Getting into programming from scratch

Hi there

I always waned to learn a programming language, however since there are a lot choices and I never had a specific project in mind to help me figure out how and where to start, I never really got around doing something about it. I did at some point get introduced to Pascal in school, but again with no specific project in mind I just didn’t know how to get going.
With the release of windows 8 and the massive lack of good apps for the modern UI I thought to myself, maybe I could start by programming some super simple app for win 8. The question is: would be possible for a complete newbie like me to program a windows 8 app? Is there any chance that I could succeed with a project like this, just by the help of beginner-guides and whatever books are available in the internet and so on or does it take years of experience and skills with multiple languages? 

I'm not much of a programmer but if you're looking to make Windows 8 apps that run in the Modern/Metro UI (.appx packages) then the Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8 is what you're looking for to start making those. You cannot make desktop apps (.exe) with that SDK, for that you'll want Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop.

I don't really have any advice for programming itself but I'd just search around for tutorials on making Windows 8 apps in Visual Studio Express 2012 and learn from those.

A lot of languages are derivations of C. Such as C++ and Perl. I found that when I took my C++ introduction course, I went in with experience in markup languages. (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.) Although those languages are not programming languages, knowing them helped me a lot with understanding the functions of C++. When I was programming, I made programs in UNIX, I didn't make apps. 

Thanks for the input.
I already know a bit HTML and CSS I just didn’t think it would help me a hole lot with something like C++. 
I’ve got loads of time during the xmas holyday so I guess now I know how to spend it. I’ll checkout the Visual Studio Express as soon as i get home.
Any guides/books you can recommend?  
I'll keep you updated if I actually manage to produce something usefull. 

Depends on what your end goal is. A bacis bit of scripting has really helped me with After effects via the javascrip expressions and Flash via AS2/3 - even a little understanding can go a long way. 

If you can spare the money I really recomend as they have a high standard of tuition in just about anything - you can always find the information cheaper/free elsewhere but they have very nice concise lessons. 


Don't support Windows 8!

C++ is going to be your choice if you want to be working with most things in general.

Windows is most always going to use C/C++. There is also a lot of good books teaching basics leading up to advanced C++ and usage.

When learning, start with a general focus with C++ then go into a specific form because of the libraries you have to use or might have to use for that development.

Fortuently my high school offers APCS and we're learning java, and i'm only a junior in high school.

From scratch, I would recommend just to get to grips with basic concepts like loops, variables, functions etc. When doing a project like that it is really important you are comfortable with these beforehand. However, the hard part is the technique, it develops over time by reading and practice. To start you off, I would recommend code academy (!/exercises/0), I haven't used it but many people say it is going for tuition.

Hi, maybe this will help, you can learn programming for free at these sites:!/exercises/0 (different slides have different resources)

Here's a full textbook on C++. Just to let you know what you are up against.

for your first language, c++ or java.

i learned c++ first. very glad i did, and i would recommend that as your first language. sometimes you will feel like you are re inventing the wheel, but you will NEVER say to yourself "man, i wish i could do ______ but this damn language limitation..." you get full access to everything with c / c++


also, some people think you need to know c and then c++. c++ covers most of c, and then adds some... so dont listen to them.


Again. Thanks for all the input. After playining around on codecademy, i think i'll start making something really simple with the "Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8" software using only html, css and javascript. I hope this will train my understanding of the basic concepts like loops, variables, function and so on (as "I am the man" recommented). I still want do learn c++ but i am not sure it's right for me to start with it. Am I making any sense?

This started me thinkin'

Only programming is never as easy as just writing lines of code. Past your choice of initial environment(which I'm sure has been covered extensively by the other guys above me), there's also the mindset you will need to cultivate if you wanna succeed.

So try

It's language-neutral and it will build good habits and force you to write things every self-respecting programmer should have written at least once in their life(things like a queue or a simple prime sieve or a DFS/BFS/Djikstra and whatnot).

You should also familiarize yourself with the concepts of algorithms.

I would recommend starting out with Visual basic then moving up to .net, c, c#, and c++. It also wouldn't hurt to learn Java, python, and HTML as they are in my experience easy to learn, though they probably won't help mutch in making a windows 8 app.

The thing is, if you get a good grasp of programming logic in general, then it wouldn't be a problem to learn many languages. For example, I'm a php web developer, because I like science and tech in general I wanted to build a small project that included microcontrollers and programming in a C like language. The project included LEDs, pumps, sensors, etc. All I had to do was to look up the functions in that language and write the program that controlled all the electronic parts. I believe all programmers can do that, specially C++ programmers which is kinda universal in my mind. You can start there and depending on your needs move to another language.