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Good starting language?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I want to major in computer science, and I'll be starting the actual programming of it next semester with C++. However, I've been thinking about teaching myself some to get a head start, and to be able to understand languages either.

Should I just try and learn C++ on my own so I can fly through the class, or start another? At a book sale, I bought a COM+, Oracle SQLJ, ASP Components, Java and XSLT books. (The O'Reilly ones) for 2 dollars.

Should I check out one of those? Or maybe Ruby or Perl?
post #2 of 16
I started with Java and I always find that its a great language to start with. You probably want to start with something object oriented so starting with either Java or C++ is generally one of the best ways to go.
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post #3 of 16
This ^.
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post #4 of 16
I'd agree with either Java or C/C++. Would not recommend Perl, it could just be me but Perl has very lax rules and for me at least was more confusing than either Java or C++. I've never worked with Ruby before but heard it's not too hard to pick up, but I think Java is probably one of the better languages to learn programming with.
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post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Any books/guides you recommend for learning Java?
post #6 of 16
This is the book I learned Java with. I started out with zero coding knowledge, this book taught me Java from the ground up. It doesn't get bogged down in tiny details, but gives a pretty broad scope of programming in Java, touches on a lot of different things. It is a tad pricey, as it's a textbook, but I thought it was well worth every penny. Others here might have experience with other books, but this is what I learned with and would definitely recommend it.
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post #7 of 16
In college (im a senior comp sci major) we use prog books by Tony Gaddis and i really like his style. Im sure you could look around at half.com and find his older editions for less then a dollar. thumb.gif
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post #8 of 16
The best first programming language if Python. Most universities will teach their IT/Computer Science students Python first. It's also highly recommended in the industry to learn Python as your first language, a simple Google search will prove this. Don't know why people are recommending Java, yea it's a fundamental language, but not the "best" starting language.
post #9 of 16
try Alice first. its really cool.

http://www.alice.org/
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post #10 of 16
I would say start with Java or C++, really makes no difference as the only hard language to learn is the first one, after that it is all about learning syntax, etc. It also really depends on what you want to do, but as a freshman your choices are basically unlimited. For example, when I started I thought I wanted to do software development, so Java was a good choice, however now that all is said and done I actually am doing security work, so most of the coding that I do is scripting type stuff, so I rely heavily on PERL. Either way good luck, and don't be afraid to ask for more help here on the forum.
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