Ever wanted to write a program from scratch? Programming can be a very rewarding experience. All great programmers started out just like you: without knowledge, but ready to read, learn, and practice.
Step 1. Decide what you want to do with your programming knowledge
Are you looking to learn how to create games, or is web development more in line with your style?
Step 2. Once you decide what you want to achieve, start reading and find out which programming languages are used
For making games, it would be helpful to learn one of the C languages. For web development, you should start with HTML and CSS and move on to the server-side language you want, such as Perl or PHP.
Step 3. After deciding to choose a programming language, do more research and find out what you need to test it
For example, if you are learning PHP, you will need to download and install a server such as Apache, as well as PHP itself. For C you have to buy a program, however there are good programs that you can get for free to compile C programs.
Step 4. Start reading
Start with the instruction manual for your program and work through the examples. You can try the tutorials for beginners.
Step 5. When you feel comfortable with your language, decide what your first project will be
Choose something simple. If you are learning to program games, try an easy game like guessing a number.
Step 6. Start programming
You may find it difficult and necessary to consult reference books and tutorials quite often, but this is just the beginning.
Step 7. Once you finish your first project, move on to slightly more complex projects
Step 8. In the end, you will have enough knowledge of the language and its syntax, as well as the "theory" of programming, which will allow you to complete more complex projects
Step 9. Find a good mentor
A good mentor will speed up the learning process and help you prevent possible common mistakes.
- Stay motivated. Practice as often as you can, because the more time passes between sessions, the more you will forget.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help. Find a good active forum with a large number of users who know the language of your choice and ask any questions you need. A real-life friend with experience can explain complex concepts and help you deal with annoying mistakes.
- Some good languages for writing games for beginners are BASIC, FORTH, and a kids' programming language.
- If you run into an obstacle, take a break. You may find that you "figured it out" when you return. Get away from your computer for 15 to 30 minutes.
- If you can find an inexpensive book for your language, buy it. It is always good to have a paper guide, but just a book is pointless as there are an abundance of textbooks on the Internet.
- Typing on a keyboard can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, so be sure to maintain proper posture.
- Long hours at the computer can cause eye stress, headaches, back and neck problems, so take frequent breaks.