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Author Topic: Where should I learn programming?  (Read 3963 times)
m1t0s1s
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« on: June 19, 2007, 08:43:43 AM »

I learned qbasic in high school, and went to college and learned c, c++, and pascal; I failed in college because I have attention deficit disorder.

What would be the easiest way to get back into programming?

I don't like traditional classroom-style learning, and I can probably teach myself since I have some knowledge of programming.

Also, what language should I get into? PHP, Ruby, Python, Scheme or something else? Perl?
« Last Edit: June 20, 2007, 10:09:06 AM by m1t0s1s » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2007, 09:43:42 AM »

Learning in a classroom wont teach you anything, so you OK with the idea of not wanting to take a class. Also being ADD means you will probably not do well in that environment anyway. Quite room, no distractions, you can only accomplish yourself.

PHP is probably the best since it is a scripting language, which i think is a bit easier, but also you have alot of resources online for it. Plus it is pretty much a standard.
some incarnation of C would be fine as well, if you are more interesting in compiled applications.
web though, php is probably you best bet.

To learn it...
First get a book. the thinest one you can find. The fatter it is, the less likely you will be to open it. You only need to learn the basics from a book. How the assorted statements work, basic concepts and such. You don't want a book that gets into crazy shit using extended libraries and such. just the basics. skim it. do the exercises, but only as much as you can handle in a sitting. 2 pages, whatever.
Then throw the book away, since its all online anyway.
Come up with a simple project for yourself, and do it.
simpler the better. if you cant figure out what to do, go buy a book that has exercises in it. But only use the book for getting the ideas, dont read it (I know you wont anyway ADD-boy). Then start doing them, yourself. use the web to find hints. If the first exercise is not "Hello World", the book is too advanced.

Unfortunatly it really is a "just do it" kinda thing. Like showing someone how to ride a bike. it is no value, they just have to get on it, bust their ass a couple times, until the "get it" and stay upright. Then after wobbling for a while you get better and better.

There may be online tutorials as well, but again, dont follow them literally, just get the idea, then do it yourself. its harder, but better.

side note:
I too am ADD and actually I find that overstimulation can help, thats me. My best learning environment would be a strip club, with 15 TVs going, and a dozen people fighting and blabbering with explosions. It creates white noise in both sound and visually. mmmm boobies....
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2007, 09:58:30 AM »

That was a great post, thank you for the reply.

I guessed that learning on my own was probably the best way, at least that seems the consensus among 100 percent of blackhatters.


Do you do anything for your add/adhd?

I am on adderall (amphetamine salts) right now and I also take irwin naturals advanced gingko smart.

I tried focus factor and it helped but not as much I would have liked; I might try it again but just take more at each meal. I was taking five at each meal.
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2007, 10:42:05 AM »

I dont do anything for my ADD, especially since i got older it decreased a bit. Mostly though I just actively tried to develop my own coping mechanisms, trying all sorts of things, and realized eventually that embracing the ADD was the best thing for me. I started getting lots done, but mode switching regularly. I now have generally 4 things going at once on my computer. Though I only do one at a time, the minute I find myself drifting I switch to a new thing in the loop. Eventually i make it back to what I was working on and can get a few "hard core" minutes in before I drift again.

My biggest change, which made my life alot easier, was to be OK with my attention span issues and figuring out how to embrace them. Finding things I was interested in also seemed to help, though in short bursts usually. When I get into something, i get INTO it, and my brain creates its own environmental filter, like a mental white room. Not sure if thats something you can learn, or if I was just lucky. But to me its that I let my mind freely drift around withing the basic subject. The outside influences though are tough, wife blabbering, dog running around, soon kid will be added to that. Thats purely a willpower thing i think. But be OK with interuptions and distractions. it may take longer to do something, but if your aware of it, you can limit the damage it does. I think the biggest problem with ADD is trying to ignore it. Dont. Embrace it, and pay alot of attention to it.

Tests in college were a fucking nightmare. All the coughing, sniffling, eraser noises, grunting, pictures on the wall, the professor picking his nose, the hot chick next to me, the hot chick behind me, the hot chicks everywhere, the beer I am going to drink, im hungry, did i turn off the stove, im tired, should i work out, what does this function do on my calculator................. fuck, time's up, ooops, F.
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2007, 06:03:02 PM »

NB, I had a great deal of respect for you before.  After that personal revelation my respect just got kicked up to a much higher level.   Praise
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2007, 06:16:59 PM »

thanks, but to me its no big thing. But you can continue respecting me if you like Smiley

I really don't know how I developed the coping methods, but there is one thing I can think of that may have contributed. I was in a car accident at about age 13, had a minor head injury. The head injury turned out to be a problem since it started consistent "burst" migraines, which last about 5 seconds to 3 minutes, and I have dozens a day. Since I was so young, drugs were not really an option so we tried an approved alternative treatment which I was a study candidate for. It was Bio-Feedback training. Basically meditation, but with feedback to let you know that you are succeeding. Basically wiring you up to a meter, Scientology like, as it were. It was a challenge, but I could eventually change my body temperature significantly, unilaterally... so... That developed into an unconscious way of blocking out the migraines and defeating them before they reached critical mass. I now still do it, without even thinking about it, but people who know me well can see it on my face, since my muscles kinda paralyze out and the eye on the side of the migraine goes a bit vacant.

Way too much info there, but I wonder if that is part of what built a foundation for coping with the noise that is ADD. Meh who knows, but to me its a normal world in which I notice things no one else does. Great skill at parties and biz meetings actually. lol
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2007, 08:45:49 PM »

Quote
But you can continue respecting me if you like

I like.

Quote
It was Bio-Feedback training

I'm a firm believer that (some) humans can change the way their brain is wired. Perhaps all humans can do it, just that only some even try.  I have seen people that wanted to be sick become sick.  Conversly, I've seen folks who absolutely refused to be sick.  And they weren't.

In any case, I'm glad to know someone of your caliber.


Sorry for the thread hijack m1t0s1s.  I fall into traps like this alla time.   Grin
 
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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2007, 09:56:12 AM »

Sorry for the thread hijack m1t0s1s.  I fall into traps like this alla time.   Grin

We've all got a bit of add/adhd sometime, some of us like (me) are just worse.

side note:
I too am ADD and actually I find that overstimulation can help, thats me. My best learning environment would be a strip club, with 15 TVs going, and a dozen people fighting and blabbering with explosions. It creates white noise in both sound and visually. mmmm boobies....
Really? That's interesting. I like to have either music or no distractions at all.

There's three kind or subtypes of add/adhd:
1 the quiet, inattentive type (the kind that I have, add)
2 the hyperactive type (adhd)
3 a combination of both above
I'm guessing you have the hyper type, based on what you said.

I find that vigorous, adrenaline-rushing exercise is quite good.

Mostly though I just actively tried to develop my own coping mechanisms, trying all sorts of things, and realized eventually that embracing the ADD was the best thing for me. I started getting lots done, but mode switching regularly. I now have generally 4 things going at once on my computer. Though I only do one at a time, the minute I find myself drifting I switch to a new thing in the loop. Eventually i make it back to what I was working on and can get a few "hard core" minutes in before I drift again.

My biggest change, which made my life alot easier, was to be OK with my attention span issues and figuring out how to embrace them. Finding things I was interested in also seemed to help, though in short bursts usually. When I get into something, i get INTO it, and my brain creates its own environmental filter, like a mental white room. Not sure if thats something you can learn, or if I was just lucky. But to me its that I let my mind freely drift around withing the basic subject. The outside influences though are tough, wife blabbering, dog running around, soon kid will be added to that. Thats purely a willpower thing i think. But be OK with interuptions and distractions. it may take longer to do something, but if your aware of it, you can limit the damage it does. I think the biggest problem with ADD is trying to ignore it. Dont. Embrace it, and pay alot of attention to it.

Yeah, I've embraced it too. I read this book called You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy, it really helped a lot, especially when people would tell me I'm stupid or I would do really dumb things that go against common sense. It just means that my brain works differently than others do.
I have a tendency to hyperfocus if something grabs my attention, which can be good, but it can also be bad, since I will focus so much on that one thing to the detriment of other things, "the big picture".
« Last Edit: June 20, 2007, 10:20:36 AM by m1t0s1s » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2007, 07:37:04 PM »

I also asked this question on syndk8, sitepoint, and dp.

The best responses were from syndk8, basically saying what you said, have a specific but small goal in mind, and figure it out myself with the info online.

I need to learn everything about http post and get too. I guess I'll be reading some o'reilly manuals, since like every geek recommends them.

I found this neat software for getting into ruby coding really easily, btw.
http://hacketyhack.net/
« Last Edit: June 28, 2007, 07:40:44 PM by m1t0s1s » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2007, 10:13:11 AM »

One idea I had was an rss translation service, like google translate but mainly for blogs and rss; then people could understand websites like latha-math.com without browsing it with google translate (eg they can point their feed reader to the translated feed, so graciously hosted on my server). But first I'll need to acquire lots of money to find translators who are programmers, or learn tons of languages myself. D'oh!

To monetize I would insert an ad into the rss feed. Idea... **

A more attainable idea is build a user-level tagging/folksonomy system for and oscommerce and an asp site. But I don't even know where to start. Embarrassed

** Does google allow adsense in rss feeds?
« Last Edit: July 04, 2007, 10:18:25 AM by m1t0s1s » Logged

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