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Which language to learn first?

post #1 of 7
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I'm new to programming, and i wanted to ask which language is best to learn first? By yourself and books?
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post #2 of 7

My favorite book:

http://www.amazon.com/Programming-Principles-Practice-Using-C/dp/0321543726

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post #3 of 7
'Best' is a relative term, C++ is a good language to learn first since it is widely used and has active, helpful community; Java could also be a good first-timer language to learn for the same reasons as C++ and some people say it's easier to learn than C++ however it isn't as widely used in the business world; there are also the more... eccentric options, my first language was -technically- E2 (part of WireMod, a addon for GMod), it was very simple to learn and it shares a few conventions with most popular languages, however it is only used in GMod and learning it is next to useless, but it is a good exercise for a beginner because of the very logical way in which it works.

So I would say either C++ or Java.
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post #4 of 7

^And I went with C++ over Java because it's much neater which makes it a bit easier to learn. Not to mention it is a bit more universal and seems like it'd be the more more beneficial language to know.

 

Java does have far more IDEs and such that can aid in coding but besides that I really can't think of many more pros.

 

Personally, Code::Blocks/Boost/GNU-GCC(Or Cygwin) is all 'I' need.

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post #5 of 7
I'm struggling with this decision myself. I have to do one "full" language and one "half" language at college this year. I think the "half" language as they call it is just learning the basics of the language, I'm not sure as I haven't started them yet. I know that I want to learn Java and C++ sometime in my life. I know you can pretty much do anything in C++, and it's used widely in businesses as well as in game development which I might get into, but I also want to do Java because it runs on just about every platform there is, and it means I can do Android development. Lots of people I know are going to do C# as their main language, but I know some C# and I know how easy most of it is compared to C++ biggrin.gif so I could probably learn it properly by myself after college sometime. I've also heard Java uses a C-like syntax so that'll be helpful, since I've already taught myself some C++/C# and as RankWinner said, E2.
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post #6 of 7
The truth is, if you want to program, you're going to learn programming languages. That's right, languages, with an 's'. Even if you don't try to, it's basically inevitable. Once you learn how to program, you'll be able to pick up a new language (relatively) quickly. However, when you first start out, it's going to take you a very long time to learn your language of choice. It isn't because learning the language takes an exorbitant amount of time, it's because learning to program does. You're doing both with your first language. The knowledge is you obtain is almost entirely language-agnostic.

With that in mind, I would say that the "best" first language is Python, because it has an unintimidating syntax and a wealth of excellent manuals, tutorials, and documentations readily available. I don't mean to say that it's the best language for programming though, because no language is the best for programming. A language is good for what that language is good at. Pardon my mind-numbingly tautologous statement, but I believe things will be much easier for you when you aren't constantly worrying that you're learning the wrong language. Keep three things in mind:

1. The language you chose isn't the best, because no language is the best.
2. You will learn multiple languages, even though it seems impossible now.
3. Life goes on smile.gif
Edited by Conley - 4/9/12 at 3:10pm
post #7 of 7
A resonable question to ask would be, what do you want to learn a computer language for? I believe the answer to this question will tell you what direction you should go. I learned Fortran first because it worked very well for advanced physics calculations and i needed to know it for that.

Also keep in mind that if you "learn" a programming language and dont use it, you will probably forget it... I spend alot of time keeping my C++ sharp (since I am not a developer at this stage in my career). I probably couldnt write anything in Fortran anymore without the help of a reference.
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