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Windows 7: Programming

30 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 
Programming

Hi guys,

I have a desire to learn how to program, i have absolutely no experience whatsoever.

I am 45 years old (Please tell me i'm not to old), i enjoy working in microsoft office so i presume visual basics is what i need to learn. Access is what i'm perticularly interested in learning, although i am not looking to do this as a career move, as i am sure then i would be to old. More of a hobby for now.

Like i say, other than creating basic formula's in Excel i'm a total novice. Therefore do i learn a programming language like Python to learn basic skills first? or would that be a waste of time.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2012   #2

Windows 7 Pro with SP1 32bit
 
 

One way is to take a course in VB programming. The other is to DIY. For that you should buy a good book on VB Programming with plenty of illustrative programs, read the book and type the illustrative programs by rote and run them. You shall learn very fast this way.

Incidentally learning from the two manuals supplied with the VB Setup is very cumbersome and slow because you really don't need much of the advanced stuff there in the beginning. It is useful after you have waded through the DIY book.

45 years is not old at all and a very good age to start off. I started on Quick Basic at the age of 53 which I was able to master almost fully and switched to VB 4 at the age of 60 but never really became adept in VB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2012   #3

Windows 7/Linux
 
 

In addition to the above answer, should you be looking for self tuition there are also plenty of good online tutorials, and also forums which specialise in Visual basic.

As for picking what language to start in, that is not something I can be of help, but what I do suggest is stick with what you choose, dont try to learn too much at once, and dont try and learn too many languages at once which may prove confusing as you step ahead!

If you are looking for software then you can try the free developer tools from Microsoft called Visual Studio Express.

Free Developer Tools - Visual Studio 2010 Express | Microsoft Visual Studio
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wanchoo View Post
45 years is not old at all and a very good age to start off. I started on Quick Basic at the age of 53 which I was able to master almost fully and switched to VB 4 at the age of 60 but never really became adept in VB
Thanks for that, quite inspirational.

I think i need to source a few entry level books for starters, thanks again gents.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2012   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Firstly, you are not old. You are younger than my kids.

Secondly, it may not be a bad idea to learn a real language like e.g. C++ so that you get a feel for the logic flow. Programming is all logic. Once you got your logic flow right (a la flow chart), the language you use is really a lesser matter.

I was a professional programmer all my life and wrote the first programs in 1958 at university (in machine language). I found that the Assembler was the best school as a basis for higher level languages. But that is no more 'in' today.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Firstly, you are not old. You are younger than my kids.

Secondly, it may not be a bad idea to learn a real language like e.g. C++ so that you get a feel for the logic flow. Programming is all logic. Once you got your logic flow right (a la flow chart), the language you use is really a lesser matter.

I was a professional programmer all my life and wrote the first programs in 1958 at university (in machine language). I found that the Assembler was the best school as a basis for higher level languages. But that is no more 'in' today.
Also very inspiring, thank you.....certainly what i needed to hear.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Daz1966 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Firstly, you are not old. You are younger than my kids.

Secondly, it may not be a bad idea to learn a real language like e.g. C++ so that you get a feel for the logic flow. Programming is all logic. Once you got your logic flow right (a la flow chart), the language you use is really a lesser matter.

I was a professional programmer all my life and wrote the first programs in 1958 at university (in machine language). I found that the Assembler was the best school as a basis for higher level languages. But that is no more 'in' today.
Also very inspiring, thank you.....certainly what i needed to hear.
I find C++ and C# a bit cryptic for me and find that VB.NET is much easier to understand. There is a VB EXPRESS version in the links already posted but get yourself a good entry level programming book and follow through the examples.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2012   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Hello Daz1966 and welcome to the forums

You mean 45 years young?

Age won't impact your success as a programmer, as long as you are motivated, I'm sure you'll be an excellent programmer one day!

As the others have already said, I would also like to recommend that you learn VB.NET. It is part of the .NET framework, like C# C++ and F#, so understanding of VB.NET will set you in good stead if you ever choose to change to another language.

I started teaching myself VB.NET in Summer '11, no courses or anything, just books and Google. It worked surprisingly well and I found that I was soon able to make a nice little form application (I think a calculator was my first project). I originally started learning from the Visual Basic 2008 For Dummies Book, but a few of the things completely threw me and I drove myself mad after endless errors in Visual Studio 2010! I then decided to drop the book and see what was available on the web; I quickly found this site and I couldn't recommend it more:

Microsoft Visual Basic .NET tutorials for Beginners

Not only is it free, but it is excellent material. Nice clear instructions, well explained reasoning, screenshots for tricky bits and challenging tasks at the end of each page. Luckily I only borrowed the book from the library, because this website is far better than any book that I've seen so far.

I spent a few months learning VB.NET in my free time (as a student, I don't have much!) and I trudged along with the course. When it started getting complicated, logical errors etc., I decided that my time would be better spent with a more complicated language, one that I can stick with. So I'm now teaching myself C#, again, on that same website:

Visual C# .NET for Complete Beginners - a free programming course

To date, I've got further than I did with VB and it's a really nice language. I have to say, learning VB first certainly helped as I already knew about the different variables. So start with VB and once you feel comfortable with it, perhaps consider learning a more complicated language, but it depends on what you want out of a language.

Should you choose to learn VB, I would be happy to help you should you ever get stuck - or if you just want to know something in a little more detail. The only problem is, you'll probably be better than me in no time!

If you have any further questions then feel free to ask.

Tom
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Thanks again for the comprehensive and interesting replies and very useful links.

I always feel referral is king, and if i can learn one little thing every day, then i feel i am achieving.

I was going to have a go at python, but only based on google searches for the easiest programming languages to learn. Having said that non of you guys mentioned it and i don't want to start in the wrong direction.

I will have a look at the VB.NET tutorial and see if i can get my head around it.

I will let you know, thanks again.

~Darren~

PS I hope you don't end up regretting that offer Tom.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2012   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Good luck with your endeavors Darren. If Tom gets fed up with you I can take up the baton.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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