If you starting with programming (of any kind, especially game programming,) avoid online tutorials as a source of reference as far as possible. I am not talking about online course-ware offered by institutes, I am referring to code snippets and short tutorials that show small but very attractive demos which could be easily mistaken by a newbie as his launchpad to the next Crysis. I too was guilty of these very things in the past and it’s after having been down that road you realize that some of the things taught were not the correct way to learn those things. The problem with online tutorials is, most authors who write these tutorials have little clue on how to tutor and/or present learning material. While their intentions are Nobel and the authors themselves do have a grasp on the topic (at least some do), it doesn’t necessarily translate into a great learning experience for a beginner. There may be exceptions, I am not saying all tutorials are bad. However such tutorials are far from being productive for a beginner. In fact, I would say they are actually counterproductive. As I have often found, the main focus in such tutorials is mostly on what the author himself knows and in worst case these issues could be totally irrelevant or not as important from a beginners point of view .
Lets make a distinction here. It’s not that tutorials are bad, it’s just that they are not meant for a total beginner trying to get his/her “feet wet” with the subject. They are often excellent resources to put ideas across, or to demonstrate advanced topics on a subject to an audience that has a fair amount of experience on that subject. The best way to begin learning anything is to go to your nearest book-store or Amazon.com, find the best book on the relevant topic and invest some money into buying it. Those books are rated as the best in their class for good reason. It’s because people have previously used that material and have actually gained knowledge after having read through them. A lot of painstaking effort goes into creation of a good book and a lot of experts review it before it hits the shelves, at least this is the case with most good ones out there. Start with chapter No. 1 and read through the book step-by-step even if the examples and material might look downright mundane. By the time you’ve finished with it, you would would have gained more all-round knowledge regarding the subject you were trying to learn than if you had referred to some online tutorial.