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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gloomrender View Post
    So I guess I'm a little interested in programming. I know nothing about it. So enlighten me. This guy told me all kinds of stuff I don't know whether to believe. So I have some questions...
    My brother is a successful computer programmer who holds a degree in programming, and my friend is currently going for it atm. I am going to go for it when I get the cash, lol.

    Anyhow, that was the preamble as to the sources of information I am about to lay on you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gloomrender View Post
    How much time is needed to learn enough programming to land a 40K+ job, assuming unlimited time commitment?
    40k is a tad bit low. That is like an entry level job sort of. Most starting programmers I hear are at around 60k a year.

    You can expect to need a 4 year degree at the minimum. Your best bet is to get your masters with multiple code classes under your belt. Regardless, you will need the 4 years of school, and 1-3 year(s) experience to have a great resume to float around.

    The actual programming can be learned via book at wal-mart at your library, but in order to land a job for a serious company, you will need the above achieved.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gloomrender View Post
    How much education is required? Do you have to have certification/s? If so, what kind? Do you need a bachelors?
    You don't need a certification, but it's always good to have an up to date A+ certification. After going through a computer science degree, you will most likely have that certification awarded (just take the test after the university classes) to you because you learn all that stuff.

    As for the general education, see the first answer.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gloomrender View Post
    Just how difficult is it? How much math do you need to know, what grade equivalency?
    I am not sure of the difficulty, but I am sure of the learning curve. It is massive. Programming has a lot of techniques you have to learn, and a lot of actual languages. I would say it is probably about as difficult as learning a new language - which is not at all hard if effort is applied.

    As for math, I think it dips well past calc 2 and analyitical geometry. You will need to know copious amounts of math. That's one of the barriers for me at the moment, because I am stuck in intermediate algebra (lol). I got a B in HS calculus, but the college placement test (CPT) put me there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gloomrender View Post
    I was told you can learn all of it online, and for free, is this true?
    Of course you can. If all you are interested is the bare bones programming, and not a high paying job, I would definitely start off that way. It's a good way to go if you are wanting to make your own games or something like that. However, if you end up making this awesome game, it would fair best to have a business degree so you don't goof up (see activision-blizzard lol).

    Quote Originally Posted by Gloomrender View Post
    It was recommended that I should learn python and go from there. Is that a good language to start with? What is the best language to learn with? And what order should I go? python>C+>javascript? Or what? I'm willing to learn it all, so just tell me from first to last.
    Whenever I got froggy about programming, javascript was always recommended. I was told I can make games (text turn base, etc) pretty easily with it. You could also try web based stuff like LUA and HTML. T

    he World of Warcraft community always will welcome new programmers into the private sector of wow addons. You can make a good 500 dollars a month off of donations if your work is excellent, but it also requires good art and photoshop skills.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gloomrender View Post
    Not exactly programming here, but if you happen to know a resource for finding out what the job market is like in a given region, that'd be great. That, and or just straight up tell me what the job market for programming in Phoenix is like.
    I am sorry to inform you, but our country is in a horrible recession, and it is only being worsened by all the socialism that is being obama'd down our throats. Come the end of the 2011 / 2012 fiscal year, we will know more about how obama care will worsen our national debt, and increase inflation. Until then, I can't give you an accurate read on any location.

    All I can give you is that generic "everyone is always hiring the right person."


    Quote Originally Posted by Gloomrender View Post

    Oh, and long term, is programming here to stay? Or will AI do it all in 20 years?
    It is here to stay. What AI (artificial intelligence) is (or would be) made by computer programmers. Robotics would never be able to reach 'consciousness' as you see in the fictitious hollywood films. They would only act as they were written to act.


    The best advice in those whole post that I can give you is to chase your dreams. Never chase the dollar. You will lose a lot of years of your life doing that, and mostly to no avail. If you are unhappy with your social-economical bracket, the best way to go about changing that is to thicken your bloodline.

    Marry the same race, have a gang of kids, and teach them right. If you do good, and your wife doesn't smoke crack while they are in the womb, you will be successful. That or have a higher chance of getting a pro nursing home when you're 80 and drooling into a cup.


  2. #32
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    I see no reason why AI wouldn't eventually reach human level consciousness. Unless you believe in a soul.. lol
    Last edited by Scully; 12-11-2010 at 04:32.

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scully View Post
    I see no reason why AI wouldn't eventually reach human level consciousness. Unless you believe in a soul.. lol
    Unless we can design a human brain, the organ we know extremely little about, AI wont reach human "consciousness". And if it does, would it still be called AI?
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  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by EnchantedGrotto View Post
    Most people in this thread are giving mediocre or bad advice.

    Programming is the least important part of creating programs. At the best computer science departments you barely do any programming. Instead, you learn the higher order concepts which are merely expressed in small program instances. What's important are the higher order abstract understandings, not the particular implementations. When you seep your brain in those, you can generalize about whole orders of problem solving and programming that a mere programmer could never dream of, literally.
    That's also called programming, even if it might not be writing code. It's still programming.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scully View Post
    I see no reason why AI wouldn't eventually reach human level consciousness. Unless you believe in a soul.. lol
    Taking away the part where current AI's are very bad, i personally agree that EVENTUALLY AI's could reach human level consciousness, but it's just a subjective opinion.

    However, if you don't know about Turing's theorem, you should read this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing%27s_halting_theorem

    Or look for it somewhere else(the explanation i was given was different). As a summary, it's a mathemathical proof that no Turing machine(which current computers are) can ever compute a specific problem called Turing's halting problem. This problem always has a specific sollution, but there's no Turing machine able to calculate it in every case.

    This means there's a problem with a specific sollution which can't be solved in an automated way. No AI would solve it. It's impossible.

    Ofc, it could be that humans are also AI's, therefore we wouldn't solve it in every case either.

    And i just derailed a bit...
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  5. #35
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    You'll probably want to get a college degree if you want to make 40k+ a year.

    And Python is probably the best beginner language because its syntax takes away much of the small things that can make languages like Java or C++ annoying to debug when you first begin. It's somewhat like programming in English. From there I'd go on to Java, then C++.
    Last edited by Tzacharu; 12-11-2010 at 05:28.
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  6. #36
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    I've been in computer science for three years now and I'm about to complete my degree, and I can tell you that there is a LOT to learn.

    Three years ago I was computer literate, and had been dealing with computers my whole life, but I had no idea how stuff actually worked and how programs actually ran.

    It's really much more than memorizing and bunch of programming languages, that's easy, anyone can do that. And the reason why there are so many shit software out there is because people don't realize that learning the language isn't the hard part. The hard part is to use that language efficiently. I actually "know" so many languages that sometimes I confuse how if statements are written in Perl or in VB.NET because in every language it's different. But as I said, that's not the important part, you can always look that up and figure it out instantly.

    What computer science is about is actually understanding rather than learning or memorizing. It's about understanding algorithms and being able to make up your own.

    Now that being said, if problem solving and logic is of interest to you, you should definitely go in computer science. Most programs will be able to teach you programming from A-Z, but the most valuable thing you'll learn really isn't palpable. If you go into computer science or IT, obviously you'll learn the languages but the importantly you'll learn how to think in regards to computer science.

    I had a couple friends of mine in my program, 3 years ago who were only in it for the money, and they dropped out because they just thought it'd be an easy way to make money.

    EDIT:

    And computer science is here to stay. Even if we do make AI to write the most basic programs, we'll still need programmers to write the code for the AI. Actually computer science is probable one of the best fields to be in right now, as virtually every company needs some soft of computer database/networking/architecture to function, no matter what the actual field in which the company is in.

    My brother actually got a job at a health clinic that deals with brain scans, not because he's in that field, but because he's doing work in their databases and making sure their servers are running fine.
    Last edited by TNoD; 12-11-2010 at 06:50.

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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzacharu View Post
    You'll probably want to get a college degree if you want to make 40k+ a year.

    And Python is probably the best beginner language because its syntax takes away much of the small things that can make languages like Java or C++ annoying to debug when you first begin. It's somewhat like programming in English. From there I'd go on to Java, then C++.
    Actually, that's wrong. The first language you learn defines how you are going to program and how you perceive programming for the rest of your life.

    As a first programming language, I highly recommend C++ or Java because having to worry about the little things that make your life hell in the beginning will enable you to be a 10x better programmer when you work with interpreted languages like PHP or Perl.

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  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNoD View Post
    Actually, that's wrong. The first language you learn defines how you are going to program and how you perceive programming for the rest of your life.

    As a first programming language, I highly recommend C++ or Java because having to worry about the little things that make your life hell in the beginning will enable you to be a 10x better programmer when you work with interpreted languages like PHP or Perl.
    java is actually nearly equivalent to Pyhton. Except Java is more structured and Python allows more bad habits and bad architectures.

    C/C++ are the real building blocks of.....well....everything in the computer world.

    Honeslty I think people should learn a few easy things like "hello world", or some basic applications in a structured language (Java). The next language should then be something serious such as C/C++. Then you will have the perspective that you mention.

    Languages such as javascipt, or any "botique" programming languages should really be avoided except for special purposes. these are not useful learning tools.

    If you want the high paying job, with a career which has longevity then the more math based degrees (CS / Engineering) are the way to go. MIS / IT will be a serious handicap to your pay check down the road.

    Certifications are near useless. No serious code house pays attention to them (this includes A+). You need a 4 year degree from an accredited university. If you get a degree in CS / Engineering this should be from an ABET credited school.
    Last edited by TheVillageIdiot; 12-11-2010 at 07:11.
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNoD View Post
    Actually, that's wrong. The first language you learn defines how you are going to program and how you perceive programming for the rest of your life.

    As a first programming language, I highly recommend C++ or Java because having to worry about the little things that make your life hell in the beginning will enable you to be a 10x better programmer when you work with interpreted languages like PHP or Perl.
    Eh, I could say the same thing about Java, and say to go straight to C++, though I don't think most programmers would recommend it. Getting your feet wet with Python at least let's you decide if programming is for you or not. Getting too caught up in things like syntax detracts from what programming is really about, which Python gets to the heart of pretty quickly. When I first learned Java, there were a lot of things (like garbage collection) that I took for granted. When I learned C++, things got harder because a lot of that needs to be done manually. It's a learning curve really.

    With hindsight I could say, sure, I should've gone with C++ first. But a lot of what I learned in Java helped me get to the basics of programming, then learn tougher concepts through C++.
    Last edited by Tzacharu; 12-11-2010 at 13:00.
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  10. #40
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    C should be at least one of the languages to learn. So you can learn if you're able to understand indirection or not. And knowing how your computer processor, memory, caches etc. works is always a good thing. Even if you never have to work later on making some things like the BLAS library, you'll be able to understand that it's fast for a reason.

    Also, learn touch-typing.

    Edit : don't expect any school to make you learn everything you need. Having some side projects out of schoolwork under your belly is what can make the difference between you and 40 other candidates to land your first job.
    Last edited by Arkh; 12-11-2010 at 14:19.

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  11. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orolt Lifebring View Post
    That's also called programming, even if it might not be writing code. It's still programming.



    Taking away the part where current AI's are very bad, i personally agree that EVENTUALLY AI's could reach human level consciousness, but it's just a subjective opinion.

    However, if you don't know about Turing's theorem, you should read this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing%27s_halting_theorem

    Or look for it somewhere else(the explanation i was given was different). As a summary, it's a mathemathical proof that no Turing machine(which current computers are) can ever compute a specific problem called Turing's halting problem. This problem always has a specific sollution, but there's no Turing machine able to calculate it in every case.

    This means there's a problem with a specific sollution which can't be solved in an automated way. No AI would solve it. It's impossible.

    Ofc, it could be that humans are also AI's, therefore we wouldn't solve it in every case either.

    And i just derailed a bit...
    If you consider how general a Turing machine is (a machine that, based on a finite state input, produces a finite state output based on finite predefined rules, and then moves on to the next state input, which could be something that it has processed before, and can do this with infinitely many state inputs), I'd be quite surprised if humans could solve the halting problem.
    Last edited by alfaroverall; 12-11-2010 at 15:30.
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  12. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNoD View Post
    Actually, that's wrong. The first language you learn defines how you are going to program and how you perceive programming for the rest of your life.
    Not really. The first language i learned was BASIC, and i program on C without any problems at all.
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  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scully View Post
    I see no reason why AI wouldn't eventually reach human level consciousness. Unless you believe in a soul.. lol
    hi.

    many aspects of software engineering are already automated, being built with other pieces of software - or simple robots, w/ limited interfaces... quite a few development jobs have already been made obsolete. even this forum is a simple robot - blinking its cursor at me in waiting for my data... and it has already been engineered to the degree of full functionality at the click of a single button. software engineering is the development of robots... the difference between these robots and consciousness is actually that they share the same creative reference point - the human. any artificial intelligence will be purely an extension of consciousness... of which the word soul is simply a synonym.
    follow the cause and effect train..
    Last edited by raja; 12-11-2010 at 18:49.
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  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNoD View Post
    It's really much more than memorizing and bunch of programming languages, that's easy, anyone can do that. And the reason why there are so many shit software out there is because people don't realize that learning the language isn't the hard part.
    That's not the reason there are so many shitty softwares out there, and you know it. Script kiddies are able to create hacks for games that go years without being detected. Mods for cracked windows too. Although I am sure there are many pros that make those same kinds of programs.

    Other than that, I do agree with everything you said. Learning languages def is not the hard part.


  15. #45
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    10 print "hello world"
    20 goto 10

    explain in a step by step manner how you arrive to conclude that this BASIC program will never halt/stop

    obviously humans (most) understand that this will loop infinitely but can we explain why we understand it in a step by step process?
    Last edited by pZombie; 12-11-2010 at 18:58.

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