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I am doing my in Computer science engineering. When I joined my college, I even didn't know P of programming. Till my 12th class, I used to be advance in learning among the class. But here, I had not fulfilled that.

In first semester, I started learning C language. Because I was completely new to programming environment, I was thinking to have very smooth way of learning programming. Firstly, I started reading book LET US C to understand syntex, then after each chapter, there were some questions given in exercises. I was first reading the chapter, was observing examples and then was trying to write the programs of the exercise questions in my linux . It is better to code in linux because coding in linux will also build some knowledge about installing packages on OS and architecture of OS.

Then in the mid of my first semester, I was much much better in coding in C. I had developed my coding skills by solving more and more programming questions on HackerRank.

At the end of first semester, I have developed small project of snake game using Graphics in C. I have learnt graphics by watching the video tutorials on YouTube.

Now, when you learnt one programming language properly, then things will be very easy if you want to learn other language. Then I started learning C++. Although,C++ is very similar to C .but challenging thing was OOPs. I learnt C++ by watching video tutorials. When I knew the basic syntex , then I started coding on HackerRank in C++ instead of C.

Then apart from that I started learning web development.

Then I learnt java same as C++ by watching video tutorials.

Now coming to answer of your question,

If you are completely new to programming, try to learn one programming language properly. And to learn that, use the book. Don't go to video tutorials if you are learning programming language for the first time. And if the question is which book should you select?, then just put a question on quora that which book is simplest to learn the language.

Now, if you have learnt one language very properly, then still you are not a programmer. Best way to learn is learn one topic and try to make one small project on that topic. For ex, if you learnt concept of classes and inheritance, then try to implement simple program of stack. Try to solve as much problems as you can. This is the only way to master the programming. For problems, you can go to HackerRank, Codechef, HackerEarth etc.

When you learnt one language, then you can refer to video tutorials now. Now things will be easy.

If you ask that why should you believe me that this is the proper approach? Then my answer is this is not only approach to do the things. There can be better approach . But this is the approach which I have followed and now I am on the better stage in sight of programming.

I know C,C++,Java as programming languages, I know CSS,HTML,JavaScript as web development languages in just one year of learning programming.

I have about 1892 ratings in HackerRank . I am Acadgild certified Java developer and Google certified Android app developer.

I hope this answer will help you to understand that how much difficulty is there in self learning.

Self learning is not much difficult if you are solving sufficient amount of problems.

by Expert (110,880 points)