Book recommendation - How to translate specific ideas/ tasks into programs

I’m Chris - this is my first post on here so hello everybody.
I have a more or less technical background and know my way around analysing data (using exisiting tools like GIS, SPSS for example) but I’m no programmer.
At uni we had a minimal exposure to programming (we did SQL and php to make an interactive GIS map on some topic though). I actually enjoyed this little project a lot and ever since I thought of learning how to program for real.

At the moment I’m learning Java using books. These have some simple examples of what to do with certain features of the language but lack in how to go about beyond that.

Now, what I’m looking for are books on how to get from the idea of what you want to make your computer do, to how this could be approached from a programmers point of view (how could the given task be represented with data structures and algorithms, how to best break this down in managable parts etc.).
I’m not expecting there to be a magical book having all the “recipes” for every case conceivable, but it would be interesting to see real world examples of which approaches/ solutions people came up with for a given problem and to learn from this how things could be done in principle.

At the moment it is a bit like wanting to build a barn and having chisels and saws but lacking the knowledge of the parts a barn actually consists of and how to assemble those to become a barn. I hope this analogy makes sense.

Sorry for this long question - any hint would be appreciated.

Maybe someone has a book recommendation. But to me, you don’t learn what you are describing in books, you learn it by doing it. It’s like I say, you can read all the books you want on swimming and swimming theory, but you’re not going to really learn until you get in the pool, flop around and swallow a little bit of pool water.

Don’t get me wrong - I love books. I think there are a lot of great books out there. I just think that this kind of abstract thing is best learned by doing.

Do you have an idea? Can you make it work? OK, even if you’re not ready for the whole idea, what about a test project that just implements parts of it of a very simplified version? What about a test project?

Don’t be paralyzed by the thought that it won’t be “perfect” - just build something - you can improve it later.

You could also try coding along with tutorials and see how they bring their ideas to fruition. There are pay ones but there are also free ones on youtube.

Those are my thoughts, anyway.

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Hi Kevin,
thanks for your feedback. Eventhough it was not what I was hoping for, I appreciate it.

Actually I have two ideas I wanted to implement at some point which could help me at work.
Both are not very demanding from a mathematical point of view, but need some steps in cleaning up/ harmonising data (recoding, levels of measurment, restructuring etc.), aggregating, matching and calculating some metrics.
I will follow your adivce to build something and start working on the first of those projects right away.

Yeah, I think the “I’ll build this because I could use this” is great.

One thing I will say is to break it into small tasks. Large tasks are easy and more manageable if you can break them up.

It’ll be great to read your book!

With the help of books, I started learning HTML and CSS on my own, but when I moved to JS, I encountered various problems, especially with functions and loops. I’d like to find a simpler guide, where everything is more detailed. Moreover, I’m in college and there is very little time left for this hobby. Now I’m preparing a course project and here is a review of the service that helps me with this I hope to finish everything as soon as possible, and I’ll have more time for such books.

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