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So you want to learn to program – Well here’s how!

So you want to learn to program – Well here’s how!

Ok, before you start to learn computer programming you need to answer a number of different questions?

1. Why do you need to learn to program?
2. What problems are you hoping to solve?
3. What opportunities are you hoping to grasp?
4. Are you really capable of learning programming?

Now, a lot of people will tell you that you need to go to school and learn programming from boring stuffy old teachers and just as boring and stufy boring and stuffy materials.

They will tell you that if you learn Pascal or Basic that this will give you a good grounding to learn realworld commercial languages like C, C++, C# java, php and python etc.

This is absolute nonsenses!

You don’t need to go to school to learn programming and you don’t need to learn programming from stuffy old books and teachers.

Sure, there will be people who enjoy following this process and will become fantastic programmers, but i have found that most people who go this routes, are turned off from programming and have to choose a different career or hobby.

Had i not found a different way of learning to program myself, I would have probably left IT and gone and done something like marketing or such like.

Anyway, my solution to learning to program is to answer the four questions above, which will give you some direction to follow and then use an informal hacker approach to learning to program rather than a more formal approach that you would learn at school or college.

So lets answer the following questions:-
1. Why do you need to learn to program?
So, do you feel you need to program for some reason?
Do you hope to make games or iPhone apps, or code websites or maybe write code for your bosses business at work?
Write down, why you want to learn to program, because this will give you some clarity as to why and this will help you understand what kind of skills and direction you need to learn to program.
2. What problems are you hoping to solve by becoming a programmer?
So, lets say you want to learn to program iPhone apps?
Now, what kind of problems are you hoping to solve writing iPhone apps?
Maybe you want to write an iPhone app for elderly people who can use your app to alert their carer if they need them. Or maybe you want to write an app that sends the latest answers to people who have a particular problem.

Whatever it is, you are writing an app to solve a particular problem.
This will help you clarify further, why you are learning programming and the direction you are hoping to follow.
3. What opportunities are you hoping to grasp as a programmer?
Are you hoping to run a programming business out of learning to program, maybe selling services to local businesses who need your code for their viral marketing campaigns? Or maybe you are hoping to become a web designer and work for a local employer, or perhaps offer your services online and work from home.
Maybe you want to develop a killer game and make a fortune as a programming entrepreneur.
Again, the more you answer this question the more clarity you will get on why you want to become a programmer and the best direction for you to take.

4. Are you really capable of learning programming?
Some people will tell you that not everybody is cut out to write programs.
They will tell you that you really have to be a mathematics wizard in order to write beautiful code, but i am here to tell you that everyone on the planet with a basic level of english and maths is capable or writing a program.
Truth is, there are many ways to write code and the only thing you need to do to write code is to find out which is the best approach for you.

Once you have an idea of why you what to learn programming, what problems and challenges you want to solve, you are in a great position to learn programming. Here are a number of ways you can take to learn programming.

1. Find a series of step by step programming videos on and learn by watching videos and trying the code out. Then expand on the code, making the app you want.

2. Go to school and listen to teachers who have no real world programming experience, or read dry old programming books.

3. Find websites that offer code snippets and then run them and modify them and see what happens with the program when you tweak it. If you do this, i’d also consider maybe paying for an online programming course, to teach you some of the fundamentals of programming.

4. Learn using, or perhaps

5. Find a friend or tutor who is a Wiz on programming and get them to show you code and show you how it works.

6. Learn from programming forums where people are actively willing to help people learn how to code.

7. Get involved in programming clubs in your area of user groups.

Thing you must do, is to first identify what programming language and operating system you need to learn code on.

So, say you want to learn how to write a Windows app, you might need to learn VB.Net to produce a prototype of your app and then maybe C++ to produce a commercial version for sale online. You also need to know what programming tool you might need, so in the case of writing a Windows app you might want to use Microsoft Visual Studio.

So before you think about becoming a programmer, consider all the things i have outlined above.

If you need any further help becoming a programmer, feel free to comment on this post or talk to us in the forum at

Good luck

Written by Stephen

Steve Ryan is the co-founder of Young Web Builder with Oliver Neely.

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