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Thread: Learning to program?

  1. #1
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    Learning to program?

    Hi,

    I am 14 and I really like computers, I have been on them now for 10 years. I really want to be able to program, but I am really bad at maths! I mean can't even do simple stuff. It is just not my area.

    How do I start?
    Where do I start?
    Windows or Linux?
    IDE?
    Language?

    I want to be able to do it, but if my math skills are holding me back should I give up?

    Thank you.

    Nick
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  2. #2
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    Re: Learning to program?

    Well for you to start programming the basic skills about the programming language should be enough...but as you move on you will come 2 know that maths does play a role in programming. Most of the programmers does not lack the ability to program (they know da programming language inside out!) but the logic. Coz logic plays a key role in every program. Most people get frustrated with their programs coz it wont work because of the simple reason that the logic is not correct. But maybe because you have an interest in computing and programming you will get on well with the logic in programming as well just because u r interested!! But polish up ya maths knowledge as well...you will be amazed how better u do in your programming...
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  3. #3
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    Re: Learning to program?

    PS: Hell nooo!!! Dont give up!!! NEVER EVER keep da word give up in your dictionary!!! There is nothing u cant do if u really want to do!!
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  4. #4
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    Re: Learning to program?

    Basic programming can be done without maths. But I do recommend you at least try to improve your math.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Learning to program?

    In the words of Eric S. Raymond:

    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html#skills1

    Good luck

  6. #6
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    Re: Learning to program?

    Quote Originally Posted by X40nick View Post
    How do I start?
    Try your hand at Python. There are numerous resources to learn from, and it is installed by default on your Ubuntu system.

    Where do I start?
    Open up your command-line terminal (on a normal Ubuntu installation, go to Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal). Type python and press enter to run the Python interpreter.

    Useful learning resources for the Python programming language:
    http://docs.python.org/tut/tut.html

    Windows or Linux?
    Doesn't matter. But if you already have Ubuntu installed, use Ubuntu.

    IDE?
    Not needed until you make complex software. For the time being, just use Gedit (Applications -> Accessories -> Text Editor).

    Language?
    For your circumstances, start with Python. Once you've got the hang of programming using Python, try exploring other languages like C, Java, etc. If you're interested in computer hardware, you will probably want to learn Assembly and C sometime soon. Google is your friend!

    I want to be able to do it, but if my math skills are holding me back should I give up?
    Junior high school math should be enough for basic programming. However you should have a good grasp of algebra and geometry if you want to get into games, graphics, and simulations; or financial and statistics if you want to get into business software.

    What areas of math are you having problems with? Is it lack of motivation or something else?

  7. #7
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    Re: Learning to program?

    Thanks, but I have tried everything with my maths!

    I still can't do it, just can't do algebra can't do anything with maths

    I think I will give up and try something else. I can't do math and I need it for my programming.

    I am quite disappointed.
    Novatech X40i Laptop (Clevo M540r) Intel Core 2 Duo T5250 2GB Ram 160GB HD Intel 965 Santa Rosa Chipset Intel X3100 graphics Intel PROWireles 4965 Realtek 8111 Ethernet Ubuntu 8.10 & Windows Vista
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  8. #8
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    Re: Learning to program?

    You don't need to know maths in-order to write programs; its just in order to program some things you need to know the maths required.

    For example I don't understand the maths required to make my own 3d renderer, but I can use one made by someone else.

    Algebra in coding and maths classes are also quite different. In maths you have to shuffle equations around to figure out what the variables are. In coding all you really need to know is the difference between a variable and a constant, and BODMAS precedence also helps.

    Personally I'd say that in order to write code logic and structure are more important than being good at maths.

  9. #9
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    Re: Learning to program?

    Programming is not for me.

    Those are the things I strugle on, I can't work out formulas nor equations. And definetly not logic.

    Thanks for trying.

    I will look into IT & Business related topics.

    I hope there will be a place in the Linux world for me!
    Novatech X40i Laptop (Clevo M540r) Intel Core 2 Duo T5250 2GB Ram 160GB HD Intel 965 Santa Rosa Chipset Intel X3100 graphics Intel PROWireles 4965 Realtek 8111 Ethernet Ubuntu 8.10 & Windows Vista
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  10. #10
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    Re: Learning to program?

    Hate to break this for you, but in Business you need to be able to do algebra as well..

    You just need to work on the maths. Trust me, it's doable -- Mathematics is not some esoteric magical beast that is somehow different from all other subjects. When I was your age I used to dislike math because it was my weakest subject and a stain on my otherwise spotless report card... but then in our equivalent of "high school" I got a pretty tough maths teacher who squeezed the hell out of me, and I ended up going to study CS instead of law (didn't get into law school so had to make use of my plan B)...

    Throughout school I dabbled in programming as a hobby. Never thought I would make a career out of it, but when I went to CS, I quickly found out that the algorithmics and the abstract parts of CS are actually quite fascinating, and that you need to be able to "speak math" to understand and communicate that stuff.

    I would think that for a programmer it is most important to be able to think rationally and analytically, and this is an important skill in a lot of other fields too. Math is just an expression of that kind of thinking in an abstract language, nothing else. It really helps to understand this point For me it has been equally civilizing to read Greek philosophers AND math textbooks AND writing code that solves some interesting problem in a surprising way, making clever use of some property of the problem. I'm a big picture kind of guy so it took some time for me to mature as a CS person as I just couldn't start from the details... perhaps you can't either

    Thus programming can be a great motivator for improving your math, and you don't need to be great at it to begin with. If you say you can't do logic or algebra, why not try out Python and see if they become clearer to you once you've actually seen them being used for something?

    Do not be intellectually lazy or fear failure too much. That's stifling I fell flat on my face with math for a long long time and now I've got a CS degree
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