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Calabi

When to Program.

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Hi, I've been learning programming from a few books, and think I know the basics of it reasonably well, but the books I have do not cover all of it. So now after finishing the books I am sort of lost I'm trying my own little projects but I realize I do not have all the knowledge to do them. I was wondering wether I should go back to studying more books or just try the projects. How do people generally do it in programming if they dont have the knowledge for something, where do they go to learn.

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There are multiple styles of learning in the world. What works right for me might not work right for you, etc. That being said, I'm not an academic type. This currently hurts me in my current job, as my manager expects me to learn this new technology through just reading a bunch of manuals. Rather, I learn better through hacking.

Currently, I'm learning how to develop on the Mac. Take some sample code someone else has written, and start messing around with it. Find what different parameters do, the results, etc.

That's sort of how I learned about pointers & virtual functions. I read books, had professors explain them, etc, and learned absolutely nothing from that.

Professor: Virtual functions are used for blah blah blah, pointers are useful for blah blah blah...

Me: ???

I kept hacking away, and I thought, how I could do this, if only I had a capability like this... And saw that I was using pointers or virtual functions, and all of the sudden, it's like a light went off in my head, everything just made sense.

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Hi,

You can only fully learn how to program when you just start doing it. Books can only tell you the theory while a big part of programming is actually experience.
It is very good to just start your own little project and run into things you don't know how to do. That is the best way to learn. As soon as you don't know how to do something, keep thinking of different ways to solve it, like it is a puzzle, or if you are really desperate, try searching online or posting in a forum.

What language(s) are you using by the way?

Greetings.

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There are two other threads on the first page of For Beginners in which this topic and its tangents are discussed. You might check out other people's suggestions there. I would pretty much agree with Nytegard, though. Copying code from textbooks taught me absolutely nothing. In fact, I learned more by making my own projects with help from fellow GDers than I did by going to college.

So, my recommendation is to think of a project that is just within your capability to do, and figure out how to do it. That way works much better for me.

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As already said it's a good idea to think of a little project that lies just within your capabilities. Even if it's only console output and input you can still think of such things as a little quiz or something and just make it. That way you'll get more comfortable with syntax and writing code in general.

However, allow me to add to that another good way to learn is to set a goal of 'expanding' your first project a bit with things you haven't learned yet. I always found that worked for me, because I spent some time learning new things (reading tutorials, searching in code examples etc.) and then I actually applied those new techniques to an already existing amount of code of mine. I still do things this way, and it works well.

For example, in Direct3D I can now make my basic scenes etc. and I wrote some classes and functions and an easy sample project to which I keep adding things once I've learnt them. That way you don't have to focus on the code around the newly learned technique but you can immediately apply it to a project you're already working on :-)

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I started of with Vb.net managed to make some programs with that but got annoyed with the classes and objects, I didnt really understand them. Looked at C++ before, I had always thought it was way too complicated but decided to look into it again and gradually realized it wasnt so complicated, now, to me its a lot simpler than vb.net.

But yeah I know what you mean with the learning, most of what I have read in books and on the web looks like dutch, normal words being used in completely different contexts, arguments, parameters, streams, I think I understand most of it(except for virtual functions).

Thanks for feedback, nice to know I'm not the only one who has trouble understanding it the way they explain it.

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They're called languages for a reason:P And honestly, nobody understands most of these things the first time they start off.

But as other people in other posts have stated, I wouldn't really suggest starting off in VB or C++. Probably something like Python might help you out in the learning process.

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Quote:
Original post by Nytegard
They're called languages for a reason:P And honestly, nobody understands most of these things the first time they start off.

But as other people in other posts have stated, I wouldn't really suggest starting off in VB or C++. Probably something like Python might help you out in the learning process.


I second not starting with VB or C/C++ (i wouldn't bother learning VB anyway :p), however, i am not too sure about python either. I like programming in python very much, but it is still a scripting language. I think it is better to start python after you have learned something like Java or maybe even C#. Once you get used to the freedom of python you may have trouble switching back :)

Just a thought :)

Greetings...

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No one ever learned how to write a novel, play an instrument, or paint a portrat from books alone.

Do, and thus you shall learn.

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Its ok thanks I think I'll stick with C++ have learnt most fundamentals of it already. Just figuring out how to move on from there. I think the main problem is me just stalling and staying motivated to do it, especially when everything isnt laid out in front of you and you have to look for things.

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