Most of you would probably just call me a kid (I'm 15). I'm doing hobby programming (I started fiddling around with ActionScript 2.0 in Flash 8 when I was 11, now I do mostly C, Python and Java). As I'm 15, I won't get a job for a long period of time (I'm going to spend years in academia before that) and thus this question is not about which programming methodologies you recommend me to read up on for a software engineering job, but instead which methodologies should a hobby programmer read about? What will a hobby developer learn from reading about your recommendation(s)?
closed as not a real question by Thomas Owens♦ Mar 9 '12 at 16:05
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I think methodologies usually focus on a team doing some common project, so most of them aren't useful for you at this stage. However, they may have elements which can prove valuable to you. What I would strongly recommend is reading about and trying out Test Driven Development.
I believe it is as useful for hobby projects as it is in the industry. Even for your hobby projects, you probably have some goal/feature in mind, and you probably wouldn't like your code to contain too many bugs :-) Unit testing helps in the latter, and TDD in keeping the focus on the former.
If you're doing it for a hobby, and you're like me, your attention will be short and you'll want to see results quickly. For this, I recommend any Agile methodology, but particularly XP, and particularly TDD, which gives you results with every test. Agile methodologies generally help you ship small, incremental pieces of code, too, so that you can see your work growing.
Also read "A Theory of Fun for Game Design". It's a book about game programming which is really a book about how people learn, and it's written as cartoonish drawings. Really great little read, really educational, and will help you work out what it is you actually feel like programming today, even if that's not a game.
Above all, have fun, and if you're not having fun, do something else.