Coding Concepts - excellent Graham!

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Coding Concepts - excellent Graham!

Postby Borat » Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:17 pm

Just want to say a big "thank you" for the elementary coding articles in the last two mags. This is something I have been looking for, for ages. I used to code BASIC and assembly language on my C64 back in the day but haven't known how to even make a start (programming), using Linux. It has been really frustrating for me as there appears to be a huge gap from BASIC to Python, C etc.

I always thought the best way to learn to program was to sit and type in listings from mags. OK so it was tedious and seldom worked but it was an experience in learning syntax and debugging. It was hands-on and practical.

The biggest hurdle I find nowadays is syntax! I look through source files and ask myself "why is there a set of empty brackets there?" or "why does that word begin with a small letter and have a capital letter in the middle?"
How does one go about learning the syntax of a language? Years ago, you picked up the manual that came with the computer and looked in the appendix for all the info you needed.

Graham, you're doing a great job with this but remember to keep it simple. People like me are reading it :wink: Also a suggestion for you... and the end of each article you could leave a task for the readers. Kinda like a homework :idea:

PS if anyone could point me to any other article / book, that deals with programming at this primitive level, I'd really appreciate it.
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Postby ScannerDarkly » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:38 am

I've really enjoyed these "fundamental concepts" articles too.

I think the main problem with programming thesedays is there's too much a focus on learning the language (and so much material and opinion available online!), rather than learning to program. A good first language is essential (IMO Python or Ruby), but people will concentrate on the rules and weird ways of one language without grasping these concepts.

6 years ago when I was 16 I tried to program in Perl, thinking online tutorials were the best way to go. You need a good, up-to-date book, be it digital or paper.

Like me, you like to be challenged. Check out Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner by Michael Dawson - ISBN-13: 978-1435455009
This book after every chapter challenges with what you've been taught in that chapter, and that's the best way to learn: by doing, and proving to yourself you understand.

I think what Graham's writing really stands well with the tutorials, the latter giving you more of an idea of what can be done, and the former helping you to truly understand what's being done.
Linux since Ubuntu 6.06.
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Postby LGLudd » Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:39 am

I would also like to say how much I welcomed this series of articles. the concept combined with the coded examples are excellent. It would be really good to see this extended into coverage of some useful algorithms (once the fundamental concepts have been covered)

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