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deathbymanga March 7th, 2013 8:36 PM

New to programming
Hello, I am a Beginner to Programming and I would like to learn from someone, if they would be willing to offer me some help. I don't have any experience, sadly. I only have a Macbook Pro, sorry.

Is there anyone who would be willing to teach me?

andytu March 8th, 2013 2:54 PM

I think the best way to learn is to use the internet tutorials. I would recommend Python if you've never programmed before, because it is very easy to learn, works on all operating systems, has a very natural syntax (way of writing the code) and has great community support. If you wanted to try it I'd recommend the Dive Into Python book ( which is aimed at complete beginners and is how I learnt to program.

Failing Python, you could go the other way and learn Java, which has a much steeper learning curve but will force you to think proper coding right from the start.

Whatever you decide, if you wanted to pm me asking any questions, help etc then great, but a tutorial series is gonna be a lot better for you than having someone try to teach you personally in my opinion...

Finally, I presume you're planning on doing this in order to create games (most indie programmers are), but I'd warn you to stay away from graphics programming until you have a very secure understanding of basic programming concepts like OOP, inheritance, functions etc.

audinowho March 9th, 2013 12:44 AM

I'd recommend starting out with Java or its Microsoft cousin C#. Both are really easy to use, well-supported, and relevant to games. More than the language though, I can't stress enough how most programming tutorials out on the internet are actually helpful. It surprised me in my first time how good of a job it did at challenging the notion of a formal education.

iTeruri March 9th, 2013 8:08 AM

There are several options to start learning programming. I myself learned Java when I started programming in school, but that was in school. Java is a great language to begin with, because it's very similar to other programming languages, like C#.

Another option I know is popular is JavaScript. I personally wouldn't recommend this, because fixing errors is very time consuming, because JavaScript doesn't really give you the best errors. It is however a very easy language to start with, and it's very, very powerful (it is, however, the most misunderstood language, and I don't think many programmers specialize in JavaScript. However with the current move to HTML5, which JavaScript is a part of, it's getting much more popular.)

There are many concepts that you should learn when programming, but not all of them are as important. OOP (Object Orientated Programming) is the one thing you can't go without if you understand it, but when starting out, it's better to ignore it. In things like Java that's a bit harder, but with things like JavaScript that's very easy to do.

I'd start out with a few tutorials. There are many programming languages that you can work with on Mac OS X. I'd stay away from Apple's Objective-C, though, because that's quite advanced. Java is platform independant, as is JavaScript. Choosing the language is important, because then you can search for a few good tutorials. I like the totorials done by TheNewBoston on youtube, but you might like a text based tutorial. Find one that suits your style, but don't get too theoretical. Practical knowledge is important when starting out.

Piplup - Hacker March 10th, 2013 6:40 PM

I recommend C++. It is C# but with added features, hence the "++". C# is the language that a lot of programming languages are based off of, so learning C++ will give you the knowledge and ability to learn more languages effectively. My suggestion is to find a good book online that uses the Code Blocks compiler because it is available for Mac.

Atheriel March 10th, 2013 8:33 PM

Re: Choosing a language

C++ is the favourite language of "serious" programmers. If you're really concerned about performance, there is probably no language better than C++ (which is based on C, not C# as posted above). However, since you're probably interested in writing a 2D game, you don't really need to worry about performance, and can choose a language based on other qualities.

Java is very popular and powerful, and has a lot of nice features for beginners. It's also the language that Android apps are written in if you're thinking about creating something like that, and has extremely helpful documentation if you learn to read it properly. In my opinion, the only thing Java lacks is a graphical library that is both accessible and powerful. It has plenty of one or the other, but none of both.

C# and Python are also great choices. Python is perhaps the highest-level (read: closest to natural language) programming language I've ever written anything in, and gets used extensively in scientific applications. It also exposes you to scripting-style programming. I don't know much about C#, but it seems to be very well-supported if you want to write games for Windows, for example.

Yankas March 12th, 2013 1:36 AM

My personal recommendation would be C#, it has many good libraries for game development, is reasonably cross platform, easy to pickup with a plethora of powerful features to ease development even further once you are ready to move on to more advanced programming.

But the already mentioned Python and Java are good choices as well. Java is kind of... meh..., It is still really good but seems really antiquated with C# basically being a cleaner, better version of it. Unless of course you are interested in Platforms that have better or even exclusive Java support (Android).

I'd strongly recommend to stay away from C++ for now though, there are so many issues with the language that make it unsuitable for a beginner, though you may or may not want to pick it up later.

balaam March 27th, 2013 6:24 PM

Start with an engine like unity, love2d or moai. Then choose the language lua or c#, get an introductory book read it until things start to click then dive into a project you think you can do. Start small! Really small.

Don't bother with c++ and never try and c++ from the web too many tutorials are just plain wrong. If you learn c++ youll spend all your time trying to make a game engine and never learn how to make games.

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