Beginner programmer looking for time estimates
This is my first post on these forums and I am looking at starting to learn Java as my first programming language.
First, a bit about myself. I am 15 years old and am from New Zealand, I am very interested in computers having started using them when I was about 7 and these days I spend 8+ hours p/day if I don't have school. First game I ever played was Runescape, which is a game written in Java for those who aren't familiar with it. When I was about 12 I became interested in Runescape private servers which is similar to the original game, just hosted on a private network and with changes to the game to make it easier, more interesting etc. I attempted then to learn Java so I myself could make these private servers and change the game to my tastes. After looking up some tutorials on the internet and also getting a book out of the library that was a couple of inches thick on java I realised I had learnt nothing in a couple of weeks other than to copy someones elses code and run it, I didn't understand any of it, variables, boolean (just a couple of words I remember), having the low attention span that all 12 y/olds do, I gave up.
I believe now, I am older and more mature and am probably capable of understanding what I previously did not. I am also willing to dedicate most of my time to this
Now, my actual question is about how long it will take me to have a basic understanding of Java. Currently I am on school holidays and am for about 5 more weeks. I am willing to dedicate most of my time on the computer to learning Java, which is probably atleast 8 hours a day.
Then, when I start school again, maybe an hour or two everyday after school
I like to consider myself to be intelligent, so I believe I should be able to grasp the concepts reasonably quickly.
From experience, how long do you think it will take me to be at each stage of understanding Java. I do realise of course fully learning a programming language can take years, what i'm interested in is what i'll be capable of in a short time, will I be able to make mods for java based games in a couple of weeks, months maybe a year? Also, what steps should I take to start to learn it
Also, with learning this language, do you have any tutorials you recommend for me to start with, bearing in mind I am completely new to programming? I would greatly prefer not having to buy anything, having little to no money and am wanting to be self taught without a class/tutor
My short term goals from learning this language is to be able to make mods for current games that run java eg: Minecraft, possibly write own basic 2d games and also to be able to make basic apps for Android devices
Thanks for any help you give and I hope to be using this community for any issues I run into,
Re: Beginner programmer looking for time estimates
5 weeks is enough time to learn the basics. Spend a couple weeks learning as much as you can going through the tutorials and trying EVERY example, then spend the second half of your time trying to get a SIMPLE project (such as a game) working.
You might also want to look at Processing. It's a language built on top of Java, has the same syntax, but focuses on being easier to use and display things visually. I'd recommend that for a beginner trying to learn programming on your own.