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On Programming: a few non-technical questions

I am trying to work hard to become a programmer and eventually get a
job as a programmer, I have a low paying job at the moment as technical
support and a family to maintain.

1 - I started to studying "Programmin g C#" by Jesse Liberty at home in
the evening and "Inside C#" at work (I go slowly because I also have to
work, but that's better than nothing). I am sure they are two good
books and I understand them without many troubles.
What do you thing about this choice that I've made? Is it a good couple
of book to use "at the same time"?

2 - While I am reading and learning new concepts, I often find things
that I assume would be opportune to take note of. Things that maybe I
won't remember by heart but that will be useful quite often while
programming. What do you do, do you make notes on paper? Do you make
notes on the PC? I guess what I need is some advice on how to keep a
good collection of useful notes to keep on my desk.

3 - It is connected to the second question in some ways. Where do you
keep your code snippets, how do you organize it? I ask this, because I
know that if I have lots of code that resolve a certain task, I can
create an assembly and save the library and the code. How do you save
this, where do you store and back it up? Furthermore what do you do
when you want to save "small snippets" of 10 lines or so, that
brilliantly resolve small problems but that require lots of brain power
to reproduce from scratch?

Thanks in advance. JC

Dec 7 '05 #1
4 1452

"Java Challenge" <ja***********@ gmail.com> wrote in message
news:11******** *************@g 47g2000cwa.goog legroups.com...
I am trying to work hard to become a programmer and eventually get a
job as a programmer, I have a low paying job at the moment as technical
support and a family to maintain.
Everyone starts somewhere, its often a good diea to focus on specifics in
alanguage rather than jsut the language itself. Try to pick on web
programming, or forms programming, database programming etc. and have one as
a specialist thing. For me its web for example.
1 - I started to studying "Programmin g C#" by Jesse Liberty at home in
the evening and "Inside C#" at work (I go slowly because I also have to
work, but that's better than nothing). I am sure they are two good
books and I understand them without many troubles.
What do you thing about this choice that I've made? Is it a good couple
of book to use "at the same time"?
Good books. Jesse lurks here on occasion and often answers questions.

2 - While I am reading and learning new concepts, I often find things
that I assume would be opportune to take note of. Things that maybe I
won't remember by heart but that will be useful quite often while
programming. What do you do, do you make notes on paper? Do you make
notes on the PC? I guess what I need is some advice on how to keep a
good collection of useful notes to keep on my desk.
Get a blog.
3 - It is connected to the second question in some ways. Where do you
keep your code snippets, how do you organize it? I ask this, because I
know that if I have lots of code that resolve a certain task, I can
create an assembly and save the library and the code. How do you save
this, where do you store and back it up? Furthermore what do you do
when you want to save "small snippets" of 10 lines or so, that
brilliantly resolve small problems but that require lots of brain power
to reproduce from scratch?


There are some good tools available with code libraries in them like
http://www.fmsinc.com/dotnet/SourceBook/index.asp that make things like this
easy, of course you have to pay for them. Free ones exist like
http://www.sharewareconnection.com/classlibrary.htm but I've not tried it
myself.

--
Regards

John Timney
ASP.NET MVP
Microsoft Regional Director
Dec 8 '05 #2
John Timney ( MVP ) wrote:
Everyone starts somewhere, its often a good diea to focus on specifics in
alanguage rather than jsut the language itself. Try to pick on web
programming, or forms programming, database programming etc. and have one as
a specialist thing. For me its web for example.
I understand that this advice is given for letting become "operative"
and so employable as soon as possible. I really appreciate this.
Considering that I also own Programming ASP.NET by Jesse Liberty, would
you study this from cover to cover and eventually integrate any C#
knowledge holes with the other 2 books that are language specific?
If I study ASP.NET I can always integrate C# I think, while if I study
the 1500 pages of C# from "Programmin g C#" and "Inside C#" I may end up
studying ASP.NET in 6 months. :-/
What do you think? I realize my questions sound dumb, but it's not only
about programming, it's also about my life being dependant on choices
that may appear silly.
I guess what I need is some advice on how to keep a
good collection of useful notes to keep on my desk.


Get a blog.


Should I make a public blog with name and last name where all the
people can read my silly programming remarks? :-)
There are some good tools available with code libraries in them like
http://www.fmsinc.com/dotnet/SourceBook/index.asp that make things like this
easy, of course you have to pay for them. Free ones exist like
http://www.sharewareconnection.com/classlibrary.htm but I've not tried it
myself.


Those gave me some ideas, I can always create a sort of personal
"cookbook" with recepies written directly in Word and saved also a copy
as PDF.

Thanks in advance. JC

Dec 8 '05 #3
Hi JC,

As an ex-lecturer in Applications Development (VB.NET) I am aware of
the many learning styles out there. Everyone learns things differently,
even programming.
Some people can sit down and do a book cover to cover to learn a topic,
others learn through need (by doing) and others find person-to-person
explanations easier.
I personally find it easier to learn through necessity. I taught myself
DOTNET by building applications that helped me achieve tasks. For
example, I learnt about GDI because I wanted
to make fancy visual affect demos. I learnt about database programming
by writing library software for my book collection. I continued to
learn by building on those applications, adding new features.
For example, I can now access my book library through a web page, or
through a software application that connects to a web service which
talks to the server with the book database on it.

This also helps for your code library as well! I keep every application
I ever write (storage is so cheap now days!). All those applications,
even unfinished ones, are sitting on a hdd somewhere for me to look at
if I ever need to remember a 'trick' to accomplish something. Also back
to the realm of necessity... you could always write your own little
database application that stores code snippets against some search
criteria. This would be a good little starting project. Aim to do it in
C# as a windows app, and store the data in an Access database. Start
with the System.Data namespace, also referred to as ADO.NET. Learn
about DATASETS and DATA ADAPTERS. All the database stuff for Access
databases is in the System.Data.Ole Db namespace.

Book wise, I think its overkill doing 2 books at once. You are going to
cover the same material twice quite a lot. I'd finish one book first,
then you can look at a second book and skip over the boring stuff.
Or even better, you can move on to a more advanced book. Don't be
afraid of this because even though you may not understand all the
content, you will definately pick up more than in a beginners book
which tend to be geared towards a first time programmer, or contain
long winded explanations. I personally went straight to a reference
book when I started DOTNET and did the sample applications, trying to
understand how they work, reading the blurb where necessary.

Finally, coming here and asking for help is always good as well. Lots
of professionals come here and can answer your questions. No question
is too small. People will ask really technical questions, or general
'How would I approach...' questions. Normally takes a day or so to get
a good response though.

At the end of the day, it depends on your learning style.

Oh and by the way... I use to be in desktop support before I taught
myself to program. It will get dark and dirty before it gets better,
but it will be a much more interesting career when you get there!

Best of luck,
Steven Nagy

Dec 8 '05 #4
Mel
Hi, I think a good way to start learning c# is by practicing. you can
create a project, and start learning from it. You have to decide what
you want to do in the project. while you are coding, if you meet any
problem, try to search online and asking question in newsgroup. for
myself, studying books is not really useful. First books are expensive,
Second, books can be outdated. Because if you want to use Microsoft
product (VS.NET) to learn c#, you can always use MSDN Library. They
explain quite well with some examples. You can always search for more
example online. In my opinion, being technical support can get quite
good salary if you can accumulate few years experience. Programmer is
not necessary can get higher paid. But it is good for you to have more
skills than just dealing with customer. Good Luck for you

Dec 8 '05 #5

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