Pages: [1]
(Ryle)
    Donator
BAM!ID: 23282
Joined: 2007-04-15
Posts: 112
Credits: 1,733,825,457
World-rank: 1,048

2008-07-03 18:54:56

Several times I've attempted to educate myself in programming. I've been using computers daily for nearly two decades now, but still I don't know how to program a computer.

Recently I enlisted for a JAVA course, and at first it went pretty good. But when we got to the more advanced stuff, I had to give up. I guess the air went out of the balloon so to speak. But I really would like to learn a programming language and I was told that JAVA should be a good place to start, but I think it is pretty darn hard.

I still have the book from the course i attended, but it looks evil now, like something i cant get into really. I would need to start over from the beginning, and that is a bit demotivating.

I never got a good notion of the various terms like what "Object Oriented programming" or "constructors" for example, really means.

I guess my main problem is that although I really want to learn it, the motivation is missing.

I've always been a "hardware man", but software construction is the backbone of most computer educations. So I have no choice but to learn it, somehow, sometime.

My question, i guess, is not where to find good educational information on programming, because it is all over the internet. But rather to hear stories from others on how you cracked the nut of programming.

So how did you start out? And where did it lead you to?

Best regards, Ryle.
[BOINCstats] Willy
 
Forum moderator - Administrator - Developer - Tester - Translator
BAM!ID: 1
Joined: 2006-01-09
Posts: 9216
Credits: 349,822,518
World-rank: 3,405

2008-07-05 13:14:15

I started way back when I had a ZX-Spectrum. I played with the build in BASIC and guess the best thing I made was a small game with dices. I learned the BASIC by typing over listings from magazines.

Then I moved on to an MSX2 (later upgraded to MSX2+). I started with BASIC again, but together with a friend we made more and more complex games which became really slow when using BASIC. I then learned assembler code by just using a assembler coding program, a Z80 machine code book and a few pages from a magazine with all the BIOS hooks in it.

After that, I moved to hardware for a long time. Then the need came for an application at work that nobody knew how to make. It was for detecting hardware in a PC and then installing drivers/software for it. I build that in Visual Basic 6. This time I learned it from looking at examples on the internet, taking parts I could use and build upon that.

And then, the big moment, I got the idea for BOINCstats. Believe it or not, but the first few weeks BOINCstats only was a collection of static pages, no database, php, perl or whatever at all. The stats were calculated on my home server in VB6. I quickly found out that was not the way to do it, and I started reading in on PHP and MySQL. I messed around with it, took bits and pieces, examples if you wish, from the internet and well, you see the result. This started about 5 years ago. For BOINCstats I learned (from scratch) PHP, PERL, MySQL, JavaScript and Linux shell stuff.

During this time I got the hang of it, and at work I transferred from the technical department to operations, which does application/website development and systems management. I learned the new new versions of Visual Basic, but I'm having some trouble with C#. Tried it, doesn't work for me. I also did some 8080 assembler but never had to do much with it.

So that's the short version of how I learned to program.

But why do it?? The drive for me is the working end result, seeing it used by others. That's the kick for me.

So my advise: start with something simple, be proud of the result, then expand on it.
Please do not PM, IM or email me for support (they will go unread/ignored). Use the forum for support.
(Ryle)
    Donator
BAM!ID: 23282
Joined: 2007-04-15
Posts: 112
Credits: 1,733,825,457
World-rank: 1,048

2008-07-05 14:13:08

Hi Willy, thanks for your story.

I see programming a lot like inventing. A programmer sees a need for something, and finds it is either not made yet, or made by someone else, who charges too much money for it. So he sits down and after some research, begins to write the program.

I have tried to fiddle a bit with Visual Basic (4), and I like the way it was - well - visual, in the sense that you sort of "draw" the interface, and write the code afterwards. That's a lot easier to visualize, than the JAVA I have experience with. It was also the fact that I couldn't visualize it, that I couldn't understand it so well. JAVA of course, can also make graphical interfaces, but the part of it I learned, was just writing code.

I must find out something I need, and see if I can write it. Either in JAVA, or some other language. I will stick to open source, as I believe in that, and because it is mostly free.

It's impressive what you have done with BoincStats, Willy. Obviously many programming languages play a role in a complicated website such as BoincStats, as you mentioned. 5 years is a long journey, but motivation is the fuel in any great task.

I guess why I would learn programming is simply to open new doors for myself. 15 years ago, HIFI was the big thing for me. But after getting deeper into the world of computers, I found computers to have nearly limitless more possibilities for education, fun and opportunity, than HIFI. Much more interactive. But it is still nice to listen to a record of course

Best regards, Ryle.
Pages: [1]

Index :: BOINCstats Cafe :: Getting into JAVA
Reason: