How to become a programmer
Being able to understand software, able to read, modify it, create it and share it, is a very powerful skill to have in the age we live in.
But where do you get this skill?
Some people seem to "just get it" and others feel hopeless and incapable of ever "getting it".
Well, those people who seem to "just get it" were not born that way: they spent many many hours tinkering in private before they had that "knack" that seems so natural now.
The only way to become a programmer is by starting with very simple steps and then building up and up and up over a long period of time.
There are interactive tutorials you can try in the browser, for a lot of languages. Here is a list of more than 20 languages you can try in your browser
The site Learn X in Y minutes gives you a whirlwind tour of many languages and tools.
There are various programming environments targeted at children. Here are some of the best:
- Scratch (and Scratch Junior)
- Course 1 from Code.org
- Logo (the original)
- Lego Mindstorms
- Small Basic
There are also various puzzle games that introduce a programming concept.
- Run Marco!
- Daisy The Dinosar
- Fix the Factory
Underlying all of these tools, are the thoughts of Seymour Papert and the theory of Constructionism
- Peter Norvig: Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years
- Learn X in Y minutes
- How computer programming languages for kids have evolved and where they're going