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What is the best way for me to begin learning software development?
Updated 26-Oct-10 9:16am
Richard MacCutchan 26-Oct-10 16:52pm    
Voted this up, I think it is a valid question, whatever background the OP may have.
Sauro Viti 27-Oct-10 3:51am    
Really, I don't understand why someone voted this question 1 or 2

Here's a very good thread from StackOverflow on how to teach yourself programming:[^]
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Yusuf 26-Oct-10 15:42pm    
The question itself is not bad, but I am not sure how much are people willing to invest in trying to get to what they want. There are plenty if "quick rich" type of people who are looking for shortcuts.
I presume you are asking what is the best way to begin learning software development.

Firstly, decide what language you wish to learn.

For example, if you wish to learn C#, then download from here[^] and follow the instructions.

This is a cutdown version but as a starter it is excellent.
It allows you to build within the IDE.

Then look for some Primers, either book or on-line.
Here is one.[^]

Finally, practice, try, do, put the effort in.
Eventually you will be confident enough to try more advanced things that you will undoubtedly get wrong, (we all do!), and you can ask for help here!
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Take a class. Buy books. Learn how to type "" BEFORE learning to type "".
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Dalek Dave 26-Oct-10 15:12pm    
Harsh John! :)
But everybody gotta start somewhere, even if it is by asking.
This link[^] takes you to a really good beginners guide to C# and .NET if that is what you are interested in. If you have absolutely no background in programming you may still need to take a class to get the basic concepts clear in your mind. Ultimately it may seem like hard work to begin with but it is worth persevering if you want to make a career of it.
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The first thing to do is realise that it's not just all programming. so while the other advice on how to start programming is good, it's not the only thing you need to know.

The important thing is to start working out how to solve real problems, preferably other people's so you get used to communicating. If there's some process where you work that could do with automation that's a good place to start - I started out automating scientific equipment calibration and a friend of mine started by using Excel spreadsheets to automate some building trade ordering processes.

While you're doing that start reading and get used to reading lots. Programming is at least 90% reading, software engineering is over 99% reading. If you're not reading code you're reading specifications for your operating system, requirements or specifications for the system your trying to code or bug reports. And on top of that you'll spend some of your spare time reading up on new ways of doing things, even if you end up saying "bah, humbug!" to them.

Good luck!

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IMO, nothing beats reading a good book.
Spend a few hours reading a book (on the language of your choice) or if you are interested in Software Engineering principles pick up any book on that subject.
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