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Thread: Taking Programming Further

  1. #1

    Default Taking Programming Further

    OK. I can program (sorta) in Python and I'm learning C. But I feel that, at the moment I can only do very basic stuff with no real purpose. I can't make more than what I would call a gimmick. This is getting me rather annoyed - I want to take it further.

    However I am finding this rather difficult to do. I find coming up with ideas of programs very hard and when other people suggest program ideas to me I don't feel capable of making it. I think about it and I just can't see how you would go about it.

    What I make is inevitably small, not especially easy to use and certainly not anything special. So I guess what I am looking for is help. I've got a basic grasp of a language (Python) and I want to take it further but most of the ideas I have come across leave me in a position where I wouldn't even know how to start. I am looking for any advice - Python specific or just general about how to take programming beyond this very basic stage.

    Also - any advice on how to come up with good ideas would also help. I find it very hard just to mess about with a language because I find it hard to come up with something just to mess about with it.

    So how do you come up with programming ideas? How did you get past doing very basic programs? Have you got any help specific to python that you could offer me?

    Thanks for the help guys!

  2. #2


    Well, how I came up with ideas for things to make is, by thinking about what I might like at this present time, or what is not already done. I ended up making a digital journal, basically, sometihng that has entries associated with dates with a nice GUI to accompany it. If you want the source code for it, it was quite an interesting project. Just remember the greatest programming question around.

    "How do you eat an elephant?

    The answer? Bite by bite. And you create a program, byte by byte. -rimshot- But seriously. Take it slow, work on a bigger project piece by piece, untill you finally end up with an amazing program. Don't rush it, work at your own pace, and soon enough, you'll have something more than you'd ever thought you could do. =)
    Good luck man, and if you need any ideas, feel free to message me, I've got a ton of 'em!

  3. #3


    Same problem on my end, although I don't really know any programming language "well" enough to feel confident in it. I know that I could probably hack something together if I tried, though.

    My nearly untested(?) advice would be to integrate computers more into your life. Find services to set up, use e-mail more intensely, try to get structure into your files/working habits/etc. You will probably stumble upon something not being automated or possible without using a programming language (because that's what they are made for: solving your problems), and you will probably have to touch libaries or other stuff you would otherwise not even think about. Programming around those things will surely throw your out of your comfort zone, but it seems like there is no easier way to learn this stuff(This is coming from somebody who is currently pretty stagnant in his skill development ... )

    If you still can't come up with anything that you could automate or improve by programming something for it, pursue other hobbies and combine them with computers when it could be an improvement.

  4. #4


    Personally, when I was learning PHP, the first proper program I wrote was a forum. It wasn't vbulletin, but it did have all the basic features: threads, posts, forums, user profiles.

    The thing to remember is you are never going to write Photoshop or MS Office or Half Life on your own. These were designed by large groups of people. So pick something which it is easy to get the basics of, but leaves plenty of room for improvement in your spare time if you still feel like working on it. Eg, I could have added thread subscriptions, tags, a visual editor, advanced bbcode to my forum.

    Some things that other people have suggested to me (some may not apply to your environment)

    - Blogs
    - IM software
    - Social Networks
    - diff tools
    - Email program
    - Forums

    Like I said, the main thing is to start simple and build up. The email program doesn't have to be Outlook, the blog software doesn't have to be Wordpress. And this is one place where a bit of Not Invented Here syndrome isn't a problem, as the purpose is learning.

  5. #5


    I've been brewing on games and communication software for a while... but I always fail to come up with a concrete idea... maybe we should brainstorm together?

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