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Places a complete newbie can learn coding?

  1. Dec 2, 2014 #1
    Hello all. I've recently started on the path to coding/programming in preparation for my future (double) major, if all goes well.

    However, as someone with virtually no coding/programming experience, I was wondering if some of you wiser people could give me any recommendations as to websites I can use. Books would also be appreciate, though I have little to no funding I can spare for those.

    At the moment, I have begun using codecademy.com for my recent foray. I've learned the very, very bare bone basics of HTML and CSS (which isn't really a language, I'm told?), and recently began working on python. The problem is, however, that I don't feel like it is very helpful for LEARNING the why's, just the what's.

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2014 #2
    The python route is a very good and versatile one...keep going. Python opens the door to many fields via the great variety of modules. By the way, you did not mention which two fields you were planning on majoring.

    What exactly you mean by "not the why's "..."just the what's " ? If for starters all you are going to be is a user, a programmer, and making your life easy with programming..."the what's " are enough...leave "the why's " to people who design languages and/or compiler and the likes...if I even have an idea of what you meant. Maybe you care expand on that.
  4. Dec 2, 2014 #3

    I left it out, sorry. Still in my first year, so I'm having trouble deciding. Either a Computer Engineer B.S. with a M.S. in computer science if I follow a 5 year program offered at my university. Or a physics + computer engineer or science (still undecided) double major. I intend to stay 5 years in either case, if need be.

    That second part was a bit vague, I apologize. By the "what's", I meant that the website is teaching me what to do, what works with what, etc. The bit about a "why's" is more confusing. In the simplest term, I feel like someone being told what to do, not actually learning to do it myself. I forgot to mention this in the original post, but if you know any other websites like codecademy, I would appreciate a link.

    Sorry about that, I'm not exactly great at expressing myself.
  5. Dec 2, 2014 #4
  6. Dec 2, 2014 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    I think that for the time being, learning what to do is probably a good start. Play with the examples in the site you mentioned, to see what particular parts of the python syntax can do. After you get those examples running, try tweaking the examples a bit to get them to do something different. Some of the more important parts of programming languages are decision structures (if ... else, switch ... case -- I think that's part of Python) and loop structures (for loop, while loop). Once you get some practice with these you'll be able to write small example programs of your own creation, which will give you an opportunity of doing something yourself.
  7. Dec 2, 2014 #6

    Thanks for the links, much appreciated :)


    Will do. I began messing around with the syntax a while ago, but, admittedly, I was confused. I'll continue doing this though, thank you.
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