The best way to learn to programming?

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In summary: They have a course for Python, for example:
  • #1
I really feel I need to get better at writing computer code and at least learn some fundamental basics about computer programming if I am to have a successful career in Physics. Would like to know what would be the best way to learn these skills. Can anyone recommend any online courses or just general tasks which will help me learn this?

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  • #2
What language are you interested in learning? I don't know about best ways, I learned C++ at work in 2012(worked as a chef). Started with this and when preparing food I was thinking of a code for a robot that could prepare a dish the way it's supposed to be served :D Complete nonsense, but it was fun to think about.
  • #3
You always start by writing simple programs, and all in one language. You need to learn the elements of the language, and also the tools that are provided to work with programs (editors, debuggers, etc).

The two most important parts of programming are data representations and data storage; this is the material that is taught in a data structures class, but you can learn it on your own - but only in stages. This learning may be done by writing programs which exercise each area.

My son taught himself - he wrote a computer game for Android devices - fish in an aquarium. First he thought about how it might work - some basic design - and then he developed it a bit at a time, testing as he went. By laying one brick at a time you can build a house ... but only if you had a plan when you started.

This process took him about nine months starting at winter break of his junior year. It included a physics based motion engine.

Thus you don't need a book like "Learn C in 30 lessons" - what you need is patience and follow-through.
  • #4
I don't know - is there many different languages? What is the most commonly used?
  • #5
There are tons of languages - but you might start with Matlab (if your school provides licenses), or else Java (which is free). Or you could start with an interpretive language like Python (also free, much like Java).
  • #7
I strongly recommend you start with Python or MATLAB, rather than a low level language like C/C++.
  • #8
Take a course on it. I am in the first computer science class and it is C and Java. It is extreemly hard, but my drive for good grades has forced me to "figure out" how to code and now I enjoy it to some extent.
  • #9
TheKracken said:
Take a course on it.
Hear, hear! In fact, take two, or even three. The introductory programming course, the course on data structures and algorithms, and the course on scientific programming.
  • #10
CodeAcademy is actually really helpful in learning the very basics of a language.

1. How do I choose the best programming language to learn?

The best programming language to learn depends on your personal interests and career goals. Some popular languages for beginners include Python, Java, and JavaScript. Research the job market and the types of projects you are interested in to help determine which language is the best fit for you.

2. Is it better to learn programming through online courses or in-person classes?

Both online courses and in-person classes can be effective ways to learn programming. It ultimately depends on your learning style and preferences. Online courses offer flexibility and convenience, while in-person classes provide more direct interaction with instructors and peers.

3. How much time should I dedicate to learning programming?

The amount of time needed to learn programming varies for each individual. It's important to set aside consistent time for practice and learning, whether it's a few hours a week or a few hours a day. It's also helpful to have a specific goal or project in mind to stay motivated.

4. Do I need a strong background in math or computer science to learn programming?

No, you do not need a strong background in math or computer science to learn programming. While having a basic understanding of these subjects can be helpful, many programming languages and courses are designed for beginners with no prior knowledge. With dedication and practice, anyone can learn to program.

5. What are the best resources for learning programming?

There are many resources available for learning programming, including online courses, books, tutorials, and coding bootcamps. It's important to find resources that work best for your learning style and goals. Experiment with different resources to find what works for you.

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