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Looking for expert advice...

Last response: in Business Computing
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February 21, 2014 4:04:13 PM

So I have been offline for roughly a year, on a farm no less, just getting by. Now however, I have invested in a quality computer, and I plan on picking up where I last left off in the digital world... Learning.



And I've finally chosen a path in this life to pursue. Computer programming. I am not at all daunted by the prospects of tinkering with puzzles of code for hours upon hours to learn... But I am slightly overwhelmed by where to start....


Eventually, I would like my first lucrative venture to be, more than likely, a mobile phone app or game.

So I was wondering if I could seek advice from some people who work with things like this... Mainly, what is a good starting point? Should I begin by learning C++ and HTML5? Should I try to save enough to buy a license to something like unity or an sdk package? Or should I just resort to raw code and do it from scratch?

Overall, I just want to clear away the mystery of the field. Break things down into chunks I can systematically analyze and work through. A goal list separating me from point a and point b.

More about : expert advice

February 21, 2014 5:13:17 PM

Firstly, no one makes money on their first programming venture. OK, maybe 0.000001 do.

Secondly, learn to program. Language only comes in to play when developing for a specific platform.

An application =
Idea
Design
Code
Test
Deploy
Repeat as necessary

Idea. Come up with something new or better. This is actually quite hard
Design. User interface, database interface, etc Very high level
Detailed design. This is where you start talking to specific objects
Code. This is the part where you actually create code
Test. Does it work? You and your friend...can you break it? Give it to 1000 random users....can they break it?
Deploy servers, distribution, etc
Repeat Nothing works right the first time. Nothing.

As said....the language completely depends on who your target is.
iPhone? XCode
General web stuff? HTML and JavaScript
Business apps? C#
and on and on...

February 22, 2014 5:34:13 AM

USAFRet said:
Firstly, no one makes money on their first programming venture. OK, maybe 0.000001 do.

Secondly, learn to program. Language only comes in to play when developing for a specific platform.

An application =
Idea
Design
Code
Test
Deploy
Repeat as necessary

Idea. Come up with something new or better. This is actually quite hard
Design. User interface, database interface, etc Very high level
Detailed design. This is where you start talking to specific objects
Code. This is the part where you actually create code
Test. Does it work? You and your friend...can you break it? Give it to 1000 random users....can they break it?
Deploy servers, distribution, etc
Repeat Nothing works right the first time. Nothing.

As said....the language completely depends on who your target is.
iPhone? XCode
General web stuff? HTML and JavaScript
Business apps? C#
and on and on...



I see. Very useful insight.

In response, I'd like to mention:

1. I understand your first point about how no one makes money on their first venture. I think I misspoke. My first few ventures would obviously be learning experiences. And probably a few flops too, I'm sure.

2. The idea and design phases aren't an issue of concern in my unusual case.

3 I have laid out certain things in html, though I think it was an older version than 5, and I've done a few experiments on my own like decompiling programs and looking through the various bits of them, something I've had a habit of doing since I was 6 and first got curious about what was inside that one .exe.... The thing is, I've always done it by breaking things down into small steps which I can basically copy and paste code from tutorials and edit it as needed....

Basically, what I'm saying, is that it's not completely alien to me. I just have much to learn..


4. I like the last bit of your post too, but if you could elaborate further, it would be appreciated. So iphones are xcode, general web is html and java, which is what my current impression on them were, and business apps are C#...

So, what about say, C++? Is that a sub-language or category of C#? Or something else altogether? I've also heard of languages such as visual basic. What about that one? And what about binary? From what I understand about that, a lot of things are still largely based on it, however people rarely need to interact with it directly these days. Is it even worth learning now? Would understanding the concepts of binary allow me to make better decisions with code design?



Lastly, is my general impression of what's to come. Should I start by learning java and html? I feel those would be the easiest as I already have some degree of experience with them. But I want to learn a lot, fast, so really the more the better. Now, about the xcode.... Is that the best way to appeal to the mobile phone app market? What about things like unity engine and other such 'kits'? And what about android and windows phones? Do they work with xcode as well? Or if not, do they have their own? Or is there a shared language across mobile devices? I've heard of languages such as brew or j2me, for example...

Sorry if I'm too inquisitive. I won't lie, I'm seeking to shameless absorb as much knowledge as I can from any skilled people I can run into.
!