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Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Jump Back Into Programming? 247

First time accepted submitter FractalFear writes "15 years ago I was programming in BASIC, and doing some C++, after a serious car accident barely making it out alive, my memory went to crud. I have no recollection of how to do anything in either of those languages any more. I've suffered some damage, and my memory isn't all that great. However if I do repetitive work it sticks to me. I've been in IT for 17 years as desktop support, and I fear I won't ever get much further in life due to my handicap. I am hard working and dedicated, I have been reading slashdot regularly for many years now, and I have faith in the Slashdot community advice. I recently bought Head First C#: 2nd Edition(A friend of mine that programs for a living suggested C# as an easier alternative to C++) the first 4 chapters were great, but after that everything just didn't make any sense. My question(s) to you guys is: What was the best way for you to get back into programming? School? Self taught? And what would be the best language for someone like me to get into? My goal is to make games as a hobby for now, but would like to enter into the market of XBOX Arcade, Steam, mobile etc, particularly 2D TBSRPG games like Shining Force. If you prefer self taught what are some really good books you suggest?"
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Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Jump Back Into Programming?

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  • by i88i ( 720935 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @03:13AM (#40892255)
    Give Learn python the hard way a go: []

    It is a collection of small exercises that build your knowledge and confidence with python, and you can ask the author questions on each page as you progress.
  • Re:C# is great... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) * <> on Monday August 06, 2012 @03:57AM (#40892457)

    Except that MS hasn't dumped .Net at all - that was uninformed FUD and bullshit from the usual people. .Net 4.5 is about to hit, .Net 5 is under active development and .Net (5.5/6) is being talked about. Anyone learning C# right now is as safe as any other language.

  • by dropadrop ( 1057046 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @04:04AM (#40892505)
    Codeacademy also has a python track now: []
  • by LeoXIII ( 888066 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @04:06AM (#40892515)
    Start from your own strength! You have a handicap and you know the kind of support someone like you need. So do a simple game to help you remember things. Don't be too ambitious. Do something really simple that works and build it out in small stages, always keeping it working (google "agile" if you want to know more about this way of working). Perhaps look at for inspiration and think about how you could enhance something like this for someone with your particular issues. Think of special areas, there is more to remembering then vocabulary(people, situations, sounds, music, procedures, short term vs long term) . Think about how in what way a game could support a particular problem YOU have. When you have a prototype (even a simple one) you might be able to get support, since having the handicap yourself will give you a great story and in this way you can turn your handicap into a a real advantage. Perhaps you will even be able to partner with someone that can help you with the bits that are too specialized for you to do handle yourself. But to get that you first need a prototype game. Most important of all. Have fun developing it and try to find someone you can show off when it works! We all need this! In this way everything else is a bonus. Dan
  • Games programming? (Score:3, Informative)

    by exallon ( 1653007 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:27AM (#40893521)
    If you are considering XBOX arcade c# seems to be the obvious choice. However going into games programming of course needs you to focus not only on your programming. But also basic linear algebra, shaders etc. Which makes it much to learn. But it's absolutely doable. I am guessing that you might have some problems with the Object orientation starting from scratch. Any programming language is a big hurdle to cross. But what I did when starting out was to pick a book (Object oriented programming from square one, in C++). This was 25 years ago.... I read it and tried. Gave up, picked up the book again failed. But the third time I did it it just clicked and I have had an easy time understanding any programming language from then on. So in short absolutely C#. In the beginning skip the Ui stuff and 3D stuff. After learning the intial stuff build a very simple tic tac toe or something like that with normal UI components. Then move on with for instance irrlicht as a 3D engine. You don't want to code your own 3D engine it takes forever. Good luck and have fun!
  • by Archimagus ( 978734 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @09:26AM (#40893913)
    If you want to Target XBox Live as a platform from an indie perspective. C# with XNA is really your only option. On the plus side, it's very user friendly and easy to learn. There is also tons of free documentation online for it, with tutorials for just about anything you could want to do. Start at []

When you are working hard, get up and retch every so often.