Learn how to program

You’re exited about computers, and would like to do more than just surf the web and play games? Then you are ready to start programming!

But how do you go about learning this?

There are a number of good guides on the web, that you can follow. Here are links to those, that I find especially good for absolute beginners:

CodeAcademy

http://www.codecademy.com

This is a fully online interactive tutorial, that will teach you the basics of Javascript. Everything happens in a frame on the site, and you will get instant visual feedback – very important for you when just starting up. So go on and get your hands dirty on CodeAcademy, and then get back here for the next guide.

The guide will teach you the basics of a programming language called JavaScript. Most of the dynamic interaction that you see on sites like Facebook (popup boxes and such) are made using Javascript. It is the only language, that every browser understands and can execute within a web page. However, you will hardly use JavaScript to anything else than this, so if you want to go on programming stuff to run on your computer, you will need to look for another programming language.

There are many to choose from. Some are suited for special purposes, others are more general. Luckily a lot of the features, that you have already learned in the first guide, are shared between many programs, such as “if” and “while” statements.

TryRuby

http://tryruby.org

This next guide will introduce you to Ruby, a general-purpose programming language, with which you will be able to go a long way. Just like the first guide, this is an interactive tutorial using a console on the screen. Enough said – go on and try it.

Install ruby on your own computer

Ok now you’ve been programming online on a webpage, so now it is time to do things on your own computer as well.

You need to install the Ruby Programming Language before you can do anything else. Luckily this is easy: Go to this website and follow the instructions. http://rubyinstaller.org

You will also need a good text-editor. Notepad simply doesn’t cut it. But you are in luck – the RubyInstaller also contains a good editor called SciTE. This is actually all that you need.

Now you are ready to start programming on your own computer. Go through this guide, which will also move you from the interactive prompt, that you’ve been familiarized with in the other guides, and onto creating text-files containing your progam.

http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/documentation/quickstart

Good luck! Let me know if you have any hardships, and I will gladly help you.

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