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Thread: Best start for programming?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2001

    Best start for programming?

    Hey Gang,

    I'd like to teach myself computer programming, so I can eventually teach my students (sharp middle schoolers).

    What's the best place to start?

    I don't really have anything that I *need* to write a program to do, I'm just interested in cultivating the skills and understanding to appreciate programming. In this regard, I'd be open to learning a language that would help me lay a solid foundation, even if I ended up having to learn another language (once I got up to speed on the first) to actually get something done.

    Thanks in advance,


    PS: Solid book recommendations or online tutorial sites would be much appreciated.

  2. #2

    Re: Best start for programming?

    Python's a good one to start with, it'll get you in the habit of good code formatting

    This might also be an interesting read to get you started. It'll tell you what languages to learn, anyway

  3. #3

    Re: Best start for programming?

    Either Python or Ruby. Forget about Perl, it's too hard to read code. C/C++ are too complicated for a first language.

  4. #4

    Re: Best start for programming?

    If you want something that will lay a solid foundation for programming, you will need to learn a language like C or C++ (or both). You will have a good understanding of data structures and algorithms with those languages that other languages may hide/lack.

    If you're looking to learn programming quickly to do things quickly, you should learn a scripting language such as Perl, Python or Ruby (all of which have interpreters written in C might I add).

    But you will understand what scripting languages do "behind the scenes" better if you learn C or C++ IMHO.

    I usually buy books that are from the creators of the language (The C Programming Language, The C++ Programming Language, Programming Perl, etc.), I've never gone wrong with them, but they may be a little hard to follow if you're completely new to programming. Programming and knowing a language are two separate things. Programming is about knowing how to use a tool effectively and using it to solve problems.

  5. #5

    Re: Best start for programming?

    I would get Deitel & Deitels : C++, Howto program. I use that in my programming class, and it explains the principals of programming very well.

    Ohh, and what I've read of Sams teach yourself C++ for Linux is very good!

  6. #6

    Re: Best start for programming?


    one of the hardest languages to learn, but it'll pay off in the long run

    especially cuz ur gonna be teaching other people howto program i would recommend C. A good C book will teach you how to program the right way, while other (more easier) languages will make u depend on the safety factor of those languages and it will basically make u a less good programmer, and it will do the same for ur students as well

  7. #7

    Re: Best start for programming?

    You could also be realy sado-masochist and try O'Caml.

  8. #8
    Mentor coltrane's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    North Carolina

    Re: Best start for programming?

    C / C++

    if you can learn that, you can learn ANYTHING

    if you want to have an EASY class, then Visual Basic

  9. #9

    Re: Best start for programming?

    I hate to agree with GnuVince for once [smiles] but I would start off with Python or Ruby. Start simple. I started with Basic when I was 7 years old. From there, move up to C and C++ and then if you're feeling dangerous, try some assembler. Even if you don't program with assembler, it really helps you understand how things work at an even greater level and will improve your programming with other languages.

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