Questions for all programmers willing to help a beginner

J dreadpiratejeff at
Tue Apr 27 18:20:57 UTC 2010

On Tue, Apr 27, 2010 at 13:57, Cybe R. Wizard
<cyber_wizard at> wrote:
> On Tue, 27 Apr 2010 19:41:20 +0300
> Daniel <asmosis.asterix at> wrote:
>> Hello first of all. I'm very happy that I can write this email and I
>> kindly ask for your help in my problem. I sat down and thought today
>> about my future dream of becoming a programmer. I love very much
> I'm no programmer but I have picked up a few hints here and there:
> 1. Be concise.  Don't tell us the same thing three times (as above) or
>   your programs will reflect this and be bloated.
> 2. Be correct in your keyboarding.  Incorrect wording (in text as in
>   programming) is indecipherable.  Misspelled/incorrectly used words
>   indicate a lack of keyboarding ability or knowledge (or attention
>   to detail since proofreading is easy).  People won't understand you
>   and computers won't obey you.
> 3. Don't wax poetic on and on about your hopes.  /DO/ something!  ..a
>   lot of somethings all the time.  Time is your biggest enemy.
> 4. Have (many other) interests outside of computers and programming.
>   Often these will actually help with your coding.
> And re-read this link provided by Sandy Harris:
> Learn it, love it, live it.
> I hope to someday use some of your programs so get busy!

And have a look at this, which I think fairly boils down entire books
of good programming practice to a very short blog post:

As others have also commented, if you've never written code before, or
know nothing of the theory of programming, going to College/University
and taking those courses is a good idea.  You'll be exposed to a fair
number of languages depending on what courses you take and can focus
on everything from web development to game development to database
development and OS development.

If you're self taught (I'm 60% self taught 40% college) a few good
programming classes are a good idea to teach you how to write "good"
code rather than just writing code which works, but is ugly, bloated,
or poorly thought out.  Of course, just writing a program and sharing
the code with members of a related programming list (e.g. python-list
if you're a python coder, or any list related to the language you're
coding in)) and asking for comments will certainly give you a shocking
education (and 50 different opinons on how/where docstrings should be,
or whether you should use lower case, CamelCase, UPPER CASE, etc).

Another way to learn is to just sit down with a small program's source
code and work your way though it.  Interpreted languages (Python,
maybe BASH (yeah, not technically a language, but still), Java, etc
may be a bit easier to decipher than something more involved like C or

As for me, I started on BASIC on a TRS-80, then qBASIC on an Apple
IIgs, Pascal, then C++, VB, VB.NET, Python, Java, *html, etc... and I
am most definitely not as good as I could be, but thanks to thoughtful
code reviews, I am getting better every day.


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