(Please stop removing my m) - Results

2-4 days
1 week
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2-3 months


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I'm currently trying to learn my first language (Ruby + RGSS3) and I'm interested to hear how long it took you guys to get your first programming language down.

From what I've read on the web, it seems like it shouldn't take any longer than 2-3 months (max) for a human being to learn its first language. If the poll options don't justify your personal experience, feel free to express yourself in the comment section below.

Thanks in advance for taking your time to answer this poll!
I've been using RM for about 5 years now and I'd still be hard-pressed to say I "know" a language, other than basic programming logic and managing to cobble together very simple code snippets in RGSS3.

I can look at code and gain a meager understanding of how it works, but I still can't say I comfortably "know" any languages.
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
I kinda did stuff in Hypercard when I was a kid, but I don't remember how long that took me. vOv

Also I knew just enough qbasic to be uselessly obnoxious :V
the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
I used to know HTML lol and it didn't take me longer than a year to really understand it and write standard/basic things.
Not sure if I know one to boot, I've been 'exposed' to scripts awhile but I never got to try and learn a program language more than enough to glue-up whatever I wanted at the moment.

Got the hang of GMS language in 1-2weeks with loads of tutorials, although I'm able to patch IF statements and some basic functions to get some stuff done, but I find myself importing code too often to say "I know the language".
Your scale seems off. I started with c and it was definitely 6+ months before I could do any multi-file project from scratch and over a year before I knew enough to do anything *well* as opposed to just hack it. While one month crash courses or whatever can get you the syntax basics and enough to patch together functions, there's an assumption when you're learning a first language that you're also trying to learn how to build and design programs as well, which takes a lot longer and is arguably more important. (Like, there are languages designed to be teaching tools, so that you're more focused on how2program, not how2program in x language)

If you're looking to do something more specific (like code for RM), then, that's a bit easier going. For instance I've done script-based games in RM and made mods for ToME, but there's no way I'd be comfortable putting Ruby or Lua experience on my resume.

also html is a markup language not a programming language
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
There are definitely different levels of "knowing" a language. I've done entire projects in languages without ever knowing that language at all.

Yeah, 5-6 months is how long I spent learning my first language, and that number is going to be the same for almost everyone, because they learned it in a high school or college class. Even if something can be learned in a week, the class is going to stretch it out to an entire semester.

My first language was QBASIC, though, and I really feel like I could've learned it in under two weeks if my high school teacher had gone at a faster pace instead of teaching us one thing for 5 minutes and then giving us 45 minutes free time in class to practice it. There was no homework because the compiler was only available in class, so 90% of our class time was spent doing assignments, most of which were just to make sure we paid attention rather than to teach us by example. This resulted in maybe 20-30 minutes a week of actual instruction. If you were teaching yourself at your own pace, at home, you could finish that course in a single weekend, no problem.
The TM is for Totally Magical.
Yeah, I agree with LockeZ and psy_wombats on this. I know how to program in C++ and C#, but I can't say that I know C++ or C#. Knowing how to work with a language is definitely not the same as knowing a language and I strongly suspect that a lot of programmers only know how to work with their languages.

My great aunt started working for Army in the 1950s as a software engineer. They used binary. She said that none of them actually knew binary, at least not until after they worked with it for awhile. They had rooms where two people would work eight hours a day, as partners, and they'd have books on their desks with all of the relevant binary codes they needed to enter for each command. They didn't program anything from scratch. They consulted the book. Even when they had learned and understood the language, they still consulted the book because the Army doesn't tolerate mistakes.
I agree with psy_wombats, learning the syntax and basics of a language is easy, you can do it in a couple of weeks or a month (based on how complicated that language is), but you won't be making a game (or anything) from scratch just by knowing ifs-elsifs and a couple of functions. It takes years of studying in college to know how to program, not making basic scripts or mods.

For making things in RPGMaker, though? Yes, you can learn in a month. Hell, if you don't need to bend the engine that much, you can just cobble together whichever fixes you need at the moment with minimum syntax knowledge. That's why RPGMaker or other easy-to-use engines like Game Maker are popular: they give you more than enough to make decent games without knowing the first thing about programming. And if you do, you have a lot already done for you to use with minimum tweaks.

And if anyone manages to program in HTML, they have officially hacked reality.
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
How long it took me to know enough about a programming language to be able to write my first game? 2 weeks. Really just needed to know how integer variables work, and how to print text to the console. On my first lesson I learned to write "Hello World", the second week I learned integer variables, reading console input and "if" checks. After that I made my first text based adventure game. :p
Certified Godot convert.
From what I've read on the web, it seems like it shouldn't take any longer than 2-3 months (max) for a human being to learn its first language. If the poll options don't justify your personal experience, feel free to express yourself in the comment section below.

Well, it does. It took some of my classmates to finally understand the language under a month. That was because they took only the classes rather than exploring more of what the language should be.

Me? It weirdly took like a day or two. I'm not sure since my passage of time was practically diluting when I was looking at the code and tried brainstorming it.

Plus, the things taught at my school are just some of the basics. The other basics that are not discussed are for the us students to find. Especially said "basics" are more advanced than others and used in competitions.

I had to learn it within a day or two to compete in a coding competition. And I lost the prelims (and that was just the prelims), of course. Because you can't just learn it that easily and say you know everything that quick. A month is better used to do so.
It depends on what you want to do with your programming skill. You asked your question on RMN, so it's safe to assume you don't want to code spacecraft control software but aim at game making! But still, you have a wide range of uses.
You want to improve your resume and apply as game designer at a studio? Knowing a programming language is indeed a big plus (or a must) to interact efficiently with the programmers.
You want to build games for a living?
You want to build games as a hobby?

To build small games as a hobby, all you need is to cover the basis of the language and then learn to use a library of functions designed for game development. I learned the basis of C reading a book, doing the exercises, stopped half way trough to make small utilities of my own. I made a first game then learned to work with the SDL2 library to handle graphics, sounds and the mouse.

So to learn the skills necessary to code a small game like Red Balloon of Happiness (I know this example speaks to you), you need:
* 2 weeks to learn the basis of C
* 1 week to learn the use of SDL2 main functions

To build games for a living, you'll work on bigger projects. So you'll also need to learn how to well organize your code and much more...
Resident Terrapin
You can learn the basics of about any programming language in about a week, but programming consists of so much more than simply just knowing a language. To actually be effective it's important to understand the theory behind programming languages, how they interact with the hardware and OS, as well as good optimization practices. These things only come with experience and time.

That said, if you're completely new it's probably safe to jump in head-first for any language at about the month mark, but don't expect to write a lot of clean or efficient code. It will be a painful and sometimes frustrating process. That said, RGSS isn't a true programming language and the route to learning and mastering it will be much faster, but it will be less useful to you moving ahead if you decide to stop using RMVX Ace.
I kinda did stuff in Hypercard when I was a kid, but I don't remember how long that took me. vOv

OMG! Someone else who knows Hypercard? That was and will always be my favorite programming language. I was so sad when it was discontinued.

As for the actual question, I spent years messing around with Hypercard before I would consider myself "knowing" it. Of course, "messing around" is different from "learning," and certainly if you take a course and spend 10+ hours/week in a structured format for six months you'll learn a lot faster.
It's kind of difficult to answer, because you never really stop learning a language. When it comes to basics, nowadays you have cool websites like codeacademy, you could "learn" the basics in a day or few, technically. Of course, it's just basics.
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