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I've been studying a beginners guide to ASP.NET 4 for the past month and a half, and I'm at the end of the books. The next book will be one up (Professional guide).

As yet I've only programmed exercise that are in the books, not my own code.

When should I start developing my own code? After reading both books?

Also I'm still confused over Object-Oriented and how it works with ASP.NET 4.

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4 Answers 4

A lot of people think that the best way to learn how to program is to write programs that solve a problem that you personally would like to see solved. It won't hurt you to get started on a small personal project now. You can always improve it using the knowledge you gain from the advanced book, and you'll probably learn a lot from it.

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+1: You will be much more motivated to work on something that you are interested in. And, depending on what you make, there is an additional plus of now you have a tool that you can use to make your life easier. –  unholysampler Mar 25 '11 at 17:54

When should I start developing my own code? After reading both books?

Immediately.

Early in my career, I put too much stock in tech books.

It turns out that learning to program is not like learning history.

When it comes to programming, you actually need to get out there and put what you've learned into practice.

With that being said, I'm not diminishing the fact that you finished reading some programmming material. I'm just encouraging you to put what you've learned into practice as soon as possible. It's the best way to improve your programming aptitude and ability.

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You should start developing your own code when you have something you need to develop.

If you don't have anything immediately to mind then coding the exercises is a good start, but you should be looking at them and thinking "how can I extend this?". By looking for features that the application is missing you can often find yourself moving into new areas without realising it. It will also stimulate you into thinking about your own applications.

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I'm not familiar with the books in question, but many authors toss in lines like "The rest is left as an exercise for the reader" or "This could be easily extended to do ___"? Or look for something that is discussed in the text but not explicitly implemented in an example program. This way you won't accidentally come up with a project way out over your head, but you'll start getting those creative problem-solving juices flowing. –  Beekguk Mar 25 '11 at 18:23

I would say you should really have started a while ago, but it's not too late -- start right away. Think about things you'd like to see done, things that annoy you about existing code, etc., and write something you like better.

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