22 Dec 2017
Learning Programming Language

Learning Programming Language

“The day you stop learning is the day you stop living…”

― Tetsuyama-san


Learning anything new, or doing something for the first time is an exciting feeling. May it be a new sport, an instrument or a language. Different questions go racing in your mind, Will I be able to do it? Will I like it? Will I be good at it? Well, you need to try it to find out. Unless you try it and give it your best you never know what you are capable of.

I was given the opportunity to learn ‘Objective C’, an object-oriented programming language. For people who have not heard of this programming language before, a likely thing to cross your mind is ‘Is it anything like C Programming?’. To answer this question, Objective C was developed in the early 1980s. It inherits the syntax, primitive types and flow structures of C Programming. Objective-C is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language that adds Smalltalk-style messaging to the C programming language. Objective C is used by Apple for the development of OS X and iOS operating systems and their respective application programming interfaces (APIs) Cocoa and Cocoa Touch.

Every person has a different learning experience for different things. The time taken to learn, the way of learning and the learning capacity of every individual varies.

Learning a new language is not just about learning the language and using it to get some result, it is about using the correct coding standards. It is very important to learn how to write quality code. It may take more time and lots of practice, but it is the efficient way to do it. It is very necessary to know why a particular way of writing code is not advisable. Knowing these reasons help you grow and learn faster.

I would classify learning styles into two broad categories:

  • Learning a programming language for the first time, without any prior knowledge of programming.
  • Learning a programming language with prior knowledge of programming and comparing the different languages.

If you are learning a programming language for the first time you need to study systematically the different data types, why they are used, how they are used, and when to use which data type. Then learn how to use the data and the flow of the program for example: the simple flow, loops, conditions etc. It is important to know all these basic things first. Once this is done, almost all programming languages are similar and hence learning another language is easier since you can compare them and learn.

I am a .NET Developer and hence had knowledge of programming language when I started learning Objective C. I went about comparing the way things are done in C# programming and Objective C. I compared the syntax, the way to write methods and call the methods etc.

It is important to have hands-on practice, this allows you to learn from your mistakes and improves the speed of reading and understanding code. Reading the official documentation of the programming language serves as a good and reliable learning library.

Exploring the internet, watching tutorials and interacting with others in the same field provides a good exposure for learning the language. It also helps to look at different problems differently and finding the best solution for the problem. Watching tutorials where other people code and give examples is a nice way to learn when you are in the initial phases of learning a programming language. Ask questions to experts in the field to get helpful replies.

The best way to learn and achieve success, in learning, is to be motivated and curious, everything else falls into its place.

Melody Fernandes

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