Hey look. I’m ranting again. This was in a response on a forum where someone wanted to know how to program. The people were vicious and mocking. I might be wrong with my advice, but I wanted to stand by the guy. I don’t like when people are elitist about programming. It discourages people from trying.
Just starting out?
If you’re on Windows, get thinBASIC.
a) It’s FREE
b) You can control ANYTHING on your computer with it.
c) You can write games with it.
d) There’s a FLAT learning curve.
e) It comes with an IDE that’s pleasant.
The biggest mistake in today’s programming environment is the LANGUAGE is more complicated than the USER.
“LOOK HERE’S THIS OVERWHELMING BUNCH OF CRAP THAT YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND N00B! GO AWAY FROM THE WORLD OF PROGRAMMING NOW!”
Stupid elitist attitude I’ve seen among programming culture for … freakin’ decades now.
Get thinBASIC. There’s something similar on Mac. Something else similar on Linux. Start controlling your computer with it. Make it do interesting things for you. Have it spam 1000 emails to your friends as you practice it.
Once you’ve got a few things under your belt that are INTERESTING and actually DO SOMETHING YOU CARE ABOUT… then you can dive into whatever the popular cross compiling, mega-super-library system you want to.
Or, use LUA. If you’re on Steam, and Minecraft has extensions, use LUA. I haven’t used it, but I’ve heard it’s not hard.
Most important thing with programming isn’t “good form or style”. It’s getting things to WORK. You can learn style later or never, unless you just want to impress other people in the programming community with your ability to CONFORM.
PWAEFJ but I’m not a conformist. Most clubs suck. I just want to make my computer do stuff or make it do stuff for other people. I don’t care what language I have to use.
You have to know what it does. Hack your way through dozens or hundreds of sample files. The demo has a picture of a bird? Change it to a picture of your mom. Laugh. You learned something.
That’s the way to learn to program. Not reading books and getting headaches. Unless you like reading books and getting headaches. I like dive in and MAKE something, even if it’s a program that goes “DERP!” everytime someone presses the D key.
You can probably hook what you wrote into other programs like Minecraft or whatever later and if you can’t, well then you’ll have to learn another language. But your first one shouldn’t be discouraging. Programming is fun. If it’s not fun, well then you’re trying to please other people’s and their opinions too much instead of figuring out WHAT DO I WANT TO DO?
I have the kind of advice that’s hated in the programmer community but I never write programs to impress peers. I write programs to get paid or to make my computer do something. The social side of programming wasn’t my thing. It has too much etiquette that’s too easy to break.