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Guidance & Advice

  1. Aug 20, 2010 #1
    I am a 24 yr. old going to community college. I know nothing about computers, but am fascinated by them and what they are capable of. I want to get a job as a computer software programmer or possibly a web designer. My question is: Is it too late for me? Is it even possible, given I am almost computer retarded. I have a passion to learn and the means, but most computer tech people I know have been working with computers since they were kids. Someone please give me some pointers.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 20, 2010 #2
    Anyone with a functioning set of brains and who can think logically and mathematically can learn to program. It's got less to do with your ability with computers and more with having affinity for being able of thinking in certain patterns. Besides, with most modern frameworks and languages, a lot of tools and features are already present which allow you to focus on actually building something instead of meddling with low-level hardware and a lot of frequently used things such as IO and database connections are already present in very convenient forms.

    If you really want to learn something, then it's never too late. I'm 24 and only recently picked up a guitar. :P
     
  4. Aug 20, 2010 #3
    I think it's worthwhile to learn more about computers, even if you aren't going to do anything with computers professionally, since computers are everywhere.

    You know how to post in a message board, use e-mail (to get an account on the message board), and can probably surf the net (to find this message board), so maybe these free online videos are right for you:

    http://computerscience1.tv/2010/spring/

    Just click on the play button and they should immediately start playing.

    I used to be like you, not knowing anything and being scared about computers, but those videos helped me get started.
     
  5. Aug 20, 2010 #4
    Just a clarification:

    Programmers need to think systematically and be aware of the functionality and behavior of computers. Designers need to learn aesthetics and be comfortable with particular software packages. Having been a web programmer for 11 years, I know I've given certain people an enormously incorrect impression of myself by saying that I was a web designer. Effectively, designers don't have to be technically-savvy (it may help), but programmers do.

    Technically, I'm not sure if there's a much of a distinction between "web developer" and "web programmer", but I think "programmer" implies a bit more technicality.

    Anyway, I expect you'll be a bit behind the game, since most programmers seem to have started out pretty young. But by no means is it too late. I would probably recommend starting out with something like complex JavaScript, more-or-less as a test to see if you're really interested in programming or not. It's free, there's a lot of help available online, it's fairly robust, and it's easy to produce something handy.

    If you're still interested in programming after having gotten into the gory-guts-of-code, then you can move onto the "truer" programming languages like Java and C++.

    DaveE
     
  6. Aug 21, 2010 #5
    It is of course never too late... do certifications and sign up and practice in programming contest websites like www.topcoder.com[/url], [url]www.spoj.pl[/url], [url]www.codeforces.com[/URL] etc. I have seen people of other streams like mechanical engineering doing well in coding.. so its never too late :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
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