Daunted, yet Undeterred


I was curious, just arrived, and wondered if anyone can offer me some sage advice... if the answers exist.

I'm new to programming, have only gone thru a basic ebook course using python, so I understand some basic concepts but nothing functional. I keep having these ideas I want to put together, (mostly games, but some other misc projects as well) but I have no idea if they are even possible or marketable (and frankly I don't care - it's about the end result for me, not the money. Phooey!). And so far it looks like I have to have a 4-year degree to even [b]begin[/b] on anything...

Um... Yeah. Not too keen on taking classes (esp. on my own!), I have thought about getting someone to teach me, but that doesn't seem to happen usually... and um... I'm broke. For me it'd be best to be taught thru working on a project, but that doesn't seem to be available either... So not sure where to begin?

Anyway, I'm not complaining or looking for a shortcut or anything, just seeing if anyone has any advice for an aspiring programmer. Basically, I just want to create, for personal interest, a project or ten; and I want to learn to program - because (mainly) it's cool, and for the skills.

Also wondering if anyone else has run into this.

[italic]<<Duckwagon - meandering idealist; yet disconnected from reality>>[/italic]


  • My advice would be to pick one of the projects in your head and start hacking away at it. Your code will suck at first, but so does everybody's. I recommend starting simple and working your way up. Programming, and all hacking in general IMO, is about recognizing what your tools are and combining them to accomplish your goal. As you get more comfortable coding, you will get better at taking the big picture in your mind and breaking it into the tiny steps required by the computer.

    Also, Google is your friend. One of the things I liked about learning Python is that all the docs are online, and they are generally clear and understandable. A lot of the time, if you find yourself thinking "I wonder if somebody else has solved this problem", they probably have, and Google can probably point you to it.

    Here's an example of tying all this together. Say you start out with a basic tic tac toe game. You need a couple functions for handling input and managing the board. You need a giant while loop that handles the flow of the game (or something like that). You need a way to represent the board. Once you have all that, maybe you say to yourself "I wonder how to make the computer play effectively against me", so you go read up on artificial intelligence algorithms. Maybe you say, "I wanna make this all graphic", so you go read up on the modules written in Python for handling graphics. Or maybe, you get all like, "I wanna be able to play against my buddy sitting in the other room", so you go read up on networking. A four year degree helps, but a lot of what you gain from that is available on the internet.

    Anyway, if it's any encouragement, many others have been down this road, so you know it can be done. GLHF, lemme know if I can be of service. Peace out, and God bless.
  • Hm.

    Any word on languages/compatability/platform independence?

    I know you can figure out ways of doing most anything in most languages... but would it be better to start out with what I know, or start from scratch on a new language? At least I know how Python syntax basically works; but some things seem to be predominantly one language. (such as Android - written exclusively in Java as far as I know - or video games - most high end games are done with C# or C++ from what I've seen)

    Could I make it work with Python? 'Cause that would be cool, I just don't want the potential quality to suffer because of it, and I may have to reinvent the wheel a lot more that way. But that's just from my limited experience/research, I dunno.

    P.S. Thanks for the advice!
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