Let’s stand back for a second and ask and answer the question “Why learn how to program?” If you’ve picked up Learn How to Program, it’s likely you already have some reasons of your own and don’t need to be convinced that learning how to program is a good idea.
But it’s important to describe some of the reasons that a person might want to learn how to program. Posing the question “Why learn to program?” and providing some answers now—before you get started with this book— can help you to approach the material presented in this book with the right (positive) attitude.
The following are some good reasons to learn how to program:
Computer programming is tremendously fun!
It’s challenging and a great intellectual puzzle (much better than crossword puzzles—unless you really like crossword puzzles!).
Computer programming stimulates creativity.
If you learn how to program, you can create universes and systems that you alone control.
You can produce small, but useful, programs. These programs bear the relationship that a bespoke suit bears to ready made—they’re customized for your particular needs.
Programming is tremendously useful. The sound practices and principles you’ll learn in this book will give you a leg up if you need to do any kind of programming—from creating Word macros and meeting course requirements to learning to program professionally.
You have full control of the software you write. If you need to change some of its behavior, you can.
Learning to program is educational. You’ll gain a great deal of understanding of how computers work, their strengths and weaknesses, what they can do well, and what they have difficulty doing.
If you learn to program, you’ll learn to think like a computer when you need to do so. This will help you be a better computer user, play games better, and much, much more.