#1 Posted by left4doof (286 posts) -

I want to learn how to do some basic programming but I'm having a hard time getting started . Any tips on where to start ?

#2 Posted by BeachThunder (11927 posts) -

I would say web-based languages are a good starting point. Something like PHP might be a good idea.

#3 Posted by IBurningStar (2172 posts) -

Try something like Python, that's how I started.

#4 Posted by monkey523 (177 posts) -

Python is a great place to start.  It's very straight-forward, and the code is easy to read.

#5 Edited by Droop (1867 posts) -

I used some ActionScript 3.0 last semester, it's used with Flash CS5. There's a lot of different tutorials for it too, many of them game related. It's good to report errors in the code and you can quickly compile your code. Might be worth a go.

I found it sorta hard to get in to though but then again I was pretty lazy!

#6 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4485 posts) -

@monkey523 said:

Python is a great place to start. It's very straight-forward, and the code is easy to read.

I agree. Python or C are good starting places IMO. There are a ton of tutorials online and tons of books out there so you're just a Google search (or a trip to Barne....err...Amazon hahaha) away from getting started at any moment

#7 Posted by Stonyman65 (2700 posts) -

C, C++ or Java are good places to start. From what I understand, those are some of the most basic languages, and the stuff that most people use.

#8 Posted by Shadow (4979 posts) -

Hack PSN. That seems to be just about the easiest programming-related thing you can do. 
After you figured that out, move onto something harder, like a Hello World project.

#9 Posted by Russcat (140 posts) -

Since you're on a gaming website I am making the assumption that you want to be able program something visual.

Toward this end I would recommend getting hold of Flash and starting with Actionscript.

Flash makes it way easier to get started using graphics and sound, whereas if you pick a language like C or C++ you are looking at expending tons of effort just to be able to make a window and draw a bitmap onto it.

Also, all variants of Actionscript are managed languages, meaning you don't have to worry about pointers, memory allocation and cleanup, which can be tricky for beginners to grasp & debug.

Beginners I have tutored in the past told me they found Actionscript 3 easier to understand than Actionscript 1/2 because 1/2 are so kludgey, 3 just made more sense with it's greater structure. That's purely anecdotal though.

#10 Edited by gike987 (1754 posts) -

Java is easy to learn and all the tools you need are free (unlike visual studios which most people use for languages such as C++ and C#).

#11 Posted by WildFloyd (127 posts) -

Theres a lot of tutorials for the C languages, and they're probably more useful for non scientific purposes. I started with Fortran 90, its real low level so it teaches you some good hardcore practices. You need to be using something Unix based for that though.

#12 Edited by Majestic_XII (95 posts) -

Learn C#. Make games for 360 using XNA or for PC/web using Unity. If you don't want to make games, it's great for making programs and web applications.

Pick up a book called Learning C#

http://www.amazon.com/Learning-C-3-0-Jesse-Liberty/dp/0596521065/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1314823315&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Programming-4-0-Building-Applications-Framework/dp/0596159838/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1314823315&sr=1-3

#13 Posted by Fobwashed (2062 posts) -

I started off cold with C# and XNA. There's tons of useful, game programming related tutorials and information freely available on the web and there's also a lot of great books written on the subject. I guess really it depends on what your long term goal is. If you want to just dabble and keep it real simple, I hear that web based and flash based stuff is pretty easy and quick to get into. If you wanna make something more complicated and want more control over different aspects, I'd recommend doing what I did and just jumping into C#.

I'd say within the first two months, I had enough knowledge to put together a simple game or a decent windows form type program. I'm updating my progress on my blog here and vids on youtube if you want to see what your progress might be like starting from scratch. It's great fun and hella rewarding! Good luck =)

#14 Posted by gpbmike (864 posts) -

@left4doof: Punch cards.

#15 Posted by left4doof (286 posts) -

Thanks duders .

#16 Posted by Mordi (553 posts) -

You could check out a program called GameMaker, which has a simplified programming language. Otherwise I would go straight for Microsoft's XNA, which has a nice forum and many good tutorials.

#17 Posted by snide (2413 posts) -

@left4doof said:

I want to learn how to do some basic programming but I'm having a hard time getting started . Any tips on where to start ?

Went through this recently myself. Gamers should like it because it has you building a text adventure game.

http://learnpythonthehardway.org/

#18 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

you should take a class in some college to learn something. it's how i learned HTML (dreamweaver) and actionscripted 2.0(flash).

#19 Posted by HAL9000 (73 posts) -

Not to steal the thread but if one wanted to start dabbling in the web based programming (HTML 5, CSS, Javascript) can anyone recommend some good resources? I picked up a couple second hand volumes of Head Firsts HTML & CSS book but it's about 4 years old at this point.

#20 Posted by Kung_Fu_Viking (705 posts) -

x86 Assembly.

I learnt with a BASIC derivative but I would recommend C# to start and then move into C++. Learn the fundementals in C# and build your confidence there. You can even use XNA Game Studio to get audio/visual stuff up and running really quickly. Once you're happy making stuff there move over to C++ which will introduce you to the wonderful world of memory management via pointers, bitfields and other voodoo. Also this way you can learn about basic containers and algorithms from the C# standard library which is so much better than the atrocity that is the C++ Standard Library and STL.

#21 Posted by cnlmullen (900 posts) -

Personally I recommend doing this:

  1. Identify what you want to do with programming (e.g. make PC games, make interactive websites, get a job as a software engineer, play with math and logic)
  2. Identify what a good language you should know to do what you want (e.g. C# [for games], Ruby on Rails [for interactive websites], Java [for getting a job], Haskell [playing with math and logic])
  3. Buy an easy book that teaches you the basics of that language. After you learn the basics, use online tutorials to do exactly what you want.
#22 Posted by advocatefish (356 posts) -

Same way as anything else. Start.

#23 Posted by GS_Dan (1403 posts) -

@snide: Thanks for that link, will definitely give that a go.

#24 Posted by Mars_Cleric (1594 posts) -

I first learned object oriented programming doing Haskell then went to Java and C and now I've just started Assembly and Op-code to program microprocessors