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Ultra beginner needs guidance  RSS feed

 
Nikola Serafimovski
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Heyas everyone,

I finally decided that I'd like to focus big chunk of my time on Programming.
I chose Java because for now, I am most interested in Android Development (mostly games, but I have few non-game ideas by now).

By now, I've read only Head First Java, and I loved it.
I ordered Head First Android Development, but I feel like I need some Java experience, at least to make few basic games like Pong or Tetris on my own...
...then move on to Android Dev.

What do you think?
What should I do next?
I searched around this forum, and I stumbled upon LearningWithRobots.
I started that textbook but I felt like I was doing the same thing again - learning the basics.

Any help is welcomed, and meanwhile, enjoy your being ^_^
Cheers,
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Welcome to the Ranch

How much programming have you done? How much can you program? Show us something small you have written and let us see what we think of it. Tell us what ideas you have. Is there anybody near you who would like you to write them an application? Do you know how to write a program to play noughts and crosses? That is what the Americans call tic‑tac‑toe. Do you know how to interface to a GUI? Do you know how to connect Java® code to a database?
 
Nikola Serafimovski
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:Welcome to the Ranch

How much programming have you done? How much can you program? Show us something small you have written and let us see what we think of it. Tell us what ideas you have. Is there anybody near you who would like you to write them an application? Do you know how to write a program to play noughts and crosses? That is what the Americans call tic‑tac‑toe. Do you know how to interface to a GUI? Do you know how to connect Java® code to a database?


Thanks Ritchie, nice to be part of it.

Honestly, as the title suggests, I am an Ultra Beginner.
Thus meaning I can't do anything in the Notebook :P

I've copied some of Head First Java code, played with it a little (as much as I understood).

I am a SEO manager, and the only experience I had is customizing my websites.
I've took Codecademy's HTML&CSS course, as well as JavaScript.

And that is when I fell in love with programming.
The freedom I had with my content was ahhhh liberating.

And I know codecademy courses are pretty basics.

Also, Algebra and Linear Maths were the only A's I had in school, and I read somewhere here on CodeRanch that it's nice to have them in your skillset.

The point I am trying to prove is that I really feel like Programming is my thing, and I am super new in it.

Thanks again,

----
EDTI: typos.
 
Knute Snortum
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If you want to reinforce what you've learned and fill it out, try this online tutorial. If you want some challenges in writing Java programs, try CodeWars or HackerRank.
 
Nikola Serafimovski
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Knute Snortum wrote:If you want to reinforce what you've learned and fill it out, try this online tutorial. If you want some challenges in writing Java programs, try CodeWars or HackerRank.


Thanks Knute, I bookmarked all of these.

One more, more-narrowed question I have for all of you:

Where to study how to think as a programmer?

By that I mean where can I learn how to approach coding? How to prepare for my code? How to solve method problems?

Thanks again,
 
Knute Snortum
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There is a book called Thinking In Java that has gotten good reviews. I haven't read it though. The book Effective Java I have read, and it is very helpful in getting the reader to think like a programmer.

But mostly you just have to program a lot! One of the things I like about CodeWars (and maybe HackerRank too, I don't remember) is that you can see other people's solutions after you solve a problem. This has been very helpful to me.
 
Nikola Serafimovski
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Knute Snortum wrote:There is a book called Thinking In Java that has gotten good reviews. I haven't read it though. The book Effective Java I have read, and it is very helpful in getting the reader to think like a programmer.

But mostly you just have to program a lot! One of the things I like about CodeWars (and maybe HackerRank too, I don't remember) is that you can see other people's solutions after you solve a problem. This has been very helpful to me.


Thanks, good insight about CodeWars.

I found both books on Amazon, I am planning to start Effective Java tonight since I finished my read.
 
fred rosenberger
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Thinking in Java used to be available for free - legally - on the author's site. I think he now makes older versions free, with the newest only available for sale.

Try here.
 
Nikola Serafimovski
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Thanks Fred.

I order both books, but where I live Amazon shipping requires 20 days (no Kindle versions for both).

Meanwhile I'll stick with codewars, I spent the last 2 hours there
And I'll try to make a Pong game, or tick-tack-toe as a lot of people suggested here to other noobs like me
 
Winston Gutkowski
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Nikola Serafimovski wrote:I ordered Head First Android Development, but I feel like I need some Java experience, at least to make few basic games like Pong or Tetris on my own...
...then move on to Android Dev.
What do you think?

OK, well first let me say is that my reply is going to be very biased, because I loathe GUI programming...in any form.

And the main reasons I loathe it is because it's:
  • fiddly.
  • error-prone.
  • verbose.
  • (most importantly) distracting.

  • The reason programming languages were created was to solve problems; but as soon as GUIs get involved, they become the problem (or a major part of it).

    For example: Suppose I want to write a program to play 'Texan Hold 'em' Poker.
    The game itself already has plenty of challenges, such as:
  • Creating a deck of cards.
  • Shuffling/dealing it
  • Betting (including 'blinds')
  • Chip count/balance
  • but as soon as a GUI gets involved, you have to start worrying about things like screen/table layout, card icons, colour schemes, and how to make various components like buttons and icons "react" when you press them. All of which may be very interesting, but has nothing to do with the game.

    For this reason, and while you're still at the start of your journey, my advice would be to forget about anything that involves graphics, and try to learn the language with programs that interact solely with the keyboard and a character display. This still allows reasonable scope for writing games and simulations, but you can do it without the distraction of GUI programming, which is a subject (and expertise) in itself.

    You may also find some other projects, like writing a program that simulates a Bank, or an ATM machine - or one to organise your DVD collection - quite useful, since they will teach you about how to use things like collections. They will also (hopefully) show you how to keep the working logic of your program separate from the "display" logic - and they can all be done without any graphics whatsoever.

    So that's my advice: Resist the urge to dive straight in to GUI programming, because as soon as you do, IT will will take over your life.

    HIH

    Winston
     
    Steven Arthur
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    When it comes to writing games its best to start from the very beginning; a text-based game. It gives you a chance to test what you have learned so far with just your language, but without the hassle of graphics, sound and joypad programming.

    If you can print text to the screen, obtain input from the keyboard, save and load data, then you would be surprised what kinds of games you can make. I personally started 16 years ago with C and made a rpg with turn-based battles. Without a doubt the most enjoyable programming project I ever undertook, but never appreciated its worth at the time. Given another stab at life again(bless!) I would have made a second text game before rushing off into graphics or GUI programming. That said, GUI programming(awt/swing) is recommended at it allows you to create editors for your games...

    In a nutshell, take your time and have fun.
     
    Nikola Serafimovski
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    Thanks Winston and Steven, I'll listen to you and take it as slow as possible.
    No need for rushing.

    Also, today I was advised by a RL friend to learn Operational Programming even though I want to focus on OOP, because of unwanted and highly possible struggles.
    So definitely I'll take it as slowly as possible, learning how to think as a programmer, than I will focus on the "make-up programming"
     
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