Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Buster Danog
    • By Buster Danog 15th May 19, 1:27 PM
    • 388Posts
    • 63Thanks
    Buster Danog
    Learning Programming / web design
    • #1
    • 15th May 19, 1:27 PM
    Learning Programming / web design 15th May 19 at 1:27 PM
    Just looking for tips on the best way to learn or recommendations for courses? I tried twice in the past to teach myself from home - first trying to learn PHP, and then web design but only proved to myself that for me learning from home wasn't a good way to learn. For the many hours I put in I only came out the other side with a basic / intermediate knowledge and no portfolio.

    I am again considering putting some time into programming but am not sure if it is something I will really enjoy. I'm hoping someone else will be able to shed some light on courses that might be more conducive to giving structure and achieving something at the end. I don't have any career right now and my friend who works in IT makes it sound possible.

    Ideally some kind of short course where I could be marked and around other people might help me gauge my own desire to commit to programming long term.
Page 1
    • jonnygee2
    • By jonnygee2 15th May 19, 5:44 PM
    • 1,265 Posts
    • 1,288 Thanks
    jonnygee2
    • #2
    • 15th May 19, 5:44 PM
    • #2
    • 15th May 19, 5:44 PM
    I first learned to code a few years ago with two courses, both on Coursera

    https://www.coursera.org/specializations/python

    https://www.coursera.org/learn/website-coding/home/welcome

    I enjoyed both of them. I found the python course very good for the basic programming concepts, and the teacher is entertaining. The second course includes some frontend and basic javascript.

    I want to study this one next:

    https://www.coursera.org/specializations/full-stack-react

    But, I am just learning for fun. I don't think the code I write would stand up in a professional environment.
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 15th May 19, 8:48 PM
    • 18,688 Posts
    • 11,513 Thanks
    motorguy
    • #3
    • 15th May 19, 8:48 PM
    • #3
    • 15th May 19, 8:48 PM
    Just looking for tips on the best way to learn or recommendations for courses? I tried twice in the past to teach myself from home - first trying to learn PHP, and then web design but only proved to myself that for me learning from home wasn't a good way to learn. For the many hours I put in I only came out the other side with a basic / intermediate knowledge and no portfolio.

    I am again considering putting some time into programming but am not sure if it is something I will really enjoy. I'm hoping someone else will be able to shed some light on courses that might be more conducive to giving structure and achieving something at the end. I don't have any career right now and my friend who works in IT makes it sound possible.

    Ideally some kind of short course where I could be marked and around other people might help me gauge my own desire to commit to programming long term.
    Originally posted by Buster Danog
    With respect, it doesnt sound much like you have a passion or aptitude for coding.

    As you've found out, its not as simple as it looks.

    I dont think doing some online course is going to get you in to a career in it either. Whilst your friend has it sound like its "possible", i think getting a career from it a standing start would be tricky.
    "We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."
    • Neil Jones
    • By Neil Jones 16th May 19, 8:34 AM
    • 2,098 Posts
    • 1,467 Thanks
    Neil Jones
    • #4
    • 16th May 19, 8:34 AM
    • #4
    • 16th May 19, 8:34 AM
    Just looking for tips on the best way to learn or recommendations for courses? I tried twice in the past to teach myself from home - first trying to learn PHP, and then web design but only proved to myself that for me learning from home wasn't a good way to learn. For the many hours I put in I only came out the other side with a basic / intermediate knowledge and no portfolio.
    Originally posted by Buster Danog
    To learn to program takes time. You might have done better with a simpler language than PHP in all honesty which is a variation of the programming language of C, which isn't particularly easy in the first place.

    Have a look at this nice flow-chart while should give you an idea of where you need to go:
    https://crossbrowsertesting.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Programming-Language-Infographic.png

    You'll notice from this most of the options tend to default to Python as a starting point. However there is also the option of dropping back to Scratch, which is what the children learn and do at school. Its very simple drag-and-drop and looks cartoonish (bearing in mind its aimed at under 10's) but lots of its principles of loops, logic and getting the Scratch cat (and other characters) to do things you can learn a lot from to build upon.

    Python is fairly close to pretty much writing English words for its programming code (which makes it relatively easy to do) but the other option could be Visual Basic, which if you had a computer in the 1980s, shares a lot of its code with, built on the idea of forms. Basically you build your interface/form/windows, design it yourself and then add the code that runs when you click buttons and what not.

    For Visual Basic the Visual Studio Community edition (free) makes a good editor for all your programming needs:
    https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/downloads/

    I am again considering putting some time into programming but am not sure if it is something I will really enjoy. I'm hoping someone else will be able to shed some light on courses that might be more conducive to giving structure and achieving something at the end. I don't have any career right now and my friend who works in IT makes it sound possible.
    In all honesty you are far more likely to win the lottery than get a career in programming at this point. Children can programme as it is (see above re: Scratch) and they've done this since they were knee high to a grasshopper, some continue to do it in their own spare time and continue to learn. When they grow up and are ready to work, that may become a major boost for them.

    Now that being said, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, to stop you learning something like this whatever language you choose. Learning to program will help you personally because it helps to encourage and promote your skills of problem solving, logic and creativity, as in bug squashing, so to that end it will help in other areas of your life. And of course if you can pick up Python or whatever you can demonstrate "quick to learn".
    • billy_26032019
    • By billy_26032019 16th May 19, 11:10 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    billy_26032019
    • #5
    • 16th May 19, 11:10 AM
    • #5
    • 16th May 19, 11:10 AM
    I took some Python courses at a further education college last year, being completely new to programming.

    I then somehow managed to blag my way onto a part time MSc Data Science course, on the basis of being self-funding, and having had a very good (but totally unrelated) arts education 20 years ago which allowed me to write a very convincing personal statement!

    Unfortunately it was clear within the first fortnight that I was totally out of my depth. The beginner's stuff that I had managed to pick up through spending three months studying it, was what we got through in about the first couple of lectures. And we were also meant to be learning 'R' and a load of mathematics, too. So I'd chosen to leave the course by Christmas (luckily having only paid the first term's fees).

    What I'm saying is, even if you can learn GCSE-level coding if you spend a massive amount of time on it, it's such an enormous leap I think to actually be able to code at the level that you'll earn a living at it. And it's a skill that requires hundreds or more likely thousands of hours of practice.

    It's a bit of a Catch-22 but my thought now is the best approach would be to have a job that allows you the possibility of doing a small amount of coding, and developing the skillset as part of your existing role.
    Last edited by billy_26032019; 16-05-2019 at 11:30 AM.
    • Buster Danog
    • By Buster Danog 17th May 19, 4:31 PM
    • 388 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Buster Danog
    • #6
    • 17th May 19, 4:31 PM
    • #6
    • 17th May 19, 4:31 PM
    Thanks guys. I think the passion side of it is a major thing, but I do think learning from home when you have no background at all can be one of the worst possible things you can do. For me the lack of structure gradually sucked the motivation out of me but I'm sure there are people who are self taught and have learned that way.

    I think I have a particular way of learning things which requires me to have structure / deadlines and more guidance than just books. The comments are harsh with regards to a career but at this point I haven't done much more than JQuery on websites so it might well be true. I just want to be in a position to know where I stand in relation to my own enjoyment of the subject and I haven't put myself in the best position to find out with my past efforts.
    • Potbellypig
    • By Potbellypig 17th May 19, 7:45 PM
    • 436 Posts
    • 301 Thanks
    Potbellypig
    • #7
    • 17th May 19, 7:45 PM
    • #7
    • 17th May 19, 7:45 PM
    On the same topic, I've always been interested in learning code, but I'm not very good at the learn from home thing. Would rather it be structured by someone. Anyway, I have an idea that I'd like to do. Just for me to play really. I like to play darts and would like to set up a game preferably on a latop which I can actually play darts on my dartboard, put my scores in and it be actually against the 'computer'. There are apps like this out at the minute, but I have an idea for it going a step further. From those that are experienced in this - what would be the best way to start learning this?
    • Neil Jones
    • By Neil Jones 17th May 19, 8:19 PM
    • 2,098 Posts
    • 1,467 Thanks
    Neil Jones
    • #8
    • 17th May 19, 8:19 PM
    • #8
    • 17th May 19, 8:19 PM
    On the same topic, I've always been interested in learning code, but I'm not very good at the learn from home thing. Would rather it be structured by someone. Anyway, I have an idea that I'd like to do. Just for me to play really. I like to play darts and would like to set up a game preferably on a latop which I can actually play darts on my dartboard, put my scores in and it be actually against the 'computer'. There are apps like this out at the minute, but I have an idea for it going a step further. From those that are experienced in this - what would be the best way to start learning this?
    Originally posted by Potbellypig
    Raspberry Pi would be good for this.
    https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=108331

    Different controller but same principle:
    https://www.hackster.io/ricardo-alves/opendarts-homemade-dartboard-machine-2a2914
    • Neil Jones
    • By Neil Jones 17th May 19, 10:17 PM
    • 2,098 Posts
    • 1,467 Thanks
    Neil Jones
    • #9
    • 17th May 19, 10:17 PM
    • #9
    • 17th May 19, 10:17 PM
    I think I have a particular way of learning things which requires me to have structure / deadlines and more guidance than just books. The comments are harsh with regards to a career but at this point I haven't done much more than JQuery on websites so it might well be true. I just want to be in a position to know where I stand in relation to my own enjoyment of the subject and I haven't put myself in the best position to find out with my past efforts.
    Originally posted by Buster Danog
    JQuery is just a cut down version of Javascript at the end of the day. You could do far worse.

    You need however to walk before you can run. If you drive, you didn't jump into a car on your first lesson and go tootling up the motorway.

    You may want, sticking with the web page theme, to consider looking at simple languages like HTML (the language of web pages) and the accompanying stylesheets, the CSS files. You can teach yourself this and the underlying principles will carry across to many other languages.
    • Buster Danog
    • By Buster Danog 18th May 19, 4:13 PM
    • 388 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Buster Danog
    Thanks for that. I could say I am roughly at an intermediate level with CSS although I have not worked on anything in about a year. Anyway I'm going to look up courses at local colleges. There are some for 6 weeks or so which would be a good taster.
    • jonnygee2
    • By jonnygee2 18th May 19, 5:26 PM
    • 1,265 Posts
    • 1,288 Thanks
    jonnygee2
    Anyway, I have an idea that I'd like to do. Just for me to play really. I like to play darts and would like to set up a game preferably on a latop which I can actually play darts on my dartboard, put my scores in and it be actually against the 'computer'. There are apps like this out at the minute, but I have an idea for it going a step further. From those that are experienced in this - what would be the best way to start learning this?
    Do you mean that you just want the computer to effectively create a 'random' but realistic score for you to beat? Would you want it animated or just the numbers?

    If you just want something that generates the numbers, that would be relatively easy to do. If you followed the first Python course I linked above, by the end of the first part (about 30 hours study) you'd be able to do this. If you then followed the whole course, you'd be able to do some niftier stuff, like pull some data from an API and 'play against' professionals' scores etc - maybe even live! It would actually make a very good first coding project.

    If you want it animated, that's a bit more advanced. Not extraordinarily advanced in terms of complexity, but potentially very time-consuming to build and you'd need to learn something to make the front end too.
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 18th May 19, 6:59 PM
    • 18,688 Posts
    • 11,513 Thanks
    motorguy

    The comments are harsh with regards to a career
    Originally posted by Buster Danog
    I didnt see multiple harsh comments, just realistic ones based on experience?

    Certainly mine was, and i've recruited many developers and IT people over the years to work for me.
    "We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."
    • JES_F1
    • By JES_F1 18th May 19, 7:43 PM
    • 673 Posts
    • 1,427 Thanks
    JES_F1
    I too would recommend Coursera - I did the Python for Everybody specialisation.


    Have you considered the Open University? You could work towards a degree or study just the modules of particular interest.
    Debt Jan 2008: 45,566. *** June 2013: DEBT FREE! ***
    Paid back just under 50,000 due to some interest added.

    Dealt with my debt through a Step Change
    (CCCS) DMP.
    DMP Mutual Support Thread Member #240.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

2,526Posts Today

5,726Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Mini MSE is on half term next week, so I'm excited to be taking the week off to be daddy. As normal I'm signing of? https://t.co/G3366shWh1

  • I once blurted out on @gmb "Theresa May hasn't been given a poisoned chalice - she's been given a poisoned chalice? https://t.co/onfRbY3XVg

  • It'd be fascinating to know how history will judge Theresa May's premiership. Currently, it is hard to see it as a? https://t.co/eH77G0O9LA

  • Follow Martin