I never really learnt Arduino through any resource but Google search.
The base language is c++, so having a basic grasp of c or c++ helps. The Arduino libraries then give you simple function calls that work regardless of the microprocessor, so the same code will work on an 8 bit AVR chip and a 32 bit Arm Cortex.
In the Arduino IDE, go to file>examples and there is well commented example code for lots of basic and not so basic operations. If anything is unclear there are always lots of answers on Google due to arduinos popularity.
I know there are good books and YouTube tutorials around, but as to which one to get/watch I think your guess would be as good as mine.
If you want a getting started with c/c++, I'd recommend the codecademy course. Structure and syntax will all be transferable to Arduino.
Unfortunately I am in a similar situation to Rowan on that one, we both learned the fundamentals at university and have since just google searched anything that crops up that is less obvious!
However, the main reason we chose to use the Arduino Nano is the incredible support that has been built up over the years for the Arduino boards in general. With the boards coming as cheap as ~£3 each(ebay) it's also great to have a few spares around the house/school for random projects that you might need something for and that is also a great opportunity to learn.
For an example of the above I required a 'beer bubble counter' device that was capable of counting each time a bubble went past an airlock as a beer fermented. The theory being that the bubbles signify fermentation activity and I should be able to graph the progress of the beer. Some 3D printing and a small amount of coding later (on an arduino nano I had lying around) and I had a working setup. The code used is not that dissimilar to the code used to measure wheel or motor RPMs. All I'm doing is adding them up over time, while the eChook Nano implementation 'interrupts' every 1second or so, checks how many pulses it's counted, and divides this to give you a 'pulses per second' type measurement which can then be converted to a RPM.
When it comes to it there aren't that many 'peripherals' we are using on the eChook Nano to learn, so the amount of overlap between projects is fairly high. After that it's just understanding how to apply a bit of code on top to stitch things together in to something useful!
Many thanks, both....Don't under estimate how useful and appreciated all your comments and 'mini stories' are to guys like myself who have loads of enthusiasm, but are sadly lacking in cructial knowledge....I'm thinking now that it would be overkill for me to try and get too heavily into programming....especially as my only involvement with programming will probably be with this GP project ..so I'll fire up IDE and see what I can make of it.. Thank you again..John..Pods..Chipping Sodbury..
We've just put up Arduino controlled kitchen lights... Because you definitely need lights that sweep on around the kitchen in response to a capacitive sensor under a cupboard. Next they'll come on in dim red if it's dark and you walk into the kitchen.
Also recently made myself a quick oil pressure gauge for a car so I could see what oil pressure the engine was making in the engine bay.