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tom_mai78101

When to start coding? (What time, under what circumstances and financial situations, etc.)

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When do experienced developers start coding:

1. When they are in high school?

Is free time sufficient enough to start practicing on coding and a little logic calculation? Is it after you've done homework, and sacrificed free time for coding from playing outside?

2. When they are in college?

Is it when no one is bothering you? Is it when all homework and reports are consistently finished? Is it when you're trying to code for your academic projects? Is it when all the free time you had, must be used on practicing programming skills?

3. When they start having financial problems?

Is it before having to deal with resource bills (water, electric, phone, natural gas, etc.)? Is it after? Is it when you could foresee that in the future you would not be able to have the choice to continue coding? Is it when a person can clear up his schedules and meetings and after they get home and rest?

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Experienced developers started coding a long time ago, and have almost certainly continued to write code since then.

If your aim is to become an experienced developer the time to start coding is as soon as you're able to do so -- if you have access to a PC or other programmable device, the appropriate software tools and some basic information to get you started then you have everything you need to start writing code -- you don't need the latest and greatest machine around, you can get by with free tools (there are actually very good tools available for free now!), and you can find all the information you need online or at a library.

Don't just read about programming, or simply think about it and ask questions -- there is no substitute for actually writing code. Along the way you will produce some utterly horrible code, you will produce some good code, and you will run into a lot of frustrating problems, but you will also learn a lot -- and if you continue over time to learn new lessons and experience different problems you will eventually be an experienced programmer.


As to your actual listed questions, I'm not going to bother giving them specific answers but instead simply say the following:

Start coding whenever you're able to do so. If something else in your life is more important to you than writing code then give that something else priority. If you want to learn to write code you'll find the time to do so -- if you're not able to find any time for it at all then consider that perhaps you don't really want it as much as you think you do. Some people sacrifice time they would otherwise have spent on other activities to write code, whilst others fit coding around their existing activities -- either of these approaches can lead to becoming a skilled developer, although obviously the more time you put towards it the sooner you're likely to see results.


Hope that helps! smile.gif

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When does an artist start to draw/paint/model? Whenver s/he wants/can/feels like it. Same goes for programming.

It's fair to say that, in general, those who start earlier are more experienced than those who wait for "the right time" (the right time is now - today - at this very moment).

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1) I never had a problem finding free time in high school to do programming. Including travel, school was 8am to 4pm, 5 days a week. Factoring in a generous 10 hrs sleep, that leaves 6 hours a day unallocated. And during the weekends, assuming you don't have a job, that's 28 hours (again with the generous sleep). If 70 hours isn't enough to cover your chores/homework, then your parents/school need their head checked. Considering a sane workload, I'd expect you to have ~60 hours free a week as a high school student.
Better to spend those hours working on a skill like programming, rather than playing Counter-Strike for 10 hour shifts, or drinking and getting high.

2) Depends if you work a job while in college or not. If you don't have a job, you should have a ton of free time while in college, just like you did in high school.
Also, if you go to college to learn how to program, but haven't started programming yet, then you're going to be severely disadvantaged. Likewise, if you expect to learn how to program simply from your classes (without spending free time every day practicing on projects of your choosing), you're also going to be severely disadvantaged by the time you graduate.

3) I don't get it... If programming is a hobby, then of course you're not going to attend to hobbies before bills. If programming is your profession, then programming pays bills.

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I am no where near to experienced, but i am in high school. I don't get to my computer until around 6:30 PM, and i spend my time finishing one or two of my online lessons. I accomplish everything i need to do, and i still have time to enjoy myself. If you want to learn coding, start now. Do some research though because some of my friends got intimidated after seeing a simple "Hello World!" program for Java.

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Also, really good programmers (which is not a given just because you are experienced) usually enjoy programming and problem solving.
Then it's suddenly not a "choir" that has to be done, but something you have to pace yourself to not spend _too_much_ time with.

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I sometimes programmed in lieu of doing homework or hanging out with friends. If you want to program, you'll program. If you don't want to program, you'll find some excuse to not program. For example, instead of posting weird nonsense like this, maybe you could.... ummmm.... program instead or something?

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I started in third grade as part of a math program I was in. You pretty much just need to be able to read and have access to the hardware.

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It doesn't work that way. There are no set rules around when you start coding and under what circumstances you start doing so. You just start coding when the bug bites you; that's all.

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It doesn't work that way. There are no set rules around when you start coding and under what circumstances you start doing so. You just start coding when the bug bites you; that's all.


This. 1000 times this.

I started in 3 phases... briefly when I was 5 or 6 just playing around on a BBC (~1985) before going back to 'running around and playing with friends' for the next 6 years.. then again for a few weeks/couple of months when I was ~11 or so mixed in with hanging out with friends and generally doing 'outside' stuff. It wasn't until I was 13 that I started to really get into it and by 16 I was pretty much so deep it it was my primary activity outside of school.

In short; if you enjoy it you'll make time for it.

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