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Sep 26, 2019 09:49:27

Beginning Programmer

by @brianball PATRON | 408 words | 391💌

Brian Ball

Total posts: 391💌
Total words: 107882 (431 pages 📄)

Programming, like any language, is a big topic.

How do you get started and feel like you're actually programming?

With written language, the basic element is a sentence. If you just throw out a word: "ambidextrous" for example, nobody has context and may laugh or look at you funny. If you say: "My sister is ambidextrous." we can now understand you.

The computer is the same way. A computer needs at the minimum, a complete command.

print_to_screen("Hello Sara")

That 'could' be a command. Since I'm not writing about any particular language, the grammar or syntax of examples I use won't work.

Okay, now, you've issued a command. You can issue more commands.

print_to_screen(4 + 17)

> 21

newMemoryLocation_Sara = "Sara Silva"


>"Sara Silva"

Are you programming or just issuing commands? At this point, if you're in an environment where you can issue commands and get results, you're not quite programming. But, you are speaking to the computer. A REPL -- is the name for an environment you can use to issue commands and see results. It's a:






Read's your command or input you type in

Evaluates the command using the language of the environment

Prints any result

Loops - continues repeatedly by showing you another prompt.

( repl.it is a website that allows you to do this in a browser for many languages )

However, if you want to PROGRAM - you just have to write your program into a file and run the file. 

Maybe you only want a program that greets you every morning:

print_to_screen("Bom Dia @sarasilva!")

You could write that command in a file, then use another program to run it every morning when you log in. 

Now, you're using programs to call programs. You're programming.

As a beginner, you should start small and understand everything that's happening. Learn the syntax by playing with code that works and breaking it -- and seeing the error messages. Remove a comma, what's the error? At which line number is the error showing?

Anything you see on the screen had to be programmed by somebody else? Color? A programmer chose that color? Shapes / sizes / characters / emoji? Somebody chose all those things and put them into a program.

A great way to become a better programmer is to take on challenges. FreeCodeCamp.org has a bunch.

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    @brianball Great stuff!
    I'm feeling insecure with FCC though, it's like learning a bunch of commands! I don't see that I'll know or remember how to use all that together. Maybe I'm too early in the challenges. I did the tribute page though. I still feel quite green... Maybe I would be able to program by the end of FCC? How many time per day do you think it would be a good pace for someone who works? Maybe I'm just missing the what is happening behind, and how... 😱

    Sara Silva avatar Sara Silva | Sep 27, 2019 13:28:39
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