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Old 07 February 2015, 02:00   #1
markpjd
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Question Can you be 'too old' to start to learn programming?

Hi,

Not necessarily related to the Amiga, but...

Can you be 'too old' to start to learn how to program?

I see a lot of people/kids programming stuff apps, Amiga games, utilities and such. I used to mess around with trying to learn coding, and even made a little program that edited Settlers 2 save games once, when I was in my teens/early 20's. Now [being almost 35], I look at sample code and I just cant seem to take it in!? Maybe I'm getting old, or simply.... too dumb?

Thoughts?
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Old 07 February 2015, 02:28   #2
RedskullDC
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Hi Markpjd, et al.
Quote:
Originally Posted by markpjd View Post
Can you be 'too old' to start to learn how to program?
Certainly not.

Only last year I had to learn RUBY/RAILS for a work project, and I have another 15 years on you

There do seem to be an awful lot of different languages flourishing at the moment. Many will probably be dead ends, as has always been the case.

Choose the programming language(s) you wish to learn wisely, so that your time spent on learning are not in vain later on.

Cheers,
Red
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Old 07 February 2015, 05:51   #3
tero
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You're never too old
Just start with a language that's easy to learn.
E.G.: Gambas;Phyton;Ruby;Basic;Java.

Not every language is available on every platform and some are less usable for a specific task, so as RedskullDC wrote - choose wisely.
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Old 07 February 2015, 06:19   #4
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You're not too dumb.

The problem is that you're aware of more important things and those things distract you.
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Old 07 February 2015, 09:40   #5
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You're never too old, in fact I think the challenge of programming keeps the old mind ticking over (think of it like doing a puzzle or crossword). I agree that picking which language to use is of paramount importance and I definitely would work on a pc and not amiga at first as programming on the pc is so much easier! Then move to the Amiga and make something amazing...

Personally I'd suggest a basic - Blitz PC (free I think) or Agk (which seems to be an amalgamation of every basic I've ever used), pure basic.... The list goes on. The thing is that pcs are so ridiculously power now days that even using the most high level of language doesn't create limits in the same way it used to. Go for it!

Oh and I was must prolific in my mid 30s but life can get in the way...
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Old 07 February 2015, 10:26   #6
jimmy2x2x
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Never!

but... It will be a lot harder. I attribute this to two things.

1) Your brain is past its prime, a teenage brain is much more receptive to new ideas and things stick a lot easier!

2) Life tends to be more committed the older you get

Having said all that, it is very possible and I encourage you to try - never be afraid of asking for help - there is lots out there and programming is a very rewarding thing to do.
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Old 07 February 2015, 11:11   #7
TMR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markpjd View Post
Now [being almost 35], I look at sample code and I just cant seem to take it in!? Maybe I'm getting old, or simply.... too dumb?

Thoughts?
i'd just like to agree with everyone else; you are neither too old or too dumb. i'm 43 and have been coding 6502-based systems since the 1980s, but during that time i've taught myself different high level languages on both retro and current platforms as well as picking up the basics of Z80 a few years back to the point where i'm writing games.

As jimmy2x2x said, finding the time to program is probably the hardest part as we get older and i'd add that it does become more difficult to maintain the motivation. That's one of those things that you'll need to find your own "style" for, either planning in advance or just "winging it" for those moments you find free to code.
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Old 07 February 2015, 11:19   #8
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If you want to code on the Amiga anything but assembly is a waste of time. Otherwise I personally wouldn't start with anything but C. Languages like perl and python may be simpler but their usability is very limited.
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Old 07 February 2015, 12:06   #9
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Learning to program is less about what language you choose and more about understanding logic and learning how to decompose a problem into smaller parts. If you can get your head around those things then programming is something that will probably come easily regardless of what language you use.
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Old 07 February 2015, 13:20   #10
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Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
Learning to program is less about what language you choose and more about understanding logic and learning how to decompose a problem into smaller parts. If you can get your head around those things then programming is something that will probably come easily regardless of what language you use.
Couldn't agree more with this post. Learning how to properly structure a program is the most difficult part of programming and is far more important than learning any language.
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Old 07 February 2015, 14:52   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markpjd View Post
Hi,

Not necessarily related to the Amiga, but...

Can you be 'too old' to start to learn how to program?

I see a lot of people/kids programming stuff apps, Amiga games, utilities and such. I used to mess around with trying to learn coding, and even made a little program that edited Settlers 2 save games once, when I was in my teens/early 20's. Now [being almost 35], I look at sample code and I just cant seem to take it in!? Maybe I'm getting old, or simply.... too dumb?

Thoughts?
despite the blue pill answers you got by some members the reality is:

yes you are so old to learn programing
is like playing chess, you will only play as chessmasters if your learn being a child

after 20-25 years old the human brain get stuck with the basic knowledge you had before

there is a popular phrase that says: old dog never learns new tricks / which is 100% legit
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Old 07 February 2015, 15:16   #12
jonathan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandro View Post
despite the blue pill answers you got by some members the reality is:

yes you are so old to learn programing
is like playing chess, you will only play as chessmasters if your learn being a child

after 20-25 years old the human brain get stuck with the basic knowledge you had before

there is a popular phrase that says: old dog never learns new tricks / which is 100% legit
Joke, right? I learned Java at 30, and learnt C, Python, JavaScript etc after that. I'm now 40+ and still learning AND make a living out iof it. By no means the best programmer, I'm a very good programmer according to others. The only thing needed is patience and time - both of which can be hard to get as we're getting older though.. Go for it!
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Old 07 February 2015, 15:34   #13
Mrs Beanbag
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anyone can learn anything at any time, as long as they are able to unlearn whatever they have come to take for granted.

unlearning is harder than learning!

the biggest barrier is that people often assume that if they don't "get" something straight away, they just won't ever be able to do it. Sadly we're all taught from an early age that some people are just good or bad at things. Unlearn that and you will go far.
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Old 07 February 2015, 18:12   #14
markpjd
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Hi,

I understand the concepts of programming (kinda). I've messed around with python, java-script and such.. The other day I installed a C/C++ program and started to look at example code and didn't really have a clue what I was looking at. I remember using pascal years back and thought that was pretty straight forward. I don't know, maybe too much alcohol over the years has rotted away some brain cells.

I guess Mrs Beanbag is right too, with a lot of programming and even web design, things are constantly changing, yet old habits and methods are hard to shake.
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Old 07 February 2015, 18:37   #15
Mrs Beanbag
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C/C++ has some esoteric subtleties, like the difference between pointers and references, const correctness, and of course the eccentric syntax of for-loops. C++11 adds various weird stuff, too, like l-value references and "move semantics".

It's really just a case of knowing all the things. So many of the terms in a C program are really only there to satisfy the pedantry of the compiler. It is pedantic for good reasons but it can be confusing and frustrating for a beginner.

It is this way because it is actually quite a low-level language hiding behind a lot of "syntactic sugar".
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Old 07 February 2015, 18:45   #16
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Yes you can, still can't get me head around printing the 'Hello World' thing to the screen in Basic
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Old 07 February 2015, 19:12   #17
Lonewolf10
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Learning to program is not much different to learning a spoken language. The only difference is that you are telling the computer what to do, instead of interacting with a person.

The only other skills you will need as a programmer are:

- that you are good at maths
- can debug code logically
- be patient (especially with regards to debugging), coding games and software can take months/years depending on skill level and time devoted to said projects.
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Old 07 February 2015, 19:54   #18
Mrs Beanbag
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewolf10 View Post
Learning to program is not much different to learning a spoken language. The only difference is that you are telling the computer what to do, instead of interacting with a person.
not quite... reverse psychology doesn't work on them, although i'm pretty sure they do get jealous
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Old 07 February 2015, 19:56   #19
BarryB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewolf10 View Post
The only other skills you will need as a programmer are:

- that you are good at maths
- can debug code logically
- be patient (especially with regards to debugging), coding games and software can take months/years depending on skill level and time devoted to said projects.
Right, so:
- PI isn't something you eat then?
- By this you mean re-reading the listing again you typed in from the magazine?
- So use of phrases like: "b@st@rd, b@st@rd, b@st@rd why isn't this f**ker working?" isn't being patient enough?
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Old 07 February 2015, 20:39   #20
quahappy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy2x2x View Post
Never!

1) Your brain is past its prime, a teenage brain is much more receptive to new ideas and things stick a lot easier!

2) Life tends to be more committed the older you get
Blimey. Hit the nail on the head there!

I used to program in AMOS Pro and several times since using WinUAE I've tried to knock up some silly progams and true to form, I seem to be having problems grasping it all over again. Damn!!

Then again, it might not all be age-related (well, here's hoping.... LOL). It's because my life is definitely more hectic than it used to be so only get an hour - if I'm lucky - here and there and programming imho, needs to be distraction free.

So in all fairness and honesty; I don't think you can be too old to learn programming - if time is on your side, go forrit!
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