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    Introductory computer programming program

    My 11 year old is really interested in gaming and wants to get into programming. I was wondering if anyone knew of a good starter program that would help him get into it, keeping in mind that he and I know very little about how to do this at this point. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



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    Re: Introductory computer programming program

    I suppose it depends on what his attention span is and how motivated he is, and what he REALLY wants to learn to do.

    Does he learn well from a book, or is he more of a visual learner? Does he actually want to learn to program, or is he interested in just making games?

    If he actually wants to learn to program, I'd have him start with something like Java. You can get everything you need to build Java applications for free. The Eclipse or NetBeans Environments are both free and let you do pretty much whatever you want.

    There are also free version of Visual Studio products from MS that work great for learning as well.


    He needs to understand, though, that making video games is a whole different can of worms than fundamental programming. There is a WHOLE bunch of really boring stuff that you have to figure out before you can get to the "fun" stuff.

    That means spending time making "hello world" programs and whatnot, and applications that have little to do with actually making video games. Video games are relatively advanced programming, and there is a ton of math and science that goes into it before the coding even begins to start.

    Alternatively, there is the world of flash. I hesitate to really call it "programming" but I guess it is as much as as Visual Basic is and whatnot. It's probably the lowest barrier to entry for web programming, and making simple web-based games.



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    Re: Introductory computer programming program

    Thanks......he's very visual. I figured that actual programming would be complicated and likely boring for him. Maybe I should start him with a prebuilt game engine and let him play with the possibilities there?



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    Re: Introductory computer programming program

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    Thanks......he's very visual. I figured that actual programming would be complicated and likely boring for him. Maybe I should start him with a prebuilt game engine and let him play with the possibilities there?
    I'm not sure how much Java he'd be able to pick up at 11 years old unless he's a genius, however, if you wanted an introductory Java book, I can send you one. Just PM me if you want.



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    Re: Introductory computer programming program

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    Thanks......he's very visual. I figured that actual programming would be complicated and likely boring for him. Maybe I should start him with a prebuilt game engine and let him play with the possibilities there?
    You could have him work with something like Halo Custom Edition and the Halo editing kit.

    That lets you create custom content and levels and etc. for Halo.

    Again, I don't really consider this "programming". What he's likely to find out is that creating the actual video games is a lot more about boring math than about exciting games.



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    Re: Introductory computer programming program

    Start him with html/javascript. You don't need any tools or compiler programs - just a text editor (notepad will do) and a web browser. Search google for html tutorial or javascript tutorial to get started.



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    Re: Introductory computer programming program

    I will also echo that video game programming is far less glamorous than it sounds. There is miles and miles of math and physics and networking code that needs to be written for modern video games, not to mention the rendering code. And unless you're fairly high on the totem pole, the money's not that great either.



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    Re: Introductory computer programming program

    Cool.......lots of good ideas. Thanks!



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    Re: Introductory computer programming program

    Get him a basketball hoop and ball. That'll cure the programming problem.



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    Re: Introductory computer programming program

    Quote Originally Posted by Clonegrad07 View Post
    Get him a basketball hoop and ball. That'll cure the programming problem.
    The little dude is already tearing it up in Indianola youth league. Listen to this stat line: 4 pts, 3 reb, 2 assists and 2 steals. McDermott will have to make some stops down here soon, because he is going to be a hot commodity once he hits 5'.



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