How do I back into studying programming after a while off?

I’ve bought Zed’s Python and C course a while ago; since then I was busy with work and life, basically I didn’t have time to program and I really want to dive deep into this stuff because I love computers.
I’m also considering applying to college for a software engineering technician degree.

How do I start getting back into it?
I don’t think I need to relearn the basics like: variables, functions, loops, etc. because I still remember them, but I imagine that I wouldn’t be able to make something out of all of these parts since it has been a while.

Any suggestions?
I want to get to the point where I can make system level stuff. Something like a Linux driver.


I think you just need to pursuit a challenge/project and try to go deep inside of it.
I finished Zed’s book twice. Then I had a idea and last three weeks I’ve been working on it. The way he teaches you is very useful because now I’m able to search for things without difficulty, meanwhile, I’m still learning new stuff related to my project/problems. So far he is one of the best teachers I had. The ‘Learn the Hard Way’ method is awesome.

Funny thing is that when I’m coding I still remember many of Zed’s explanations. And because of this, I can easly figure out what is going on in some cases.

I few months ago when I tried to learn PHP and JavaScript, I thought I wouldn’t be able to make my own stuff. That time I was only reading stuff and I didn’t write a single line of code. Now every single day I write at least a few lines, and it has become a habit. I think the reason I’m able to challenge myself now is because I’m at the point where programming is funny.

Right now I want to expand my project, and I’m not sure what I really need to do. What I want is something like a Python Shell, so I figured out that I need to take a look on code module. This is probably hard stuff for beginners like myself, but I really would to love to give a try. If I fail, no problem, I’ll try again.

You know that in order to become very good in something, you need to practice a lot. That’s the only way. So I would recommend for you to try develop whatever you want, so choose a project that has meaning for you, something that you would love to create from scratch starting from simple steps, then after a few months you can see how much have you gained of experience. But if your project is really advanced, be humble and try easy stuff

I still haven’t finished either of his books actually, with Python I stopped after the Gothons adventure game and with C I was at the pointers part.

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Would any of you be interested on planning about getting together some how or just follow up on this forum and come up with something fun to code, compare and talk about it as part of learning?


yeah. Do you have anything in mind?

Start over. If you find the stuff you’ve already been through easy as pie, good on you. With a bit of luck, you’ll understand some of it even better, maybe you’ll have an easier time completing the books. Do one book at a time. And don’t stress it - especially the C book. C syntax is easy to learn, but the complexity they give you is pretty heavy. It takes a bit of time to figure out, but as others have done so before you, I guarantee that you can too - if you stick to it.

A useful lesson I learned was to replace the phrase “I don’t have time” with “it’s not a priority for me”. When I started recognising that it was my choice to sit and watch TV for an hour, instead of using that time for learning/programming, it became obvious how I could find the time.

It also allowed me to consciously have days off when I was to tired or needed a mental break to process some stuff.


That’s basically what I was going to say. I also like to put this into something you can measure. It might help to take a week and simply track how much TV you watch. You’d be amazed at how much that wastes a day. I use TV to relax and so I didn’t cut it out completely, but instead I do something else while I watch TV that is fairly mindless, rather than sitting there doing nothing. But, until I tracked how much time I wasted just watching TV I couldn’t really figure out what kind of priority it was.


Plus doing something else whilst the TV is on helps break the hypnoidal twilight state that advertisers so desperately try to abuse. :wink:

Absolutely I would. we can create a slack channel or use IRC(preferred method, I can make a channel) and help each other out!

help = “to do this”

print(f"who wants {help}?")

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Easy thing is to just start of where you finished, if anything is confusing then back track. I took 6months and it’s frustrating thing is ‘just do it’, it sucks but then so does life :weight_lifting_woman:

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Great that Zensei suggested a slack channel, that’ll be awesome. I can have it open on my computer most of the time and I’m sure some of you can too so that’ll be a lot of fun.

When I suggested getting together something ago @funception asked if I had something in mind and I did not at that point but after few days I open another threat on the forum sharing the code for a tic-tac-toe game that I did and they I asked few questions on whether I’m using right use of functions and global variables but I did not get any response on that threat at all.

Maybe we can use that as a starting point, what if you guys come up with a tic-tac-toe game and share the code, I’ll look at your code, play your game, I’m sure I’ll have a lot of questions about ‘why did you used this’ or ‘why didn’t you use that’ and would expect the same about my code so that we can learn from reading someone else code and get together to discuss about our coding.

If you like this idea, then let me share the URL to that threat hopping you can see my code and just post your own code there so that I can download it and play your game. I’m sure a lot of refactoring and enhancement can be made to our own code after having it discuss with someone else.

Here’s the URL to that other post. Look forward to your commments

PS: do you have any other suggestion about something else to code? I got few ideas that I can share and can also get started on my own ideas to be shared here but there’s few cool things that I’ve thought about it for this sort of coding.

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Yeah. I like the idea and I’m looking forward to make this work with you guys.

I’m stuck right know. Few days ago I also shared my first project, but the problem was it worked only in my computer lol. I’m trying to figure out how to improve it, meanwhile I need to go back to study to understand a lot of things to increase my skills

I took a look on your game and it is very cool. I’ll try to make my own version and share with you guys. I did not post any thoughs on your threat because I don’t have enough knowledge. So sorry for that. I will try to understand what is going on there and we talk later about it.

Speaking about future projects to work with, my suggestion for now would be a Alarm Clock

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@funception how do you visualize the “Alarm Clock” working?

Do you expect the computer to ‘beep’ on certain time? I guess user will enter a time few minutes ahead and just wait til time comes for it to ‘beep’, is that what you thought of? Please expand and I might give it a try.

About your previous program posted that is just running in your computer I’ll give it a look, please share it.

I didn’t try anything about it yet. So basically my idea is:

I want the clock to work as any normal clock.
I want to add a feature related to Pomodoro Technique

About my project, let me do a few more things and I’ll share with you, okay?

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Look forward to what you refers as “do few more things” but this pomodoro thing sounds challenging, a lot more than a TTT game :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m literally still on chapter 13 of LPTHW, so I want to finish the book before I start any projects.

I do have three projects in mind, one of them being an IRC bot(That one will be solo), a website that pulls aggregate data, and allows someone to view local events in their citie based on their keywords, and a new sleep cycle program, and uh… wait what was it, ah a lifting program :smiley:

Plenty of ideas. I’ve created a channel on IRC called #LPTHW on the server, port 6697 .

Come say hi!

I forgot… three good ways to access it. I use Hexchat on desktop, IRCCloud on my phone, and on a browser :smiley:

Same for me as in stuck, first language learning in depth and struggling on testing atm. Projects can go jump in a lake. email myself, see ya later.

@Zensei I think getting together is an awesome idea and I’m trying to put some of my own time on this although not easy (work, family… divorce?.. many things happening around here… :frowning: ) and if someone is behind my level I’ll be happy to contribute the best I can when time allows it.

Anyway I got two books about ‘programming exercises’ (not python specifics though) and wouldn’t mind to bring that up in the threat about things we are planning on doing and will be happy to share more info if you want to take that as a guide but in my case I’m looking more into useful things (storing data in DB, retrieving it, etc) and simple exercises as ‘calculate X and Y’ but certainly having this forum is an awesome way to get some of us more productive with our own learning I gues…

BTW these are the books I was referring to. Although I have them I have not actually done any of the exercises since as I mentioned that’s not where my focus is but will be happy to share some info from them if in case anyone is interested.