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View Full Version : best language to start with



cegcubs05
03-04-2004, 03:57 PM
hi

i'm starting to learn programming and was wondering what was the best language to learn. I've seen many people talk about C++ and Visual Basic and others, which is the best to start with.

Roy Sinclair
03-04-2004, 05:25 PM
I'm sorry but with the great diversity of fields within programming these days your question right now is the equivalent of saying:

I'm starting to learn how to drive and was wondering about the best vehicle. I'm heard people talking about Tractors and Mopeds, which is the best to start with?

If you can narrow down the kind of programming that appeals to you then the answer to your question can be tailored to fit.

RadarBob
03-05-2004, 03:29 AM
I kinda agree, most any major language would be ok to start. But here's what I extremely, highly recommend..

Learn any language as long as the book you use is by Deitel & Deitel (a father/son team). I think their textbooks are great. Check out C How to Program which is 1/2 C and 1/2 C++ or Java How to program (I have both of these books) or C++ How to Program ... there are others. Check out amazon.com. Their "How to Program" books are practically identical, they just use different languages.

Their books are pricey, but that's because they've become so popular and are used in so many programming courses. Easy enough to find a used one. I bought my Java How to Program as used at a local university bookstore.

Antoniohawk
03-05-2004, 04:22 AM
Not sure of you path of programming, but I just started Java and find it to be a great language. What I actually started with, is a little javascript (still developing my skills), and it similar to Java. Java in my opinion is a like a new C/C++, probably not better, but newer. I highly recommend it.

Mhtml
03-05-2004, 01:24 PM
Java < && !== C++ :P ( that's what I think anyways ;) )

What language you learn depends on what you want to do.

RadarBob
03-05-2004, 02:29 PM
I think what is unsaid here is that learning the syntax of a language is one thing. Learning how to program is another. I've never had a programming course - and I've had A LOT - that per se taught me how to program.

If your really want to become a programmer your bookshelf should have much more than language specific books.

Once you're about 2/3 into one of those How to Program books get this one: Code Complete by Steve McConnell. It's my programming bible and it should be yours if you care about writing excellent code. In the back is a Top 10 List of books that "make up a solid foundation for a software professional's permanent library." I have many of them and I 237% agree.

I also recommend The Mythical Man-Month. This is one of several more titles suggested to augment the "top 10". It's THE classic tome known to all software developers who know anything. Like several of the "top 10" it was published 20+ years ago, but it's insights are still very relevant - and it's easier to get a hold of because a "silver anniversary" edition was published in 1995.

liorean
03-05-2004, 02:59 PM
Heh - I prefer to study language theory and then learn programming by trial-and-error. Resources like SICP (http://mitpress.mit.edu/sicp/full-text/book/book.html) (uses Scheme as example language, and thus LISP syntax, which is quite unlike almost all other language syntaces) and HtDP (http://www.htdp.org/) (which also uses Scheme) are really good for learning programming basics, and they apply to many more languages than just LISPs.

If you want to learn an imperative language instead, C++ Primer (3ed) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0201824701/classicempire/002-5364088-8842404) and The C ++ Answer Book (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0201114976/classicempire/002-5364088-8842404) are good startingpoints, even if you aren't specifically interested in C++.



As for a language, I don't think Pascal, C/C++ or Java are the right ways to go. They are very efficient, machine close (well, not Java), but aren't especially fault tolerant, and are hard to debug. A much better choice would be Objective C, Objective C++ or D.

Of course, I consider Python, Haskell, ML, Ruby, Eiffel or a LISP such as Scheme or Common Lisp, to be better choices. YMMV, however.

RadarBob
03-05-2004, 03:43 PM
I prefer to study nuclear physics by reading original copies of Oppenheimer's and Fermi's Ph.D. dissertations and tinker with the reactor I got used from Ebay.... I got the instruction manual from Homer Simpson. That should work.

Sorry:rolleyes: I couldn't resist. You loves ya' liorean, baby?!

Stowelly
03-15-2004, 05:44 PM
just chuck yourself in at the deep end with c++ and learn from your mistakes. alot of people will probably say use visual basic or borland c++ cause of the visual aspects of it.... i learnt this way and i dont think its helped me very much due to having not much understanding of the object orientated side.... your better off learning C++ using visual c console programs up to being able to do advanced things such as polymorphism etc. then you should be ready for any language just got to learn the syntax

Mhtml
03-15-2004, 06:13 PM
Jumping into the deep end is wrong. I've learnt that, most people probably have. You learn complex code before you learn coding principles, you code by memorizing patterns with a small degree of logic. You need to start off small and work your way up otherwise when you move into incredibly complicated stuff you won't even understand what you are trying to do.

And as for OOP, you don't learn that first! OOP IMO has nothing to do with learning to program. OO comes after you know a language, after you know programming logic. .. in fact it's another form of it. You can't just learn OOP you need to know the language first.

warhammerdude20
03-15-2004, 07:54 PM
i say no matter what, start with javascript. for the following reasons:

1) you dont need a compiler or any of that bish bash...

2) its easy to write your first program and it will start you on html

3) java is a sinch(for me, anyway) after javascript

4) after a bit javascript can teach you oop and its concepts

thats what ive found! if you want a really good tutorial, go to www.tripod.com and under "build and edit" will be javascript tutorial. written by David Thau.

he really makes computer programming fun (and halarious i might add).

but hey, thats me

gsnedders
03-18-2004, 08:35 PM
I would start with some form of BASIC as it is simple and will allow you to learn things to get you into more powerful languages.

Unit
03-18-2004, 08:47 PM
I started with writing batch files in MS-DOS :)

What you need to learn is basic flow of a program. It does not matter what language you use to learn the concepts, but do learn these - arithmatic/expressions, branching, conditional statements, loops, data structures.

liorean
03-18-2004, 09:35 PM
I would not agree with the BASIC suggestion. BASIC languages are sloppier than most other languages, and allows bad habits to form without you realising they are bad habits. Which means that you'll have problems when moving over to a stricter, cleaner language.

It's harder to relearn somthing you've gotten used to than to do it right from the start.

RadarBob
03-18-2004, 10:20 PM
I agree totally w/ liorean.

Bet you can find a dirt-cheap-to-free Pascal compiler. That would be a good choice.



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