Samantha wrote:
> Okay, enough of THAT.  I'm now at the point where I feel like I'm
> reading the same thing over and over and over again.  I'm not the most
> patient person and I want to start coding something.  I've already
> made some small interactive 'kiddie' command line programs and the
> such, but I'm getting bored.  I just don't know where or what or HOW
> to start.

I'm pretty much at the same point you are.

I've dabbled in programming in the past and only now getting into it 
thoroughly with Ruby. I looked at the Pick Axe up to about ch3 then 
swithed to The Little Book of Ruby and zipped through it (great short to 
the point for beginner book). I then started writing a Chess Program 
just to learn. I have got someway with it but have realised I need more 
training. Gone back to the Pick Axe to finish Part I Facets of Ruby.

So now I need some problems to solve. I'm using project euler: 
http://projecteuler.net/index.php?section=view
Some nice short programming mathematics orientated problems. I've looked 
at the Ruby Quiz site but so far haven't found them easy or short enough 
for my liking, although I have looked at the two chess problems to get 
some ideas for my chess programs.

On top of this I'm creating my own problems. For me the most fun 
problems are those that are short, a few lines of code, but that explode 
with actiity when run. For example, I set myself the task of creating an 
array and filling it with random number, then sorting those numbers, and 
displaying both arrays (not too hard with the rand(max) integer method, 
and the .sort method). Once I've achieved something short and sweet like 
this, I expand it. So, how about producing the random numbers within a 
range, then receiving the limits of the range from a user, then how 
about timing the sort and displaying the result.

I'm definately learning so much more doing than reading. And don't write 
boring programs, think of some fun stuff, perhaps something your friends 
can interact with. You'll be so much more motivated to explore and learn 
that way.

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