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#1 pEcOFiCe

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 03:51 AM

Where would a good place to start if my prior knowledge of computers is taken from a generic CS110 class, and having taken apart a couple of computers only to stare dumbly into it and suddenly have a craving for warm milk? On one of those two occasions I actually whipped out a cue tip, dipped it in saline solution and wiped the shiny metal casing with it after some water damage, to conclude that it needed a new key board and was satisfied with a usb plug in wireless that I had laying around. I have created a window on msdos about 5 years ago, but that was it, and I only remember the slitest details of the process.... oh good times....

#2 phr34kc0der

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 09:33 AM

If you're looking to get started in programming i've found the best approach is to find a good book and work though it. Take a bit of time to decide a language to start with and go from there. Remember, the language itself is not so important but choosing the correct one FOR YOU will help you write applications which you find interesting which ultimately will help keep you motivated when you start. As a rough guide:

PHP is the bees knees for web programming.
Python or Ruby is good for learning concepts and will let you do a lot quite quickly.
C or C++ are good for CS concepts or when speed is essential - maybe not so great as a first language.
C# is fairly easy (especially with help from Visual Studios) and lets you build complex graphical applications quickly, however its a Microsoft language so cross platform programming may be difficult.
Java is similar to C# but more cross platform and maybe slightly less easy, especially building graphical applications.

My vote would be to start with C#, although remember that C# (and .NET) take care of a lot of "under the hood" stuff that you'll want to learn about one day if you want to be more that a code monkey. If you need cross platform then go with Java.

The most important thing (IMHO) is to get a good book and KEEP GOING, even when it gets difficult. Dont get distracted by looking up online tutorials (too many suck) or changing books when things dont make sense. Once you've got the basics then start reading programming blogs, forums etc and coding :)

Also, i've met quite a few developers who have never taken apart a computer so you'll be one step ahead of them ;)

#3 rainwater_stillicide

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 11:43 AM

A word of caution about using C# as a first language:

I learned programming primarily using Java but for the last week I've been learning C# (my employer asked me to). One difference between C# and Java that I've noticed is that C# has many more language features than Java.

This may sound like a good thing, but if it's the first language you learn it might lead to trouble in the long run: Almost every chapter in the C# book I'm using introduces some C# language feature before saying "but it's usually bad practice to use this, this feature is primarily included in the language for use with LINQ/<some legacy thing>/<some special case>"

Basically C# has a bunch of language features that allow you to develop bad software engineering habits. This isn't a problem if you already know good design practice but if you decide to learn C# as your first language you might find it harder to get to grips with good design practice later and need to unlearn some bad habits.

With that said, C# is still a pretty good choice. Java would also be good.

#4 5imp7y

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 02:17 AM

Spoil yourself with c ++ and java. Two common languages. If you want to learn any language try html/ css. Those two go hand and hand. My first language was q-basic, a dead one at that. It was a pre-req.... Fun tho.

#5 DosPod

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 01:39 AM

Yea finding a good book , and reading it is good , as well as trying to code the concepts you learn as soon as you read about them. With a book , a good text editor with syntax highlighting, a good compiler, and a irc channel for the language you're trying to learn and you should be set.

ps: I just started learning c++ this semester as my first language , so I know from experience...

#6 Zee5han

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 03:31 PM

I recommend Python...

It's really easy to learn... The syntax is pretty clean and it is also cross-platform...

You can also use Python for professional development... It may seem like a languages for novices... But it is also contains some really powerful features and libraries...

It is also very well documented and there are also many great tutorials... You can start off by visiting python.org

A for C/C++... These languages are strongly-typed languages... meaning that everything has to be defined properly and for a newbie it can be a bit less motivating...

<--------------->

Cheers,
Zee5han

#7 tekio

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 06:40 PM

PERL, ftw! I love PERL because it is easy to do almost anything with the use of CPAN. I'm not really a very good programmer though. I guess it all depends on what you want to develop.




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