Help me OWN this shiny box.
May 2, 2010 6:37 AM Subscribe
I want to become a little more badass at using my computer and dip my toes into the command line and eventually a little programming. I've identified some benchmarks / goals. Any advice on how to start?
posted by jlowen to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
I am a moderately advanced computer user and have enough knowledge to be able to accomplish basic things with HTML and CSS, but I have no programming knowledge. I can usually (by trial and error) make Wordpress do what I want and I am the default tech support for my friends and family when they have computer problems.
Having said that there are a number of additional skills that I would like to learn. There seems to be a consensus in other askmefi posts that python is a great first language to start with but I’m not sure that jumping right in to learning python is the appropriate place for me to start. I’ve outlined some learning goals for myself based on practical tasks that would make my life easier. They are:
1. Become proficient with regular expressions and text wrangling.
2. Learn how to use the command line on OS X (no idea what I’m doing in there at all)
3. Understand how to create and use simple databases (preferably open source over proprietary)
4. Learn some programing language well enough to write “data scraping” programs to create local databases of info found on the web. (Like the Sunlight Foundation does with its data scraping projects)
5. Eventually become proficient enough with programming to be able to interface with popular internet API’s (Google, Facebook, twitter etc)
These items are roughly in order of what I want to learn, but I am flexible. Ideally I would like to identify a few good resources and a clear path to build up this knowledge base and VERY slowly chip away at it, perhaps conquering one tiny task every day between other work projects.
Any guidance? Any recommended resources?