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What do I click on to start the "Gentle Intro to Programming"?
edX CS50x Intro to CS I
Stacey Warren - Expert brainly.com
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OK, so you are going through the MIT one. Well, there are a couple ways to do that. 1) Work through it all any way you want and post questions here. 2) Follow the outline and swquence developed for the Mechanical MOOC: http://mechanicalmooc.wordpress.com/sequence/
There are really more than just those two, but however you come at the material, there are a lot of people here you can ask questions of. That can let you get answers when you need them!
Thank you so much for your help. I'm altogether new at this and want to do it right straight away.
There is really no right way to do self directed learning. There are several wrong ways. Not doing the work is wrong. Not asking when you have problems is wrong. Not researching other sources of information is wrong. For example, if you were to look at the MIT site and wonder, "OK< this seems to jump in a but much..." then you could look at the MOOC site or ask here about a good place to start with the basics. Tow things would almost certainly come up:
I have had mixed results with Code Academy, but it lets you get some automated evaluation of what you write. That is great. I just found them a bit easy to game and some parts were not well made from a programming standpoint. But the book is excellent and was designed as a free college textbook! With these you can get your feet headed in the right direction in a minimum amount of time and no $$$.