Programming lessons?

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Hello! I'm a high school student in the Chicagoland area and I was wondering if there was such a thing as Programming lessons. By this, I dont mean college or university summer school courses for teenagers. If they do exist, can you help me find someone in the Chicagoland to do this with? One of the pre-reqs for AP Computer Sciences at my school is to have coding experience so I just want to jump in on it soon.
 

PTNL

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Hello! I'm a high school student in the Chicagoland area and I was wondering if there was such a thing as Programming lessons. By this, I dont mean college or university summer school courses for teenagers. If they do exist, can you help me find someone in the Chicagoland to do this with? One of the pre-reqs for AP Computer Sciences at my school is to have coding experience so I just want to jump in on it soon.
Do those pre-reqs state anything else? By "coding experience", are there any languages that are considered as allowed or disqualified?

Aside from the pre-reqs, try thinking of a VERY simple application that parallels some personal interest of yours. We can help with the code/syntax, but you'll want something to keep you motivated to create and refactor/enhance.
 

Thuleman

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Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner, 3rd Edition
by Michael Dawson
ISBN-13: 978-1435455009

Learn to Program, Second Edition (The Facets of Ruby Series)
by Chris Pine
ISBN-13: 978-1934356364

I used to recommend the Ruby one but I had a look at the Python one and feel that it is actually the better book because the assignments are more "fun" (games related) and it goes further than the Learn to Program one does. You can get either of these books very inexpensively if you buy used on Half.com, or Amazon Marketplace, or even eBay (which will include Half.com listings).

Neither of these will take you a long time to get through even if you have zero experience. Sadly most schools teach either C++ or Java neither of which is particularly noob friendly and unless you want to become a full time programmer neither is particularly useful to solve everyday problems efficiently.
 

ameoba

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Also of note are How to Think Like a Computer Scientist (Java version) and why's (poignant) guide to ruby. The second one is probably one of the more entertaining programming books I've ever read.

But, honestly, unless there's an earlier, non-AP Java programming class, they're probably not asking that much of you. If you know about variables, functions & loops, you're probably OK. Everything else you know will put you ahead of the curve.

Most importantly, and this applies to your entire academic career - TALK TO PEOPLE. School is still in session, go talk to the teacher and ask him what he expects. These people are paid to be a resource to you - you should always feel comfortable asking them about what they expect from you. If you ever have problems in classes ask them. The person who is teaching the class probably has a much better idea of what's going on in their classroom than a bunch of anonymous strangers on the internet.
 

Falcon_CMH

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I think you would be better off learning C#.Net or VB.Net they are way more prevalent than Java. There are many good books just go online to Amazon or your local bookstore. Find the format that suits you.
 

Falcon_CMH

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I forget, but I read VB has more lines of code written than all other languages combined in today's market. It's the modern COBOL for business programming.

And my statement is also based off the fact MS owns the largest % of PC desktops which run business and home applications that are developed in .Net.

Now browser based client side JavaScript and JQuery are more prevalent.

I am also in the business too (I am a software Architect that is vendor neutral), check out the job/consulting opportunities .Net has a significant larger listing than Java.

An intersting language that people don't think about that is the fastest growing modern language is RubyOnRails it has a 400% growth rate I read somewhere (not sure what thats relative to).
 

ameoba

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I forget, but I read VB has more lines of code written than all other languages combined in today's market. It's the modern COBOL for business programming.

And my statement is also based off the fact MS owns the largest % of PC desktops which run business and home applications that are developed in .Net


Lines of code written doesn't mean much if nobody is ever going to pay a programmer to actually change them. Beyond that - you can barely consider VB6 and VB.NET to be the same language.

My go-to reference for programming language rankings puts Java as #1. So does this source.

An intersting language that people don't think about that is the fastest growing modern language is RubyOnRails it has a 400% growth rate I read somewhere (not sure what thats relative to).

...and I'm pretty sure that interest in Rails peaked a while ago.
 
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My opinions is to not get into the programming field. It's depressing and doesn't offer a lot of room for advancement. If money is a big motivator... consider getting a degree in business/management. At the end of the day, the management will make the decisions and get paid the most for doing the less :)
 

mikeblas

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And my statement is also based off the fact MS owns the largest % of PC desktops which run business and home applications that are developed in .Net.
Doing the most common thing might help with employment, but I'm not sure it will help with earnings. The most common work is quickly commoditized, and people involved in that kind of work struggle to differentiate themselves from everyone else doing the same thing. Web "development" is the primary example.
 

odoe

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Python might be a good language to learn concepts. If I could go back and pick a starter language, I'd do C/C++, but just because I'm learning it now and it gives me what I think is a better grasp of what I do in my day to day stuff.

The concepts are the key though. The language is just a tool, and you'll probably go through plenty, the concepts will stay with you.
 

Eiolon

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I find most jobs I freelance for requiring C# or VB.NET but YMMV depending on where you are looking for jobs. It's weird that I see schools going crazy with Java classes though. Must be the cost of licensing Microsoft software that deters them.
 

Falcon_CMH

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Java pays less than C# and less jobs available go look for yourself.

Almost all VB6 programs are or will be ported to VB.Net or C#.Net still being the most prevalent language in the world. VB.Net is backwards compatible to VB6 period.

Java is not even close to the #1 language its like #8 or #9. Javascript is rated higher than Java.

C# is an open language available on the same platforms as Java and is free as well as lite version of Visual Studio is free and schools teach it too.
 

mikeblas

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Java pays less than C# and less jobs available go look for yourself.
I did look for myself, and I find exactly the opposite to be true. I think your memory on this subject is just as bad as your memory on the topic of compiler implementation.
 

Falcon_CMH

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Hmm I am in the business not from memory from current day to day business. And my compiler implementaion is from writing compilers for IBM and are very accurate unlike yours.
 

Imaulle

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I'd do C/C++, but just because I'm learning it now and it gives me what I think is a better grasp of what I do in my day to day stuff.

this. c++ was very easy to learn. I taught it to myself when I was about 14. it's helped me out a ton learning other languages since...
 

Falcon_CMH

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Really if you want grass roots the Kernie and Ritchie C Book is the best starter book you learn C then go for C++
 
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Thanks so much for this great amount of information :D Just so you know the class is going to be Java-oriented but I heard that languages such as C++ are good to learn before Java. Also since I will be learning Java anyway might as well get in on a different language in the mean time.
 

Khanmots

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Hmm I am in the business not from memory from current day to day business. And my compiler implementaion is from writing compilers for IBM and are very accurate unlike yours.

All depends on the market segment. Personally the vast vast majority of jobs that are going to use C# or Java or .NET whatever aren't jobs that I'd be interested in. For the type of stuff I'm interested in C/C++ is pretty much what's used (mostly hard real-time embedded stuff... although lately I've been mucking in MFC *sigh*)

Anyways, the key isn't to find popular languages, the key is to find languages that are popular in the types of projects a person finds interesting.
 

Falcon_CMH

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All depends on the market segment. Personally the vast vast majority of jobs that are going to use C# or Java or .NET whatever aren't jobs that I'd be interested in. For the type of stuff I'm interested in C/C++ is pretty much what's used (mostly hard real-time embedded stuff... although lately I've been mucking in MFC *sigh*)

Anyways, the key isn't to find popular languages, the key is to find languages that are popular in the types of projects a person finds interesting.

Very true or just a language that you like because you are gonna do it day in day out. I did some real time programming on co-processor cards that talked to PLCs it was fun it was in C. We did things like state machine to simulate multi-threading why we waited on I/O etc. It was a blast, that was at IBM too, but it got old too.

I build frameworks both system and application enablers in C# EAI/SOA mainly but its starting to get old.
 

Falcon_CMH

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If you want to really want to learn to program the language is irrelevant.

Get a Algorithms book
Get a Design Patterns Book
Get a OOP Book
Get a SOA Book

And then take a language pick but I would start with C and the Kernie and ritchie book I recommended before.
 

GishForever

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java needs to die

You really think so? Name me some good alternatives for building a large and scaleable web-based system then. I seriously think you underestimate some of the new lightweight java frameworks that have come out.

It's easy to say Java sucks, but even coming from a PHP background I can't deny the power of Java for building complex systems.
 

vsboxerboy

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Can I interrupt before the language specific bashings begin? C++ Java, whatever learn an Object Oriented language and you're fine

The most important thing is that you think about something you want to make ....... and make it :)

Hell, the first thing I learned was Android programming specifically cause I could get the instant gratification of using my programs. Just remove the barrier of academia and practicality and you'll be fine.

You're learning CS cause you want to, so use it. Don't listen to all these people whining back and fourth just start learning and using and you'll be fine. Once you KNOW how one language works, the rest is just syntax and nuance
 

mrgstiffler

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You really think so? Name me some good alternatives for building a large and scaleable web-based system then. I seriously think you underestimate some of the new lightweight java frameworks that have come out.

It's easy to say Java sucks, but even coming from a PHP background I can't deny the power of Java for building complex systems.

My college taught only Java for the main courses and I do kind of feel cheated. The elective courses had Lisp, PHP, Perl and Python.
 

mikeblas

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I wouldn't. Learning design patterns, OOP, or SOA before having any training or knowledge of a language is putting the cart before the horse.
 

Imaulle

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You really think so? Name me some good alternatives for building a large and scaleable web-based system then. I seriously think you underestimate some of the new lightweight java frameworks that have come out.

It's easy to say Java sucks, but even coming from a PHP background I can't deny the power of Java for building complex systems.

just seems to me like there is too much bloat you have to install on a browser just to view these java powered web sites...
 
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just seems to me like there is too much bloat you have to install on a browser just to view these java powered web sites...

That's Java applets, which are client side. Server side is where Java is primarily used and it serves up straight HTML/CSS/JS to the browser.
 

Latex

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just seems to me like there is too much bloat you have to install on a browser just to view these java powered web sites...

Doesn't sound like the statement of a person who's actually programmed in Java, sounds more like an end-user. But, I can see how an end-user might view it all as "bloat". However, not having programmed in it I feel that makes one unqualified to make a judgement on it's usefulness as a language. :D That said, even though I prefer C++ myself, I strongly disagree with the statement "java needs to die".

Back to the topic at hand though...
mrwiggles - While I think the aforementioned books on algorithms, design patterns, and OOP will be of benefit to you, I would warn you that going hardcore into those books right off the bat can burn you out rather quickly. Don't get me wrong, they are infinitely useful and will help you to understand the larger picture, but I would recommend picking a language and playing with it. Pick a small project, find some tutorials online for doing basic things, and make it happen. It's as simple as that, don't over-complicate it.

Good luck with it though, I hope you end up enjoying it as much as some of us do. Never know until you try it though.
 
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I'm prolly gonna try out C cuz like vsboxerboy said a few posts up, i'm gonna try and make something for my ipod touch which is C based according to apple. not only that but i was thinking about doing C anyway. This has been such a great thread guys. Thanks!
 
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mrgstiffler

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I'm prolly gonna try out C cuz like vsboxerboy said a few posts up, i'm gonna try and make something for my ipod touch which is C based according to apple. not only that but i was thinking about doing C anyway. This has been such a great thread guys. Thanks!

That would be Objective-C then, not C.
 
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