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How do you 'learn' a programming language?

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#21 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 2169


Posted 21 October 2013 - 07:03 PM

Wow, this is a very interesting topic. You are very right Serapth. The internet can be a big distraction. When I moved, for the first few days I didn't have internet, and guess what? I READ A BOOK! hahaha. We didn't have cable either by the way.


I wasn't missing it as much as the rest of my family was. I think we can become anti-social that way. I mean, my brother texts me an imessage in the other room. haha. 


Anyhow. I have been into game design for about 2 months (believe me, the time flies really. Seems like only a few weeks) and I have learned so much. And it is just like you say, Try, fail, iterate, succeed, repeat. 


Amazing. hehe. 

They call me the Tutorial Doctor.


#22 jHaskell   Members   -  Reputation: 1441


Posted 22 October 2013 - 11:03 AM

i haven't actually coded a single game yet or a single applicatin yet...





 Any suggestions on what I should do next?


Writing code is what you need to start doing.  Lots of it.  If you haven't created a single application yet, then you really haven't learned nearly as much as you may think you have.  Reading books/tutorials and watching videos has its value, but it's nowhere near as valuable as writing code.  The only path to becoming a proficient programmer is to write code.  All other activities only provide guidance and structure to that singular critical activity.  For every hour you spend on those supporting activities you should spend an absolute minimum of two hours writing code, 5+ hours would be even better.  The person that spends 90% of their time writing code and 10% of their time 'learning' how to write code will be a far better programmer than the person that spends 10% of their time writing code and 90% of their time 'learning' how to write code.

#23 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 2169


Posted 28 October 2013 - 10:05 PM

Yeah, that's true jHaskell. I kept going from video to video for tutorials, and also looking for the best way to learn. From all of those videos I didn't find one person who could make it simple for me. But what I learned bits and pieces from those videos enough to write my own tutorial on programming. And I made it layman's terms. It turns out that programming is not hard at all, and just about anyone can do it. Whether or not you do it well is another story (not everyone perfects their craft).


Sitting at a computer and typing code in an IDE and seeing the result in a console window was not the ideal way for me to learn programming (boring), so I searched for a good game engine that would let me type code and test it visually. Was looking at a Unity 3d video when I saw another engine in the playlist. Tried out the video, went to the website, downloaded it, and ever since I have been doing very well as far as programming goes.


The engine uses LUA for scripting, but C++ as the engine code. I have not found any good help on C++ yet, but I understand concepts well enough I know I can do it. The syntax just gets me. 


I would suggest that a person new to programming games get a good game engine rather than an IDE, and code in that. Even 3D software like Maya or Blender have scripting. Ruby is pretty easy also (used for Google Sketchup). 


I started with Python. It is easy to cross to a new language once you have basic programming concepts down. All you have to do next is learn the syntax of the language. 


Even then, once you get a language down, you have to learn the API's and stuff (figuring out how someone else's code works) which is the most annoying part for me. 


For the original poster: I know I sound like a programmer dude, but I am really new to this, and have been learning a lot in a short amount of time. Just for reference, I found that game engine about 2 months ago (time flies) and so far I have written over 500 lines of code (neat code).


It's not hard, and doesn't have to take long. 

Edited by Tutorial Doctor, 28 October 2013 - 10:06 PM.

They call me the Tutorial Doctor.

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