Do you learn new programming languages / theory online, in books, or both?

Discussion in 'Programming' started by Arcadio, Sep 17, 2012.

?

Learning new languages or programming theory:

  1. Mostly books

  2. Mostly online sources

  3. Books and online sources evenly

  4. Other

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  1. Arcadio

    Arcadio Diamond Member

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    I wonder if books are widely used to learn new programming languages or theory, or if online documentation is enough for most programmers. What do you use?
     
  2. nickbits

    nickbits Diamond Member

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    Books when I was first learning everything. Now I only read reference material online.
     
  3. degibson

    degibson Golden Member

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    Books tend not to go too far enough for my purposes.
     
  4. DaveSimmons

    DaveSimmons Elite Member

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    Books in college for theory, and later as references for languages and APIs.

    I haven't bought any new language books in the last 3-5 years though, now I just use the internet.
     
  5. LumbergTech

    LumbergTech Diamond Member

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    I use online sources more, but will read a good book if I really need to have a wide variety of coverage on knowledge for a language.
     
  6. Leros

    Leros Lifer

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    Books were nice when I was learning to program for the first time. It was nice to be able to sit down and work through complete examples. Once I started knowing stuff, I found books to be slow and tedious. I find it more useful to Google for what I need to know.
     
  7. cytg111

    cytg111 Platinum Member

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    used books back then, but that's just cause the web wasnt where the web is today.
    If i'd had the online resources back then ... damn.
     
  8. soccerballtux

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    haha
     
  9. BrightCandle

    BrightCandle Diamond Member

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    I still read books, although having read several hundred technical books I find that I get less and less out of them. I find these days some of my quickest learning is from videos actually, rather than blogs or other sources.
     
  10. Train

    Train Lifer

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    Best way to learn a new language is by doing.

    I like to start with sample projects, and either modify them, or use them as reference while build my own.

    A tutorial can come in handy for certain steps, like setting up an all new IDE environment on a particlar platform you are not comfortable with.
     
  11. DannyBoy

    DannyBoy Diamond Member

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    Online and books.
     
  12. sourceninja

    sourceninja Diamond Member

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    I pick a small project, then look up some example code/code reference to get the general idea of how the language is structured.

    I know I need a loop, class, conditional, etc. I just need to see an example of how it's done in X language.
     
  13. irishScott

    irishScott Lifer

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    Learned all languages I currently know via college courses, least that's how I started.

    Books/Classes for instruction/learning a new language, internet for technical reference/obscure problems.
     
    #13 irishScott, Nov 8, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  14. Subyman

    Subyman Moderator <br> VC&G Forum
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    No college courses for me, but I had to pick up programming in grad school on the side for course work and thesis. Books are by far the best way to start off due to them having a natural flow and structure that online sources lack. However, once you wrap your head around a language it is just about looking up syntax/documentation and going through packages to not reinvent the wheel.

    Best way, IMO, is to dive right in.
     
  15. coloumb

    coloumb Diamond Member

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    When taking a class - books - there is usually no deviation from the material which makes it a lot easier for the instructor.

    When learning on my own - everything is online. However, I've found that "programming styles" tend to differ slightly depending upon where you look.
     
  16. KIAman

    KIAman Diamond Member

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    I only learn by practice. I only use those other things for reference.
     
  17. Pia

    Pia Golden Member

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    Free internet content was always good for quick reference. Now with genuinely high quality blogs, articles, video lectures and free e-books popping up, it's starting to replace books.

    I'm still likely to grab a book when I want to systematically learn about a subject and gain insight into it. Already maybe 50% of the time that book will be an e-book.
     
  18. Zodiark1593

    Zodiark1593 Platinum Member

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    Started on the book, and it's sometimes still used as a reference. Since getting dual monitors, I'd been using the web almost exclusively.

    The way I learned how headers (and linking) worked was trying to get an OpenGL application to compile and run. Even though it wasn't my own code, I did learn a good bit just by doing something random (included some minor debugging as well), and I was successful after a couple nights. So, I learn by looking through samples of what I'm interested in, hand copy it down several times over while studying how each piece works, and modify and eventually, apply it to my own ends.
     
  19. smakme7757

    smakme7757 Golden Member

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    I used books in the start. The A to B to C to D approach created an easy learning curve and i could follow what was going on. There are nice courses online, but a book it just a nice way to get into programming.

    Once you are more self sufficient then online resources become an easier option as you usually know what you're after.
     
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