Author Topic: Looking to Start Programming For Myself  (Read 1626 times)

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Offline Often-Wrong SoongTopic starter

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Looking to Start Programming For Myself
« on: November 25, 2012, 02:16:39 AM »
Howdy folks. This is my first post and I'm a little unfamiliar with the forum, so this has probably been brought up a thousand times before and I just couldn't find it.

So, I've been building robots for 2+ years with a buddy of mine. Typically, we brainstorm an idea and I handle the physical building/tinkering, and he handles the programming. Lately, we've been trying to shake things up and build bots that require more complex programming to preform more complex (autonomous) tasks, which take much longer for one man with a full-time job to work through. So naturally, I want to help out a bit. This leaves me at a disadvantage as I have very little coding knowledge outside of some limited basic/html. My buddy became fluent in C++ thanks to his job but I'm not so lucky, and wish to learn to program on my own.

So I guess what I'm asking is, where should I start? I was looking into securing a copy of Robot Programmer's Bonanza, as it seems to be the favorite of many. I know that it focuses on RobotBASIC, which I did some research on and it seems somewhat limited. (I also have a few Arduinos readily available to toy with, and I'm not sure if they support RobotBASIC.)

In the end, I'm looking to work my way up to becoming fluent in a language that will offer the most return for my time. Should I dive right into learning C++ (or something similar) or use a less complex language as a stepping-stone? Any advice is much appreciated, and if this has been addressed in a previous thread you can just link me to it to save time and energy!


Offline newInRobotics

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Re: Looking to Start Programming For Myself
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2012, 03:44:31 AM »

My advice - go with C. To get Yourself started buy something like ATmega48 (or You can use Your Arduinos), prototyping board, get few LEDs, pots, resistors and maybe later something like USB to TTL module for Microcontroller to PC communications. Then follow tutorials posted in this thread --> http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=14947.msg109175#msg109175.

Good luck :)
"Computer games don't affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music." - Kristian W

Offline waltr

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Re: Looking to Start Programming For Myself
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2012, 09:39:54 AM »
My advice is also to learn ANSI C. C++ is an extension that you can learn later if needed but almost all micro-controller programing is C.
The Book I recommend is the K&R C:

I still refer to this book after 20 years of using C.

Offline Gertlex

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Re: Looking to Start Programming For Myself
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2012, 03:09:42 PM »
My key piece of advice is simply to make sure what you're trying to program is something you're in fact interested in.  I continuously learn programming by applying new stuff to current projects.  I do not learn (much) from tutorial examples.

Besides that, an important question for you is: do you know programming logic yet? That is: if/else, while loops, for loops, etc.  These concepts are language-independent, but definitely should be learned prior to tackling a full language.

One other thing is code editing... at a bare minimum, use syntax highlighting.  This is also useful for code reading.  I also recommend using a tool that lets you highlight all instances of, e.g. a variable or function name. (Notepad++, for example, on Windows; "Highlight All" addons for Firefox and Chrome, as well)

Offline Vendra

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Re: Looking to Start Programming For Myself
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2012, 03:12:34 PM »
This is my first post, but I would like to help you suggesting you cprogramming.com (so you don't have to buy anything before you actually know if you're really interested).

PS: I'd open a topic to introduce myself but I can't see any right section with people introducing theirselves.


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