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Completely new programmer lacks direction

 
 
Cameron Carroll
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      12-09-2008
Hi. I recently picked up a beginning ruby book, having only lightly
touched python and HLA before jumping into this, and I really lack the
vision needed to form any programs. It's sort of a combination of not
quite having a strong enough grasp over the language and its functions
crossed against having absolutely no idea what kind of programs I want
to write.
So I'm just wondering what all of your first types of programs were...
simple, no doubt, but I'm just looking for a starting point.

Thank you!
Cameron
--
Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.

 
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Glen Holcomb
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      12-09-2008
[Note: parts of this message were removed to make it a legal post.]

On Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 11:18 AM, Cameron Carroll <(E-Mail Removed)>wrote:

> Hi. I recently picked up a beginning ruby book, having only lightly
> touched python and HLA before jumping into this, and I really lack the
> vision needed to form any programs. It's sort of a combination of not
> quite having a strong enough grasp over the language and its functions
> crossed against having absolutely no idea what kind of programs I want
> to write.
> So I'm just wondering what all of your first types of programs were...
> simple, no doubt, but I'm just looking for a starting point.
>
> Thank you!
> Cameron
> --
> Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.
>
>

Are there any simple tasks you perform regularly or semi-regularly on your
computer that you don't like doing or wouldn't mind automating? That can be
a good place to start.

--
"Hey brother Christian with your high and mighty errand, Your actions speak
so loud, I can't hear a word you're saying."

-Greg Graffin (Bad Religion)

 
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Craig Demyanovich
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      12-09-2008
[Note: parts of this message were removed to make it a legal post.]

Since you write that you're new to programming, you might like Learn to
Program [ http://pragprog.com/titles/fr_ltp/learn-to-program ] by Chris
Pine. I've read good things about it in the past.

Regards,
Craig

 
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Tim Hunter
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      12-09-2008
Cameron Carroll wrote:
> Hi. I recently picked up a beginning ruby book, having only lightly
> touched python and HLA before jumping into this, and I really lack the
> vision needed to form any programs. It's sort of a combination of not
> quite having a strong enough grasp over the language and its functions
> crossed against having absolutely no idea what kind of programs I want
> to write.
> So I'm just wondering what all of your first types of programs were...
> simple, no doubt, but I'm just looking for a starting point.
>


Why are you interested in programming? What kind of things do you
propose to do with computer programs? (Hint: Think small. Your first
program won't be a web browser, music player, or IM client. In fact I'd
say it shouldn't even have a GUI. It should just write stuff to the
terminal.)

My first computer program computed the roots of a quadratic equation. A
lot of people start with a program that prints the lyrics to "99 bottles
of beer on the wall."

--
Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.

 
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Aldric Giacomoni
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      12-09-2008
Cameron Carroll wrote:
> Hi. I recently picked up a beginning ruby book, having only lightly
> touched python and HLA before jumping into this, and I really lack the
> vision needed to form any programs. It's sort of a combination of not
> quite having a strong enough grasp over the language and its functions
> crossed against having absolutely no idea what kind of programs I want
> to write.
> So I'm just wondering what all of your first types of programs were...
> simple, no doubt, but I'm just looking for a starting point.
>
> Thank you!
> Cameron
>

My first 'real' program in any language I use is usually "Guess a number
between x and y".
I've discovered www.projecteuler.net though -- and have yet to write my
usual 'guess the number' program in Ruby, as I did most of my learning
Ruby on that website, solving problems.

--Aldric
 
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Todd Benson
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      12-09-2008
On Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 12:18 PM, Cameron Carroll <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Hi. I recently picked up a beginning ruby book, having only lightly
> touched python and HLA before jumping into this, and I really lack the
> vision needed to form any programs. It's sort of a combination of not
> quite having a strong enough grasp over the language and its functions
> crossed against having absolutely no idea what kind of programs I want
> to write.
> So I'm just wondering what all of your first types of programs were...
> simple, no doubt, but I'm just looking for a starting point.


Someone in a previous thread from about a year ago answered a similar
question with something like: Pick a small task that will benefit you,
because then you will have more volition to finish it.

With that said, my first rubian (ruby dervish was simply to grab
GPS NMEA statements using the serial port (much easier than it
sounds). After that, I took on a monumental project that was too much
for me, and it has been gathering dust ever since I started Ruby.
I'll get back to it eventually.

Todd

 
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Richard Conroy
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      12-09-2008
On Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 6:34 PM, Craig Demyanovich
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Since you write that you're new to programming, you might like Learn to
> Program [ http://pragprog.com/titles/fr_ltp/learn-to-program ] by Chris
> Pine. I've read good things about it in the past.


Yeah I bought that for my girlfriend. Then she got a bit stuck on the
recursion exercise. I had a quick look
and was very impressed by the example. Its a small book, but its
proper stuff - its even covering Procs and
stuff by the end.

To the OP - motivation/inspiration is hard. The amount of seriously
cool stuff going on in the ruby world
can often be a distraction too. Its been a long time since Ruby was
cool for just one thing.

But you really need to start coding. Anything at all to build up the
muscle memory. Its hard to get excited
about a pet store rails example, but a twitter/flicker mashup is not bad start.

If you are really stuck, check out the Ruby for Kids stuff- Shoes and
HacketyHack. Both of which passed
major milestones recently.

But ultimately, doing something you care about, that scratches an itch
you feel is the most important thing.

 
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timr
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      12-09-2008
On Dec 9, 10:18*am, Cameron Carroll <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Hi. I recently picked up a beginning ruby book, having only lightly
> touched python and HLA before jumping into this, and I really lack the
> vision needed to form any programs. It's sort of a combination of not
> quite having a strong enough grasp over the language and its functions
> crossed against having absolutely no idea what kind of programs I want
> to write.
> So I'm just wondering what all of your first types of programs were...
> simple, no doubt, but I'm just looking for a starting point.
>
> Thank you!
> Cameron
> --
> Posted viahttp://www.ruby-forum.com/.


My first program moving from Perl to Ruby was a program that colors
regular expression hits in text files and outputs to the terminal,
like a colored egrep command. My second program was a spelling word
quiz program for my son using Mac os x and the say command and a SQL
database to hold the words. Sometimes, I code simple programs to
calculate something I have calculated to see if I am right. For
instance what is the probability of rolling a Yatzee (6 of a kind) in
the game Yatzee. The answer is (1/6)^5 by the way. Adding a histogram
of the number of rolls required to get a Yatzee by 10,000 observers
makes the task more interesting. Stuff like that. I would suggest
getting the RUBY cookbook from O'rielly. They have lots of example
tasks and the code to accomplish it. You can easilly read it a few
pages at a time.
Tim
 
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Raju Gandhi
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      12-09-2008
Another good place to start would be "Practical Ruby Projects: Ideas
for the Eclectic Programmer" - http://bit.ly/BvOb

Lots of great ideas for starting a mini project of your own. Also,
look into Ruby Quiz...

Hope this helps.

Raju

On Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 4:23 PM, timr <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> On Dec 9, 10:18 am, Cameron Carroll <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> > Hi. I recently picked up a beginning ruby book, having only lightly
> > touched python and HLA before jumping into this, and I really lack the
> > vision needed to form any programs. It's sort of a combination of not
> > quite having a strong enough grasp over the language and its functions
> > crossed against having absolutely no idea what kind of programs I want
> > to write.
> > So I'm just wondering what all of your first types of programs were...
> > simple, no doubt, but I'm just looking for a starting point.
> >
> > Thank you!
> > Cameron
> > --
> > Posted viahttp://www.ruby-forum.com/.

>
> My first program moving from Perl to Ruby was a program that colors
> regular expression hits in text files and outputs to the terminal,
> like a colored egrep command. My second program was a spelling word
> quiz program for my son using Mac os x and the say command and a SQL
> database to hold the words. Sometimes, I code simple programs to
> calculate something I have calculated to see if I am right. For
> instance what is the probability of rolling a Yatzee (6 of a kind) in
> the game Yatzee. The answer is (1/6)^5 by the way. Adding a histogram
> of the number of rolls required to get a Yatzee by 10,000 observers
> makes the task more interesting. Stuff like that. I would suggest
> getting the RUBY cookbook from O'rielly. They have lots of example
> tasks and the code to accomplish it. You can easilly read it a few
> pages at a time.
> Tim
>




--
Raju

 
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Martin DeMello
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-10-2008
On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 1:28 AM, Aldric Giacomoni
<"aldric[remove]"@trevoke.net> wrote:
>
> My first 'real' program in any language I use is usually "Guess a number
> between x and y".


This is an excellent first program, IMO. Start with having the
computer ask the user to guess a number, then add an option for the
user to think of a number and the computer to guess it.

martin

 
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