Originally Posted by Paddy
Is anyone here a self-taught programmer? If so, how did you cut your teeth? I've attempted to get into this shit at least twice a year since I was a kid but the long-winded tutorial sites and vague YouTube videos always leave me scratching my head and feeling disheartened/overwhelmed. I think if I could get to the point where I could cobble together a basic program (something more than "hello world!" but not quite AutoCAD) my interest would be piqued enough to keep me grinding forwards, but getting to that stage seems to be beyond my mental capacity.
Visual Basic is where I would start if I was beginning all over again. I'd get a book On Visual Basic and use the express editions by Microsoft to work with it.
Really to get past all the "learning imo bullshit" programs you gotta run through the book, understand the material, and then set a goal for a program you would like to make. The program should be something useful to your self, or a program thats already out with additions you would like to add to it(Make that whole program plus the addon's).
There's alot more to it than just learning that one language as well. Each operating system has its own set of API's which you will learn for big projects. GOOGLE is your friend when it comes to programming lots of material well explained on some pages and others not.
Visual Basic is easy and simple to a certain extent. It takes some hardwork and dedication at first man, you'll get use to it. Don't try to understand everything at first to this day I still don't understand some concepts(Recursion took me awhile to get down in code not in theory).
A book with code examples man can help you out more than you'll ever know and online resources. I'd go to Amazon.com and read reviews on books and see which one offers the best results.
Visual Basics is a great start but by no means paddy a language to stay with. After a period of time of writing great things in VB learn Java, C, C++, C#.
Also, DO NOT SKIP OVER INFORMATION IN THE BOOK. Drill your self through each chapter, get a book that lets you write examples at the end and also supplies source code for you to look at.
Visual Basics is a Windows dependent platform only(The Integrated Development Environment is only for windows). The other programming languages I mentioned are cross platform and will work on Linux and Mac(not sure about C# on Mac though.)
You may have to look this up for your self but I think Delphi is cross platform as well and is a close but more powerful relative to Visual Basic. The Delphi Integrated development environment from what we could check out here at work last time only had a trail version and not a free or student version like the express editions that Microsoft Offers.
I have some nice ebooks on an older version of Visual Basic it's for the 6.0 version. However there have been 2003,2005, 2008, and 2010 released since VB6.0 back in 1998(It may have even been released before then). I can supply you with links and such if you would like in an PM that could lead you in the direction you want to go.
The main thing to concentrate on is not setting to high of goals. Basic text editors and such are nothing to be ashamed of in making, basic Server Client connection that sends nothing buy "HEY" to a label on the Server is nothing to be ashamed of. Keep all code you create as well you never know when you'll understand something one day and then 5 months from now need that code can't find it and have to re-struggle to understand the concept again. COMMENT your code like crazy at first too it gives you a better grasp of where you stand.
Earlier in this post I stated Google was your friend however it can be your worst enemy. Outdated material riddles the internet as well. Use legit forums and websites. Before asking questions check out the dates people have posted stuff, and how fast the replies they received if it seems they get zero replies or the post are really outdated more and likely that forum has died.
I love getting information from books, but I have to put that information to work quickly to get a grasp on it.
Ones you learn one language, the rest are easier to grasp because the same concepts are there, but one language can have more limited power and speed than the other.
So let me stop ranting and if you would like me to supply any information to you I'm around, I'm currently working on a project for work now. A language I've never even used, A database language I've never even used, on a platform I'm currently getting very comfortable with "Linux", soon to be the only operating system I use. All is going well thanks to forum post, and a book I pirated online because the book that was supplied to me was out of date. Ebooks are nice and all but a real book you can hold in your hand and highlight and read in any comfy chair in your home are the best to me anyway.