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Best Method of Taking Notes (on a language you are learning)?


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#1 Cham   Members   -  Reputation: 188

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 01:47 PM

Hello GameDev Community,


While I was learning the basics of multiple programming languages, I did not take notes. While I moved on into the more advanced tutorials, I lost my knowledge on the basics, it is frustrating.

I have come up with the conclusion that I will takes notes. This is where I need the advice of you experienced coders. I have downloaded EverNote to take notes on my computer. It is still kind of hard to remember although I now have a reference.

So my question is this. Is it better to take notes on your computer or write it down in a notebook? It takes longer writing notes in a book, especially the code examples but it a lot easier to remember than when you type the notes. If you have methods of taking notes that are different, feel free to share them.


Thank you for your time,
-Cham

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#2 Serapth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5760

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 01:48 PM

OneNote is a freaking amazing piece of software.

Not free though, but amazing, I use if for a ton of things.

#3 kbenderoth89   Members   -  Reputation: 123

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 01:50 PM

Typically I just type comments in the programs when learning. Like, when I learned about the data structures like lists and trees in C++, i wrote C++ style comments about each function and step. I know that every language has a way you can insert comments in your code. I'd suggest just that

#4 Cham   Members   -  Reputation: 188

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 02:18 PM

Typically I just type comments in the programs when learning. Like, when I learned about the data structures like lists and trees in C++, i wrote C++ style comments about each function and step. I know that every language has a way you can insert comments in your code. I'd suggest just that


I've never thought of that, but wouldn't you have to locate the file with the comments on that specific function? It would be very unorganized, that is my only worry.

#5 Cham   Members   -  Reputation: 188

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 02:19 PM

OneNote is a freaking amazing piece of software.

Not free though, but amazing, I use if for a ton of things.


I just realized I have it from the Microsoft Office 2007 Suite! :D

#6 a_insomniac   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 613

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 05:33 PM

@OP:

The information you provided in your original post suggests that the reasons you have forgotten the basics is two-fold: attempting to learn multiple languages, moving ahead to advanced areas when you were not ready. Again, only having limiting information, it sounds like you bounced in-between strong and weakly typed languages – if true, this would confuse anyone just starting out. My advice, pick one language, any language, and code in it until you become adequately functional.

However, be forewarned, a majority of the community is against learning C/C++ as a first language. Personally, I believe everyman chooses his own sword, it is only until you taken to the battlefield when you know if you have chosen wisely – practice makes perfect. That said, regardless of either strongly or weakly typed languages, a large majority are derivatives of C. Developing a strong grasp of C/C++ will allow you to later on code in a number of languages, effectively, within a few hours - API docs by your side [assumed basics are understood].

Nonetheless, “your” focus should definitely be that of developing a true understanding of the basics of programming. Truthfully, your notes on this topic will not help you as much as you think, you are already being taught the basics in a book – suggesting that the basics are learned as a result of doing. These foundational concepts will be honed by “you” as you continuously write-code, and more code, and more code, until the basics are perfunctory - this is one area where learning by rote is helpful.

So what are the basics?

I am sure this list would/will vary per individual:

[Written in no specific order]
  • Program Structure / Functions
  • Variable Declaration
  • Arrays
  • Boolean / Comparison Operators
  • Conditional Statements
  • Iterative Constructs
--

Furthermore, I am not suggesting that you do not take notes – must of us do. Although, as you gain more coding experience, your notes will be more about “software engineering” and any language specific notes would/should consist of language differences i.e., memory allocation/dealloation specifics, class specifics, OOP uses (inheritance vs. interfaces, etc).

Anyway, the sooner you master one language, the better off you will be - learn another language only if you absolutely have to, or if curiosity is making you unproductive Posted Image

Eventually, you just may learn to master the implementation of design patterns, turning you into a more effective scientist, not coder – when this happens, your notes will be worth gold.

Good luck to you Sir and as always, have fun.

Edited by a_insomniac, 02 June 2012 - 07:59 PM.

----------
Coder and 3D Artist

Electrical Engineering Student
http://ibendwires.com


#7 Shenaynay   Members   -  Reputation: 134

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 05:57 PM

Well I'm learning to use allegro with c++, and I use Evernote. What I do is make a sections about a specific feature like displays, events, input etc and just go over it when I need to add it to a project.

#8 taby   Members   -  Reputation: 336

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 06:36 PM

I usually hand write my notes, but that's just a personal preference.

Anyway, if you ever have to do a lot of handwriting for any reason, I find that the Bic Velocity is one of the best "cheap" pens out there. It really lives up to its name, because it's the only pen I have ever owned with which I can write almost as fast as I can think. No other "cheap" pen that I've tried comes close. It's so smooth.

http://www.bicworld.com/en/products/details/29/velocity%29

Edited by taby, 02 June 2012 - 06:37 PM.


#9 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 07:04 PM

I have two whiteboards at home. It's where my notes go.
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#10 Cham   Members   -  Reputation: 188

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 07:37 AM

@OP:

The information you provided in your original post suggests that the reasons you have forgotten the basics is two-fold: attempting to learn multiple languages, moving ahead to advanced areas when you were not ready. Again, only having limiting information, it sounds like you bounced in-between strong and weakly typed languages – if true, this would confuse anyone just starting out. My advice, pick one language, any language, and code in it until you become adequately functional.

However, be forewarned, a majority of the community is against learning C/C++ as a first language. Personally, I believe everyman chooses his own sword, it is only until you taken to the battlefield when you know if you have chosen wisely – practice makes perfect. That said, regardless of either strongly or weakly typed languages, a large majority are derivatives of C. Developing a strong grasp of C/C++ will allow you to later on code in a number of languages, effectively, within a few hours - API docs by your side [assumed basics are understood].

Nonetheless, “your” focus should definitely be that of developing a true understanding of the basics of programming. Truthfully, your notes on this topic will not help you as much as you think, you are already being taught the basics in a book – suggesting that the basics are learned as a result of doing. These foundational concepts will be honed by “you” as you continuously write-code, and more code, and more code, until the basics are perfunctory - this is one area where learning by rote is helpful.

So what are the basics?

I am sure this list would/will vary per individual:

[Written in no specific order]

  • Program Structure / Functions
  • Variable Declaration
  • Arrays
  • Boolean / Comparison Operators
  • Conditional Statements
  • Iterative Constructs
--

Furthermore, I am not suggesting that you do not take notes – must of us do. Although, as you gain more coding experience, your notes will be more about “software engineering” and any language specific notes would/should consist of language differences i.e., memory allocation/dealloation specifics, class specifics, OOP uses (inheritance vs. interfaces, etc).

Anyway, the sooner you master one language, the better off you will be - learn another language only if you absolutely have to, or if curiosity is making you unproductive Posted Image

Eventually, you just may learn to master the implementation of design patterns, turning you into a more effective scientist, not coder – when this happens, your notes will be worth gold.

Good luck to you Sir and as always, have fun.


Woah, thank you for the time you put into your posts, I'm just extremely worried if I cannot handle the curret language I am learning (C#) so I am thinking of moving into Python instead. But I will take your well thought out advice, and stick with C# until I get good with it! Posted Image

#11 kbenderoth89   Members   -  Reputation: 123

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 11:53 AM

I've never thought of that, but wouldn't you have to locate the file with the comments on that specific function? It would be very unorganized, that is my only worry.


it depends. if you're making a game or something and using a new function, yeah it'd be pretty unorganized. But I found making a seperate program called "trees","Dynamically Linked Lists", etc. and include comments can be wonderful especially when doing something free.




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