How do i program a microcontroller?

I am a novice when it comes to microcontrollers. I understand schematics and how to build a circuit, and how to write the program for that chip. I've never found any tutorial on how to connect the chip to a programmer via usb. Do i need to use a breadboard, and then create a mass of circuitry, or is there a simple board i can use as an adapter?

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Depends on the "microcontroller" you use. "Arduino" boards use a serial port- USB converter, or an onboard chip, PICs need a simple dedicated programming board, 8052s are programmed like the Arduino's, straight over serial. Mbed boards appear as a USB memory to your PC, you drop a file off their website straight into the board's "disk" and press reset.

Steve
Darkwisdom (author)  steveastrouk5 years ago
I wanted to program the Atmega8 microcontroller by AVR.

And as for the software, i'm all beefed up on that, but i'm struggling as to how to connect the microcontroller to the usb programmer, which is an AVR usbasp/usbisp programmer. There is a 10 pin cable, but i''m struggling when it comes to connecting it to the microcontroller. Would a breadboard be easier, or just to buy an arduino?
Take a look over on the right, there are several ISP projects that you can use to program Atmega chips. You can buy an ISP programmer though for about 30 USD.
+1
Some use a serial dongle which you can buy or build.
Look into starter kits.
rickharris5 years ago
Complex question to answer BUT the answers are here if you care to read it up:
here

here

here