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How to start learning programming – Kuan’s version

Typing this into Google, you definitely will get 32,500,000 hits. This seem to be a very popular question asked by those who wants to start programming. It is asked by those just who found the computer and that programing is awesome, who just step into University with a course relate to computer, and etc. The amount of hits related to the subject is not actually amount of questions but rather of answers. Why does Kuan want to write his own article about it? The reasons I can think of are:

  1. I never wrote one
  2. I didn’t have answer from “How to start learning programming?” to get myself involve in programming learning.
  3. Hope my own experience mean a little different to someone.

First step : LOVE it!

There are many reasons why people want to learn programming (my dear). I met a lot of people (mostly my classmate) who want to learn programming just because they need to pass a college programming subject. Majority of them end up struggling, suffering in the process of learning my dear. When they hate it they ask me why do I so enjoy the process so much. The answer: “Well, you got to love it.”

Programming languages allow us to create anything we want in a computer. Before you start a new programming practice sessions, first create something in your mind that you think is cool, useful or fun to be in your computer. Then start coding. Seriously, sit there and type on the keyboard with what you learned from the language so far. Tweak your brain to come out logical solutions. Calm yourself when you see 100 error when you press “compile”. Whenever you feel short of knowledge or solution, refer to the book or the web. The biggest satisfaction in programming is when you created what you want to create; seeing it magically working. Sooner or later, you will love this language and go on.

When I read my first programming book (on Visual Basic), I was so curious about if else, the for loop and the while loop. Then I start writing weird if else and loop code and get very excited when I first saw them working. Then I start make very simple but weird little programs using the logic I learned from the first few chapters. Reading the entire book and following the exercises in the book will just bore the process, its just like schooling. Think of something you like and make sure it is challenging enough and do it. Man is born to be free. We should create what we want rather then what the book wants. When thereis something that always give what you want, you will start loving it sooner or later.

Don’t stick to what you were told to do: job, homework, assignments. Have a timeout and program something that you want. Let it be your personal time manager, personal website, personal game, personal research. Then share them with your friends, let them appreciate your work. Show them to your good programmer friends and let them guide you. Be proud of it.

After all, mindset is the first thing to setup before you learn anything. If you step in without a willingness to learn and love-to-learn heart, learning just become boring, plain and dead. Love it and enjoy it. Life isn’t fun if we are not enjoying in what we are doing.

To be continue…

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June 21, 2007 Posted by | Game Development, Programming, Tutorial | 2 Comments

Wanted: Lead Artists

We now have a strong programming team but require more organization of the artists to make a great game universe. If you are a highly motivated and organized artist who want to be the Lead Artist of Quasr, please send us your resume, portfolio, URL, etc.

Complete details of the job can be found here.

June 21, 2007 Posted by | Job | Leave a comment

Parents Just Tend to Blame It On Computer Games

“Computer games are addictive.”

This is where all fun ends and the horror begins. Computer games are said to be stealing away the fun of traditional toys like Lego. Parents also believe that this new toy promote individual isolation therefore reducing the participation in a child’s creativity growth.

Toy in general is fun and addictive. The computer game is on a different level of fun and additivity. In Raph Koster’s A Theory of Fun, fun is learning and learning is fun. The computer game is a very powerful learning medium for it is a platform of unconscious learning.

Most parents believe that they are excluded from the child’s creativity growth when the virtual world invades. I am going to turn the table around today.

This time I will just focus on the number of players in a game. Different modes of play serves different types of participations and experiences.

Single Player Games
Early computer games are majority single player games. This is where parents complain about individual but if there is audience, this could be a different story. Audience can give guidance and comments to help the player along the way. It is a good way to observe the process of learning, the best way to know how a mind works. If the player plays a game well and want to give the audience a great experience, cinematic games are perfect for this type of participation.

Two Players Only Games
There are 2 types, one that rival against each other and helping each other. This type of game only focus on the participation of 2 players. Best for building close bonds. Audience do not have much fun watching. Recommended for parents and siblings. (Drinking session maybe?)

Online Games
The best thing about online? Social convenience. It is not so hard to find a friend to play with you now. Players are having fun making new friends and most importantly, getting things done in a team. The level of competitiveness in game is a moist environment for team building. Weird thing is, parents treat real players in virtual worlds as fakes and their reason is standard, “You don’t even see them.” Well try playing MMORPGs with parents and let them know how real they are! Invite your family to play, I am sure that your family are going to make a great team!

Children love sharing the fun and I am sure that everyone had ask their parents to play a game with them before, but then again they would usually answer:

“I don’t know how to play.”

Dear gamers, parents are actually afraid of trying new things. So be patience on educating parents about games, I guarantee that the return is priceless.

Yes, I am back from China and hope you enjoyed my opening blog post.

inspired by How Killing People with My Dad Improves Our Relationship


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June 21, 2007 Posted by | Education, Games, Gaming, Sharing | 4 Comments