Suggestions for taking up programming?
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12-08-2014, 09:21 AM
Suggestions for taking up programming?
So I decided to get into programming, and I'd like some pointers.

I minor in linguistics and I'm thinking about getting into computational linguistics professionally later on. But besides maybe some helpful knowledge of logic, I know nothing of programming whatsoever, and as I know from lurking and reading excessively, there are quite a few members with extensive knowledge in that field here. Smile

Any suggestions where to start? Which programming language? Maybe a certain introduction you know of? And it shouldn't be too....slow paced. I hate it when intructory books take forever to get to the point.

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12-08-2014, 09:28 AM
RE: Suggestions for taking up programming?
(12-08-2014 09:21 AM)Taro Wrote:  So I decided to get into programming, and I'd like some pointers.

I minor in linguistics and I'm thinking about getting into computational linguistics professionally later on. But besides maybe some helpful knowledge of logic, I know nothing of programming whatsoever, and as I know from lurking and reading excessively, there are quite a few members with extensive knowledge in that field here. Smile

Any suggestions where to start? Which programming language? Maybe a certain introduction you know of? And it shouldn't be too....slow paced. I hate it when intructory books take forever to get to the point.

I suggest taking a course in programming. Is there a college with night classes handy?

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12-08-2014, 09:45 AM
RE: Suggestions for taking up programming?
I'm majoring I'm video game design and have self taught myself a few languages and Web design.

I would suggest starting out with either Visual Basic or Web design, both are easy.

Personally, I started with C++and everything else after (C, C#, Basic, Java, Ruby, etc) came very easy. It all depends on how much time you have and if you can get classes or if you have to teach yourself.

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12-08-2014, 10:04 AM
RE: Suggestions for taking up programming?
Thank you!

Quote:I suggest taking a course in programming. Is there a college with night classes handy?

I'm sure there will be courses at my uni next semester, and if my schedule allows it, I will take one or two. But the next semester starts on 14th october, so I have a LOT of time until then Wink maybe I can get some basic knowledge until then and skip the introductory courses.

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12-08-2014, 10:07 AM
RE: Suggestions for taking up programming?
I've found head first labs make excellent tutorials and books for either self teaching or as companion reference material for professional and college courses. Books can be pricy ($60 +) but try to get coupons or discounts... maybe find used on amazon or ebay... although, most people hang on to these for reference.

http://www.headfirstlabs.com/ Put your curser over the books tab and you will get a good idea of their offerings.

I would suggest the book, HTML with CSS & XHTML if you are just beginning and know nothing. This book will have you designing a page practically right out of the gate. Thumbsup

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12-08-2014, 10:18 AM
RE: Suggestions for taking up programming?
(12-08-2014 10:04 AM)Taro Wrote:  Thank you!

Quote:I suggest taking a course in programming. Is there a college with night classes handy?

I'm sure there will be courses at my uni next semester, and if my schedule allows it, I will take one or two. But the next semester starts on 14th october, so I have a LOT of time until then Wink maybe I can get some basic knowledge until then and skip the introductory courses.

That's only two months.

You have time to get the basic ideas. Start here.


And there is also Khan Academy.

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17-08-2014, 09:28 AM
RE: Suggestions for taking up programming?
(12-08-2014 09:21 AM)Taro Wrote:  So I decided to get into programming, and I'd like some pointers.

I minor in linguistics and I'm thinking about getting into computational linguistics professionally later on. But besides maybe some helpful knowledge of logic, I know nothing of programming whatsoever, and as I know from lurking and reading excessively, there are quite a few members with extensive knowledge in that field here. Smile

Any suggestions where to start? Which programming language? Maybe a certain introduction you know of? And it shouldn't be too....slow paced. I hate it when intructory books take forever to get to the point.

Taro, welcome to the world of programming!

Can I suggest a language known as Python for your first venture into programming? It's clean, logical, free(!!!) and is easy to learn.

I'd also suggest looking at Coursera and edX. Coursera has two Python courses coming up. Both Coursera and edX are free(!!!) and you can actively join in (recommended - the discussion groups are stacked with people who know heaps about the subject in question - I suspect they join just because they like to help people, not because they need the tuition).

The first course is

An introduction to interactive programming in Python
https://www.coursera.org/course/interactivepython
and starts on 15 September.

The second is

Programming for everybody (Python)
https://www.coursera.org/course/pythonlearn
and starts on 16 October.

The first seems to be the more substantial course but the second comes with a free book that you can print (it's about 240 pages) or buy on Amazon for just under 9 bucks. (The book also contains exercises). You can look at both syllabi and at the book (link in the text) and decide if this is the way forward.

One very minor disadvantage of these courses is that they seem to use Python 2.x. The current version is Python 3.x. For a beginner, this will present no problems, but if you want to extend your programming abilities in the future, you may want to upgrade (having said that, some people like to skip versions. For some irrational reason, I tend to like odd versions. So, I'll probably skip Python 4 and Java 8 (which is now out, I believe). Dumb, I know).

Another thing you could/should do is contact the staff at uni and ask what they use. Very possibly, they use specially designed and written programs and you won't see the underlying basic code. Programming in such products may feel somewhat different to programming at the "base" level (such programs are usually aimed at users as opposed to programmers) but your base skills should help greatly.

So, best of luck. Let us know what you decide and how you get on.
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17-08-2014, 09:37 AM
RE: Suggestions for taking up programming?
(12-08-2014 09:21 AM)Taro Wrote:  So I decided to get into programming, and I'd like some pointers.

+1 for unintentional puns Smile

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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17-08-2014, 11:11 AM
RE: Suggestions for taking up programming?
You can pick up a language any time and start running. If you can "acquire" microsoft visual studio, then I would recommend playing around in visual basic. It is a very simple language, and right away you can intuitively build form windows.

If you are into the linguistics side of things, you will need to progress to at least the sophomore level of a computer science student. Compiler design, recursive descent parsing, parse trees, tokenizing, ect they are going to require a very comfortable understanding of C or c++ as well as a good grasp on some fairly complicated data structures. These are normally introductory courses for college juniors, and studied in depth as a college senior or in graduate school. Best first place to start would be to pick up any language and then start exploring.
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17-08-2014, 04:12 PM
RE: Suggestions for taking up programming?
(17-08-2014 09:37 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(12-08-2014 09:21 AM)Taro Wrote:  So I decided to get into programming, and I'd like some pointers.

+1 for unintentional puns Smile

You are a BAD boy - go to bed with no supper!! SmileSmile

(17-08-2014 11:11 AM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  You can pick up a language any time and start running. If you can "acquire" microsoft visual studio, then I would recommend playing around in visual basic. It is a very simple language, and right away you can intuitively build form windows.

If you are into the linguistics side of things, you will need to progress to at least the sophomore level of a computer science student. Compiler design, recursive descent parsing, parse trees, tokenizing, ect they are going to require a very comfortable understanding of C or c++ as well as a good grasp on some fairly complicated data structures. These are normally introductory courses for college juniors, and studied in depth as a college senior or in graduate school. Best first place to start would be to pick up any language and then start exploring.

Everything Michael says is true (don't let words such as "tokenizing" scare you - that's for later). But if you've never done any programming, you need to start with the absolute basics i.e. simple calculations, data types, if statements, loops etc. I guarantee your first program will be "Hello world" (or if you're a tough guy, it'll be "FARK YOU" - yes, I plead guilty as charged!! but it's the same program). But getting the basics under your belt is what counts. It probably doesn't matter which language you choose: "if" and other statements obey pretty much the same format in every language and the logic is pretty much the same. but skills learned in one language are very transferable to other languages (except for COBOL - don't go near COBOL!! If you do, I'm coming round to your place armed with a baseball bat Smile)

I realised I hadn't checked courses offered on edX. There's a Python course starting on the 27th of this month "Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python". Here's the link...

https://www.edx.org/course/mitx/mitx-6-0..._EZ1mPMGSo

It begins on 27 August. It also uses Python 2.7. That book I mentioned should be very useful.
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