granted, books can be just as bad, but uni often update their syllabus, and keeps up to date with the latest developments in the languages they teach. Problem with online resources is that they often wither and don't die - ie they stay online "forever", gets repeated ad nauseam, and will teach you bad practice, because what they have on their page was great advice... 5 years ago.

I've done a lot of web-development, and that means a lot of PHP - which is very prone to this problem. You can learn a basic grasp of PHP in less than a week, but what you learn will most likely be very outdated, unless you get some advice from more experienced coders before you start. This is mostly true for all languages, even those that have been around "forever".

But is it possible to learn without college? Of course it is. Most coders learn a lot more outside of college, than on.
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Re: learning to program

#12 Post by Scribbles » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:40 pm

Errilhl wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:54 pm
I've been programming for about 12-15 years now, and I've never gone to college - at all. What college can do, and some do very well, is teach the fundamentals. The things you often don't learn by yourself, since what you teach yourself while watching YT vids, and reading docs, is how to use the language you're studying to manage to do some tasks you have set forth. Which is fine, and will teach you a lot, often more practical programming than a uni-course will. However, what you'll be missing will be the background, the knowledge of why some things are considered good practice, why some things are bad, and so on.

Depending on which language(s) you pick up, you might also learn quite a lot of bad practice from online-resources. Granted, books can be just as bad, but uni often update their syllabus, and keeps up to date with the latest developments in the languages they teach. Problem with online resources is that they often wither and don't die - ie they stay online "forever", gets repeated ad nauseam, and will teach you bad practice, because what they have on their page was great advice... 5 years ago.

I've done a lot of web-development, and that means a lot of PHP - which is very prone to this problem. You can learn a basic grasp of PHP in less than a week, but what you learn will most likely be very outdated, unless you get some advice from more experienced coders before you start. This is mostly true for all languages, even those that have been around "forever".

But is it possible to learn without college? Of course it is. Most coders learn a lot more outside of college, than on.
I'll have to keep all that in mind, it makes sense
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Re: learning to program

#13 Post by Soliloquy » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:22 am

I second FreeCodeCamp (it's what I've been using to learn Javascript), and also to keep an eye out for free coupons for Udemy.com courses. They have a bunch of Python-specific stuff available (since that's the basis of Ren'Py, after all *grin*), along with just about any other language you might want to learn. If you're on Facebook, follow the FCC Earth and some self-programming groups for other resources and aforementioned coupons. I've also heard good things about Udacity. If you want to look into the C languages, try Codefights or Codeeasy.

Best of luck on your learning journey!

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Re: learning to program

#14 Post by Scribbles » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:47 am

Soliloquy wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:22 am
I second FreeCodeCamp (it's what I've been using to learn Javascript), and also to keep an eye out for free coupons for Udemy.com courses. They have a bunch of Python-specific stuff available (since that's the basis of Ren'Py, after all *grin*), along with just about any other language you might want to learn. If you're on Facebook, follow the FCC Earth and some self-programming groups for other resources and aforementioned coupons. I've also heard good things about Udacity. If you want to look into the C languages, try Codefights or Codeeasy.

Best of luck on your learning journey!
thank you I'll bookmark all of that!
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Re: learning to program

#15 Post by Mutive » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:47 pm

I definitely think it's possible to program without learning it in college. I mean, clearly you program and there are a lot of people earning good livings (who I know) who are self taught!

What I will say (from having attended an engineering program) is that school gives structure. It's really, really hard to pick up some of the weird nuances of programming without being forced to sit through a class on say, architecture or higher level mathematics.

With that said, the vast majority of programming that I (or my friends) have done at work doesn't require all that super high level stuff. So...if your goal is to be, say, a database engineer or to write algorithms for, say, Netflix buffering, you probably do need to go to school. (Or really, really, really love teaching yourself arcane math on your off hours. Most people I know who do that kind of work have done both!) But in general, I'd say that the credential is more to get a foot in the door than much else. (And after you've worked for a bit, you don't really need the degree.)
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