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As someone who has never coded before, how do I get started?
5 points by Dracosphinx 1444 days ago | hide | past | web | 10 comments | favorite
Specifically, I would love to learn how to code with C++, Python, and Ruby. Though I have no experience, I would definitely like a nudge in the right direction.


Seriously tho, If you want to get started doing some fun things, you could try processing (http://processing.org/learning/) Its really easy to get started, and I would say its similar to java, it might be easy to get started because you can visually see what you are doing and there are lots of examples, it also works with ardrino boards so you can easily start playing with hardware.

If you want to learn Ruby, there are lots of web resources around, this ruby on rails web development resource was recommended to me by a friend, but I have not yet had the chance to try it yet (http://ruby.railstutorial.org/ruby-on-rails-tutorial-book).

If you want to learn Java I would just search on amazon for a beginner java book, I learned it in university so this is the only way I know. I would not really recommend c++ for a beginner / hobby enthusiast.

If you are more serious about learning programming for a profession, you could start with some edX or other online university coarse (https://www.edx.org/courses/MITx/6.00x/2012_Fall/about)

EdX's 6.00x or CS50x are probably the best bets.

I think the best approach for you is to determine what is your milestone? Do you want to build a web app (PHP or Ruby on Rails) or a mobile app(IOS or Android)? Are you doing research and would you like to slice and dice your data(Python or R)? Do you want to set a foundation for yourself programminng fundamentals (C/C++)?

There are tons of resources for Ruby on Rails and PHP. There is always Learn to Program the Hard Way with Python. I cut my teeth on C++ when taking prerequisites for Comp Sci Grad school before they had transitioned all entry level courses to Java. C++ resources are available on the web but they are not as strong as some of the web app tutorials out there. You might be better off with a book from the library.

I think you need to figure out where you want to be in the short term and work backwards. You can always change it once you are further along. It's actually a nice place to be. Plenty of people have learned to program to build their own web app, and there goal was to get a business going and build something, with either Python/Django or Ruby/Rails. I know some researchers that had to learn Python or R for working with their data.

Tell me where you want to be in 1 month from now and I will do my best to get the best resource for you. As previously mentioned I learned C++ with some very qualified guidance from professors. I learned PHP and Ruby on Rails primarily on my own. I have yet to tackle Python. Will do what I can to help.

I would like to have set the foundation of programming fundamentals via C/C++ one month from now. Any help is very appreciated!

When I was learning C++ in school this was the book we used. It's pretty comprehensive but not necessarily a step by step tutorial - the Standard C++ Bilbe


Since C++ has been around a while you might best be served by going to the library and taking home a few books, trying to figure out the best one to start with. Once you get more comfortable you may want to buy the book above. I would have to look around to find a decent online C++ resource.

It's going to take longer than 1 month. You'll have some basics down, like variable scope, declaring var types, functions, etc. You might start to touch on objects.

However what are you learning C++ for? A job? A personal project? A contributor to open source software? I probably should have specified that. For a serious C++ job it'll take more than 4 months full time to be competent enough to talk your way through an interview.

Gosh... I guess I really want to create my own programs rather than rely on whatever new project google or microsoft cooks up. I suppose you could say it's a personal project. Also, I would like to set up a basic knowledge of coding so I can begin to use scripts within my games. Currently I'm getting by in Blender without using Python, but my AI is severely limited.

One month is not enough. But for C, try CS4e


I think the best thing is to have something you really want to build, and then work from there trying to figure out how to do it, and all the different elements that are in play. That way it's a lot less nebulous than just 'learning how to code'. You won't be able to do everything, obviously, but you'll be able to contextualize what you can and can't do, and how those things fit into a 'fully baked' mvp...just my 2 cents. good luck, drop the hammer.

This question (or some variation) gets asked weekly. You'll find lots of good info browsing past Ask HN entries.

That said, I always recommend Zed Shaw's "Learn Python The Hard Way": http://learnpythonthehardway.org/

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