I’ve mentioned before that one of the most oft-repeated imperatives in the scriptures is to ask. The same holds true for learning to program. In addition to documentation, APIs, forums, blogs, books, peers, and tutorials, there is another source that you might be able to tap into as you are developing. Pretty much most of the resources I’ve given you so far are asynchronous. But how would you like to get help in real time? Usually, that requires the physical presence of the other person. Using IRC (internet relay chat), you can participate in a chat with people all over the world, asking real-time questions and (possibly) getting real-time answers. IRC is the precursor to modern chat and chat rooms, and is something developers have actually been using for decades.
To download an IRC client, try out one of these:
- ChatZilla (addon for Firefox browser) | https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/16/
- Colloguy (standalone IRC client) | http://colloquy.info/
- MacIrssi (standalone IRC client) | http://www.sysctl.co.uk/#macirssi
Once you have these in place you just need to find the right “room” on an irc server. For those in this class, you may find the following to be useful:
- #corona on irc.freenode.net
- #wordpress on irc.freenode.net (check out their official IRC info page at: http://codex.wordpress.org/IRC)
- #codeacademy on irc.freenode.net
And finally, once you get into a room, it’s nice to know the commands for doing more than shouting out everything to everyone in the room. Here’s a quick resource on basic IRC commands: http://www.ircbeginner.com/ircinfo/ircc-commands.html.