[H-GEN] Programing

Martin Pool mbp at linuxcare.com.au
Sun Jul 30 04:13:12 EDT 2000

On Sun, Jul 30, 2000 at 05:41:31PM +1000, Simon Robertson wrote:

> I am 28yrs, have mandrake 7.0, FreeBSD 4.0 and Windows 98 all working
> together on a laptop.
> I know a fair bit about computers, including linux and unix, just have
> not gone into programing. I have plenty of time to do what ever
> learning, whether uni,tafe or by job.
> Just where should I start as in Austalia, and with what program/s (one
> or several)

 * Think of a little program you'd like to build -- perhaps a simple
   game is a good place to start.  Choose a language: Python or Java
   would be good, or perhaps C though that'll be a bit harder.

 * Get a copy of `Code Complete', and some of the other books
   mentioned in this thread, and also an O'Reilly book about your
   chosen language.

 * Hack away.  Try to build something simple (couple of hundred lines,
   tops) to start with, and go from there.  Here's something you might
   like to experiment with: <http://linuxcare.com.au/mbp/piki/>

 * Repeat until dead.

Although formal training is useful, getting it *into your head* is the
most important thing.  I reckon the Jargon File comments about larval
stage are spot on.  (Which reminds me that some time flipping through
the Jargon File either at tuxedo.org or in paper might be amusing for

If I were you, I'd start in text mode first to get the basics down:
the `guess a number' or `what animal am I ' games are classics.  After
that, you could try web programming in PHP or Python or Perl, or
perhaps GUI programming in Java/Swing or GTK+.  Any of these are
approachable and satisfying for the beginner, and point to plenty of
job opportunities if you want them.

Another approach is to join an existing free project as a kind of
apprentice, and gradually learn from the existing developers.  There's
plenty to choose from on freshmeat.net or sourceforge.net -- hey,
get into linuxcare.com.au/rproxy if nothing else.  I could do with
more testers! :-) 

And don't be afraid to post your programs either to this list or
something like comp.lang.python (as appropriate) to ask for help.
I think the HUMBUG collective would be happy to help.

(Only vaguely on-topic: we're running a
http://linuxcare.com.au/installfest2000 in Canberra in a couple of
weeks.  If you have friends in Canberra who'd like help getting
started, shoot them along.)

Hope that helps, etc.  I reckon if the desire to do it is in you
you'll learn how to program well enough whereever you start; if it's
not then it's hard to acquire it.

Martin Pool, Linuxcare, Inc.
+61 2 6262 8990
mbp at linuxcare.com, http://www.linuxcare.com/
Linuxcare. Support for the revolution.
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 232 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.humbug.org.au/pipermail/general/attachments/20000730/99d8d516/attachment.sig>

More information about the General mailing list