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Your answer can help determine which programming language(s) you should master, as well as what sort of commitment (in time and money) your goal may require. For example, if your dream is to create the next great operating system or a killer alternative to PhotoShop , you would benefit from a formal computer science education that teaches you C++, as well as more complex topics like data structure, algorithms and memory allocation.
When you reverse-engineer someone else’s code, testing each line to see how it works, you get a better understanding of the big picture. Thanks to the tons and tons of open-source code that’s out there, you can learn just about anything by examining someone else’s (flawless) work. Just remember to share your code back with the community if inspiration strikes and you improve a part of the program you were fiddling with.
Also, something that I've found is that if you go wrong somewhere instead of mindlessly searching for the error (assuming there are multiple or you don't know the error's location) just start from the beginning and go down seeing that if this works. If you see a break and something disconnects, in all probability that's where the error is. It's all logic.
Take a few minutes (or a day) to think about the reasons—the real reasons—why you want to learn a programming language. Be honest with yourself. Are you trying to learn the barest minimum to score a promotion? Are you looking to make a big career change? Do you want to create the next greatest app? Thrill your roommates by programming your various smart devices to do something awesome?
I'm Dave Henderson! For over 34 years, I've made a wonderful living for myself and family of four creating world-class water features using real and faux rock in sunny San Diego as well as professional sand sculptures all around the world. And now I'm taking what I've learned about starting successful businesses, contracting, sculpture, water feature construction, and more, and sharing it with the world. It's my mission to help people like you enjoy more success both in your business and in your personal life.
As a self-taught programmer, you might also benefit from books that offer broader advice on the profession. You’ll improve your thinking and habits, traits you can apply to any language you decide to learn. Steve McConnell’s 900-page Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction (2nd Edition) is considered the definitive guide for best practices, with data-backed advice on everything from project design to debugging code.
Founded in 2010, Udemy is an online learning platform that can be used as a way to improve or learn job skills. While there are courses you have to pay for, there are plenty of free programming courses, which are taught via video lessons, such as Programming for Entrepreneurs -- teaching Django- the #1 Python Frameworks, APIs, HTML, CSS, + Payments.
I can’t recommend Harvard’s CS50x Introduction to Computer Science enough. You can audit the course for free via edX and earn a certificate by completing all the assignments, or you can go at your own pace and watch all the lectures posted on Youtube. You can build your own DIY college-level computer science program with this selection of fifteen online courses (many of which are also listed in our Lifehacker U series).
Coding is all in the details, which is why you need to “celebrate small victories,” as one of our programming professors put it. It takes practice to make each element work on its own, as well as constant testing to ensure each line of code will work with all the rest—without errors. If you don’t do seemingly minor things right like closing a HTML tag, you’d be stuck debugging a simple syntax error rather than writing more impressive and complex code.
That's a great list, Kevin. However, nearly all above-mentioned course/tutorial providers provide content for nearly all programming languages/frameworks. Hence a newbie learner would be confused which learning platform to choose out of the lot. For ex. if one is interested in learning Python, all the above-mentioned platforms provide Python courses/tutorials. To solve this dilemma, Hackr.io (https://hackr.io) is the programming community where learners can find the best online programming courses and tutorials recommended by the community. PS: Sorry for the self-promotion ( Am Hackr co-founder) but I thought of informing the readers about the possible solution.
Whether you’re an adult looking to transition into the tech industry, a student looking to learn the latest language, or a hobbyist who just wants to understand how software and services work, all you need is a computer and internet access to start your programming journey. But before you take a flying leap into The Matrix, here are our best tips and resources to set you off on the right foot.