Methods to Learning a Programming Language

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Learning how to code is a difficult but rewarding task. To be successful in learning this skill you must have an organized method of study. Whatever programming language you want to learn you need to find the best way of learning the language that is right for you. Your method maybe different from others, but if it works for you so it does not matter. The methods of learning a programming language are books, videos, and websites.

I prefer using books to learn a programming language. Books give a detailed explanation of concepts and provide examples that help you understand those concepts. In examples you see what the code should look like. You learn good programming techniques (naming convention, access modifiers, etc.). Books usually have exercises you can practice on. This allows you to practice programming. The For Dummies books are helpful, but they do not have practice questions, although the authors explain concepts in a way that is easy to understand. They explain things without assuming you have prior experience using the programming language. Sams Teach Yourself has practice problems and the book is structured by the time it should take you to learn the language such as 30 days or 24 hours. Each chapter has concepts that you are to learn for a day or hour.

Videos allow you to study code more visually as opposed to a book. YouTube channels such as thenewboston shows how the program works when the code is executed. He explains the concept then shows the code that implements the concept, and what the output will look in the execution of the program. The advantage of videos is that they are free while books can cost from $30 to $50. Videos help beginners understand programming because they see the code being written and what the execution of the program should be.
A website such as code academy is another way to learn programming for free. What is good about code academy is you instantly see the effort you put into your code. You also do not have to deal with installing software on your computer. You type all your code in a browser and the code is run and the output is in the browser. There is another website called which teaches basic programming concepts in Java. It also has a project where the problem is to program a robot so it can move around obstacle courses. MIT open course ware website has programming courses. There are so many websites available that are also free to use. They provide an accessible way to learn programming without any complications. This is a good place for people new to programming.

All these methods have benefits that you should take advantage of. These methods also can be used in combination. Use one, two, or all of them. Find the method or methods that is best for you, and then study for at least one hour a day. Practice is another important part of learning a programming. You must code as much as possible in order to retain what you have learned.


Tyler Deans

Tyler Deans is currently a computer science student at New York Institute of Technology in New York City. She plans to become a Mobile Application Developer. She has knowledge Java and C programming languages. She is learning about Android development. In her free time she can be found programming, reading, in aerobics class, and running. You can connect with her on Google+, Twitter @starving_geek, and LinkedIn.

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1 Comment

  1. William Oneb June 19, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Hello Tyler,

    I also prefer textbooks because they actually explain the concepts. I used a textbook to study Java. I used online tutorials from android’s official website but that wasn’t too straight forward as the textbook I used while studying Java.

    Anyway — nice article!

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