Five common approaches to learning a programming language.
This is my own summary and additions about an article of the above name on http://www.opensource.com:
- Learn by doing– See results before and after. Learn troubleshooting. I am adding tinkering with the code to see what works; whether it is adding/changing a feature, method, input, or output.
- Practice regularly– Frequency creates connections between knowledge and implementation. Amazed at how a particular programmer can just start making a project from scratch? They probably practiced often. An expert learns by rote practice until it becomes almost second nature.
- Basics– You must grasp the basic vocabulary and concepts. Knowing that your language is case-sensitive or what type of loop works can go a long way. What constitutes a skeleton/template to begin the project or how to create a function/method.
- Respect the way a language is used– There is some reason a person decided to solve a problem with a whole new language. Try to learn the why and how (the philosophy so to speak), instead of trying to force your previous experience onto this new tool. Ask an experienced person to review your code and give you a constructive critique.
- Build projects– Try to tie passion to your projects by putting your own touch to them. Personalization can help you invest yourself into the process.
- Be comfortable with tools before you begin– It is ok if a book or tutorial walks you through using a particular tool or IDE; but if it does not, then use a tool with the lowest learning curve that does the job.