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What's a good programming language to start with?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
As of right now, I am really interested in learning a programming language. The only problem is I have no idea where to start and which of the countless languages to start with. So that's why I decided to post this thread.

I'm a bit leaning towards going rogue and learning by myself, so I guess I'd like to start with something that's a bit challenging but not impossible to learn. The thing I'm worried about most is whether or not it would hurt to learn this language and not that. And also, I still haven't decided if I wanna do games, or programs, or some server-side coding in the future.

What do you guys think?

xD





P.S.

I have no pre-knowledge of any sort. I am starting from scratch.
    
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post #2 of 17
theres been lots of threads on this...but I would say java...download eclipse...or whatever ide you want...and learn by doing programs on your own by following tutorials.
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post #3 of 17
I would say that the best language to start with would be Java. It's usually the easiest to learn since a lot of Java commands use plain English. If you need some help getting started with that just let me know. thumb.gif
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post #4 of 17
+1 for java using eclipse.
BTW at my uni, java is the first language taught to us and using the eclipse IDE. smile.gif
plus get a good book like "introduction to java programming, Comprehensive version" by Liang is a great book and search online as well for some tutes smile.gif
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post #5 of 17
Some advice:

A lot of newbies get hung up on learning the language, when what they should be doing is learning how to program. Anybody can memorize some syntax and some basic language concepts, but learning how to do a real substantial project is an entirely different thing on its own.

It won't hurt you to learn any language -- the more programming experience you have, the better. I suggest, if you've never programmed before, to use Python or some other similarly high level scripting-like language. This way, you can get the experience and thrill of writing substantial programs without having to deal with a lot of the arcane bull**** to just draw stuff to the screen/get input/etc.

Personally, I started with C/C++, but I didn't really become a good programmer until I went back to basics, learned Java syntax while writing tons of java programs. But it doesn't matter -- the language is the easy part. Good code structure and problem solving skills are the hard part.

Some example programs you should be writing at the outset:

1. "Hello, World" -- i.e. just print some text to the screen
2. Blackjack. Write a simple, but fully-functional "Blackjack" game. Implement AI. Get a feel for what it's like to work on something nontrivial.
3. Tic-tac-toe -- another classic game. Make it with a GUI, too. Have two-player mode as well as an AI.

Remember -- programming is all about "doing". You aren't gonna "learn" to program by any way other than getting knee deep into code. Also, just know you have plenty of time, so don't rush anything. Just write code, and if you enjoy it, keep writing. Eventually you'll find yourself good at it.

Also, another thing. Get a good book and just work through the chapters. But I emphasize that you must DO THE EXERCISES. Write code. Dont' just read it, type the example programs in, and then go, "yeah, I understand this" -- DO ALL OF THE NONTRIVIAL PROGRAMMING ASSIGNMENTS!

I recommend "Head First Java", but pretty much anything will do.

smile.gif

--aeassa
Edited by aeassa - 1/9/12 at 4:00pm
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post #6 of 17
I started on Java, but I think Python is great as a first language. Quite simple, easy and plain syntax and rather powerful for certain applications. I recommend IDLE if you go down this route.

Also (although I'll probably get flamed for this), Visual Basic is easy and intuitive for beginners, and was the first language I actually coded in. Also useful for scripting in Windows. I'm now working as a programmer/1-man IT Department and developing and maintaining projects in VB (legacy program written my someone else) and C# (new program started from scratch be me).

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeassa View Post

Some advice:
A lot of newbies get hung up on learning the language, when what they should be doing is learning how to program. Anybody can memorize some syntax and some basic language concepts, but learning how to do a real substantial project is an entirely different thing on its own.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeassa View Post

Also, another thing. Get a good book and just work through the chapters.

Very good advice, Especially the part about using books, as self-taught programmers sometimes tend to lack some of the more refined programming skills as those that have been taught or studied from a good source. There are lots of 'best' and 'frowned upon' practices in programming, and different paradigms which are essential to writing good code.
Edited by brodieboy143 - 1/9/12 at 4:11pm
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post #7 of 17
i would recommend starting with vJass, probably not well known here, but its a programming language for a video game that is already made but has amazing versatility as to what it can do: Warcraft 3, the game comes with the editor, and there is a free download to extend the plain Jass language to vJass which is a lot more user-friendly and adds a lot of little extras like scopes textmacros libraries etc... you can buy the game at any target or on the blizzard site, and here is a good help site directly for the language along with a link to the download if you go to the world editor forums or jass forum

notes on the editor:

comes with a "clickable" version of coding
where you dont actually write any text, but pick functions that have descriptions in text along with them that automatically insert the code into the game if you dont understand the actual code itself yet

PS. I frequent the site i linked to and im experienced with JASS vJASS and the base program if you want help with it

EDIT:

a good starter excercise would be to create a triggered spell that instantly deals damage in a circle around the target but not to allies, and doesnt have memory leaks, search each of the words in bold on that site or here
Edited by GFreak45 - 1/9/12 at 4:14pm
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post #8 of 17
Java is the lowest language I would recommend, but Python is good too, any other popular language like C is too low for quick learning.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your input.

And thanks to aeassa. Yes, I don't just wanna learn the it, I wanna do lots of cool stuff while I'm at it.
    
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post #10 of 17
I would start out with learning programming using Java and then once you have the basic grasp of boolean logic, variables, strings, methods, and some data structures you can move up from there. I agree with everything aeassa said about learning by doing, you can type in code and run it but you get more out of it by applying what you learn in order to solve a problem. A good resource I can give you is http://codingbat.com/java so you can be presented with a problem and write code to solve it.
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