- Computers & Software
How to Learn Programming; 5 Best Resources for a Beginner
The computer system works in a similar manner as that of a living being. Just like we start our day, computer also commences its working following a set of routines. These routines are some implicit functions built by the human being for getting the computer system into action. The functions are step by step instructions called programs that run when it is booted. Anyone can write a program to solve a problem or task and the computer would run it and show the result within minutes. A program can be redefined as a procedure that simplifies solving a big or easy task and works depending upon the user’s demands.
While I was working as a faculty in Aptech Computer Education Centre, there were students from diverse backgrounds of varying age. Usually, some simple programs are taught to the beginners to decipher the concept of programming. If you’ve a clear idea of how to solve a problem, programming may interest you as it is nothing but writing those steps maintaining a flow. Some of the resources that a beginner needs for learning programming are:
1. Programming books for beginners
Like we started our studies through books, programming also requires the use of books for beginners. Even if there are a lot of books available for learners, I would recommend the book, Programming for the Absolute Beginner by Jerry Lee Ford Jr. The author of this book is a complete IT professional who delivers the concepts of programming by means of games. A complete overview of programming, programming languages, program logic, assembly language, web development language and all are illustrated in detail here.
2. A programming language installed on your computer
By learning the syntax of the programming language you’ve, you can write your program and run it in your computer. The compiler first compiles it and let you know of the various errors found in your program. By correcting them you can run the program and check the results. If you want your program to work in a more flexible way, you can modify it, compile for errors and then run.
I started learning programming in Fortran, the basic programming language for beginners. Even if C programming is used everywhere for teaching purposes, I would prefer justBasic programming language for beginners. The syntax of this program is easy to learn and after learning traditional programming, you can advance for visual programming through graphics user interface. At the end of learning this programming language, you would be able to
- to create GUI
- work with constants, variables and arrays
- make decisions with conditional logic
- use loops to process data
- improve program organization with functions and subroutines
- work with sound and graphics
- debug your applications
3. Source codes and algorithms of simple programs
Collecting the source codes and algorithms of simple programs is another resource that can help you in learning programming. Learning to know how to form the logic is very important for programmers. By referring and going through some set of programs, you can develop the logic required for solving the problem.
It's important to point out the use of resources required in writing a program. Suppose you reach the solution to a given problem through two different set of algorithms. But, which algorithm makes less use of the resources? Which one takes minimum execution time? These are questions that gain importance while you write source code of your own. Look at the example here.
//Algorithm for swapping two numbers:
The first method swaps the values of a and b utilizing 3 variables. The second method also does the same task, but utilizes 4 variables.
A source code or algorithm is said to be optimal if it is organized efficiently with minimal usage of the resources and commands.
4. Thinking power and organizing ability
With that said, thinking power does not stand behind the above resources. You should’ve a clear idea of the problem analyzed and thought on how to reach the solution. You can write on a paper from the start to finish and then make the necessary changes. Organizing the variables, functions and subroutines included in the program shortens the code, thereby developing a technical friendly program with the computer.
5. Urge to learn
If you don’t show much interest in the earlier programming concepts, there are chances that you may find it dry and boring. Instead, if you start learning with much strapping desire, you may find yourself to be going in the right direction. Trial and error method is what is required for learning programming. You may work on several source codes, debug them and then run for the ultimate result. Sometimes, you may find yourself got stuck in the middle of a problem. Don’t give up, consult your seniors and learn to understand how to deal with such situations.
Remember what Napoleon Hill wrote in his motivational personal development and self-help book, Think and Grow Rich: “Desire is the starting point of all achievement”.
Are you a computer programmer? Was programming easy for you as a beginner?
How to get started with programming?
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