What were your experiences when learning to program?

CG-Tespy

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I had a pretty rough start. I started with RPG Maker 2003 (it has a visual scripting system, which is basically programming), but struggled with it despite the various tutorials. I couldn’t do much more than changing out visual and audio resources in my games, and I could hardly use its visual scripting system. I then moved onto Game Maker, and I started getting a better grasp of coding, though I learned very, very slowly. Perhaps it would’ve been better if I was able to afford the official book on learning the engine, but alas.

It was only when I started learning from a certain Python book, that I really started to learn coding at a decent pace. It really opened my eyes to the basics of thinking like a real programmer. From then on, things only got better as I got to where I am now. Here’s my Github page, if you’re interested in seeing some of what I’ve accomplished. I'd like to see you guys' Githubs, too.


So, fellow coders… What was it like for you to learn the craft?
 

ChampX

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I also started with RM 2003 way back in my high school days and I actually got the hang of things just from fiddling around with it over time. I remember making duplicate maps to handle branching decisions (i.e. dialog for do quest vs quest complete) until I accidentally discovered "conditional branch" option which was like an aha! moment. I think I learned variables/switches from an online blog but just about everything else with the engine was trial and error.

I then later learned VB in high school and RM 2k3 made that transition actually much easier. Then had a class on Game Maker 7 as well as HTML (if that counts). Finally I rounded off my senior year with some C++. I did also toy with RMXP on the side though.

Over my college/university years I learned more C++ as well as some Java, C#, AS3, and PHP. I also learned the Unity engine at a basic level, which used C# so it was easy for me to pick up.

Had a job after that where I made slot games using C# and WPF (weird odd choice but its what we used) before the company transitioned to Unity. Left that job and now have a job where I use Unity to create VR/AR experiences. RMMV is a side thing for me and my current project and while I have a pretty good understanding of JS now (I did not prior to MV), there are still quirks that puzzle me and make me scratch my head to this day.

I wouldn't say learning to program was easy, but RM did help jump start it quite a lot and made a lot of the basics much easier to grasp once I picked up "real programming".

As for Github, unfortunately I didn't start using source control until I worked professionally (schools aren't really good about teaching real tools) which by then I didn't really make that many hobby projects and the ones that do exist like my current MV game all exist within Bit Bucket which is private. There is a lot of cool stuff I have done professionally, but legally I wouldn't be able to share that source code.
 

Mr. Detective

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Tried to major in Computer Science in college. Ended up dropping it because I wasn't smart enough.

Forever be afraid of codes.
 

Azurose

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Back when I first started college/university I was still kind of figuring out what I wanted to do. I tried to follow a coding program, and while the basics of Java went...okayish, it just wasn't for me. I couldn't wrap my head around methods and functions.

RPG Makers low code is kind of a blessing for me since it gets rid of a lot of barriers I had during programming.
Tried to major in Computer Science in college. Ended up dropping it because I wasn't smart enough.

Forever be afraid of codes.

I think they say that programming requires a particular kind of brain that not everyone possesses. At least, some studies have been done on it. And it would make sense to me. It requires a very logical and abstract form of thinking, in which someone can break up and deconstruct a concept into smaller pieces (classes, methods). Computers are also kind of untraditional as far as languages go, and are very yes/no without much nuance, which can confuse people easily.

We all have our own strengths!
 

Artille

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I started with rpg maker XP and although I got the hand of the visual scripting side fairly easely, I lacked the thinking process when it came to create a full game.

This improved quite alot after I started to learn the fundementals of coding which are :
variables/bools, conditions, loops, and functions
Once I understood the process of "everything from top to bottom, unless specific exceptions" and the difference between "automatic and parrallel" the imagination did the rest.

However, I still struggle with language specific terms (especially javascript)

"You learn not from knowing all, you learn from trying, failing and retry."
 

TheoAllen

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My very first programming experience was from a high school using Turbo Pascal. It wasn't in the curriculum, but because I participated in a national programming contest for a high schooler (I didn't pass to the national level though). During that time, I already familiar with switches/variables/if-else from RPG Maker eventing, so, learning to program for the first time wasn't difficult.

However, around the same time, I tried to learn RGSS2 (RMVX) but I couldn't grasp the concept. I did not know where to start. Until I started college, it opened up a way where I should start to learn how to code in any programming language. Include how to learn Ruby. That was when my whole career started.

Btw, I have GitHub linked in my signature.
But mostly just code dump rather than the actual project.
 

A_Higher_Plane

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I had first started learning this game engine/programming language called "Dream Maker" (aka DM.) I had begun in 2011 at the age of 21. It was fun but still difficult.

The game engine wasn't worth it. I should have begun learning Unity first somehow. I wonder if I could learn through a course or something. I did learn Unity through Ben Tristem "Complete Unity Course" on Udemy. The community of that website, BYOND, is terrible filled with trolls.

The game engine was already long obsolete and was defeated by the likes of Unity, Unreal and GameMaker. RPG Maker has a far better community, game engine (for those specific games) and other things. I am learning RMMV JS Plugin Development through my own means now.

Since then, I have learned more C++ and a lot more C# and Java. I am in college for the BS in IS (Information Systems) degree now.

Thanks for reading this guys!
 

CG-Tespy

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Thanks for the replies, guys!

I think they say that programming requires a particular kind of brain that not everyone possesses. At least, some studies have been done on it. And it would make sense to me. It requires a very logical and abstract form of thinking, in which someone can break up and deconstruct a concept into smaller pieces (classes, methods).

I can see where you're coming from; I've felt similarly about drawing, that you need a special kind of brain to learn how to do that well. I've certainly struggled with learning that. As for programming, I feel that it's an easier sort of thing to learn than drawing, given how several of the core skills are ingrained in the average educational system.

Sadly, good coding education is itself not widespread enough, I believe, especially when it comes to clean coding practices. I imagine that would contribute to the idea that you need a special brain to learn to code.

Once I understood the process of "everything from top to bottom, unless specific exceptions" and the difference between "automatic and parrallel" the imagination did the rest.
Yup, as soon as you get the basics teaching you how to think like a coder, it becomes a lot easier to build an intuition for it that helps you improve further. ^^ I think it's like that for a lot of other crafts as well, such as drawing.


However, around the same time, I tried to learn RGSS2 (RMVX) but I couldn't grasp the concept. I did not know where to start. Until I started college, it opened up a way where I should start to learn how to code in any programming language.
When it comes to learning APIs, RGSS2 included, where you start is getting a fair grasp of the languages said APIs are for. Seems that your college led you to that, thankfully.

Tried to major in Computer Science in college. Ended up dropping it because I wasn't smart enough.

Forever be afraid of codes.
I hope this is largely a joke, and not a sign of a large aversion to coding. If it's the latter, I am sorry ^^;
 

TheoAllen

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When it comes to learning APIs, RGSS2 included, where you start is getting a fair grasp of the languages said APIs are for. Seems that your college led you to that, thankfully.
After I read the book of ruby and start from zero, everything became make sense.
 

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