Monday, June 22, 2009

Free Web tutorials

One thing I love about the Internet is that is offers free learning in a lot of ways. Back in 1999, I taught myself Perl basically overnight using Web-based tutorials (training). Of course, I already had been programming in school for years, so it was learning the language syntax rather than learning how to program. I already understood loops and if statements and classes and all that, so it just became learning a new set of words. With Perl, however, there was the wonderful word of "regular expressions"that I had never seen, so that took a while to master. Instead of having to do a lot of complicated searching, for example, you can replace one set of characters inside a string with another using commands like this:

That would take you a few lines of C++ code, for example. I was always taught that you want to choose the right programming language based on the task you wanted to do, and for string manipulation or interacting with the operating system, Perl is much better than C++.

Anyway, point being, once you have a foundation, you can always update your skills. I've had to do that this summer - I went to a four-day PHP training. If you don't have a job paying for it, you can always find things online that will help you. For example, a friend recommended a site called W3Schools to me a while ago, and they seem to have some nice free content.

Just remember, especially for those of you in the Information Technology field...learning is not a product - you don't just learn and that's it. You will need to keep learning over time, especially in this field.

1 comment:

David J. Csuha, CPP, CFE said...

On the subject of programming languages: