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post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm looking into starting a college course in programming (which isnt cheap )

So i want to make sure i make the right decision for my starting ground. In the long term i wish to learn C++ (as this seems to open up many career opportunities)
of course there are several languages to learn leading up to that which should make it easier for me.


Does anybody have any advice as to which college course i should start with?

Would it be wise to start with C or C#?

The entry requirements for the C language is

You will need:
• No formal requirements but delegates should be familiar with the use of Personal Computers and have a working knowledge of a programming language.




My concern is i have NO experience in any language and have only very briefly dabbled in C++ at home in a poor attempt to self-teach it.


Thanks for your time !

Geriden
post #2 of 5
You should start with something called something like "Introduction to Programming." Your school will decide on which language to use for that. Don't jump straight into an intermediate level of a specific language.

However, if your school does not work that way, I would choose C over C#. C is much closer to the metal than C#. That said, it will be more likely you will learn more basic concepts with C, which is what you need as a beginner. Keep in mind that C# is more closely related to VB.Net and to Java than it is to C. The only thing C# shares in common with C is a similar style syntax.

If you are looking for any advice for a career path, ultimately there are two types of programming careers: Computer Science and Management Information Systems. Computer Science type positions include those where you will have a position working for a software organization doing systems development. Lower level 3GL languages such as C and C++ are used heavily. As such, you would be working on things such as creating commercial and retail software, device drivers, games, etc.

MIS positions are those typically found within the IT department of an organization. You would typically use languages such as C#, VB.Net, Java and SQL in those positions. You would be working on software to help aid in optimizing business processes. That said, you won't typically need the complexity involved in a lower 3GL language such as C/C++. The complexity will come in the business rules logic, and most of your performance tuning will be shuffling data around from databases to your applications.
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post #3 of 5
C# is pretty good introduction to coding. The .NET framework is, for the most part, lucid and intuitively designed - for a MS product. Pretty solid documentation/infrastructure too.

But, I'm of a mind that all programming languages are basically equivalent. Once you get the principals of programming down, the translation to other languages is just a matter of syntax. These days it's especially easy since every modern language is in someway or another descended from C, so they share a lot of common structures.

What language? isn't so important a question. What class should you take? The one where you learn the most about software engineering/computer science. The physical act of typing out code is probably the most dull and unfulfilling aspect of building software(*), but building software is otherwise quite rewarding.

(*) - Sometimes there's some real brilliance that goes into the formation of statements in code; but those are just compiler or language tricks - they provide you with no computational benefits. And probably now you have clever code that is harder to read and debug later on.
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post #4 of 5
Between the two I would go with C over C#. If you have a good understanding of C you will have a decent understanding of what is going on in hardware and memory, which can be useful knowledge down the road. Also with C you are not tied into Microsoft products.

Either way I would start with whatever course your school offers as a introduction to programming. If they expect you to already know a language then the course will probably not cover any of the basics and you will be lost. After you learn your first language the rest are significantly easier to learn as they follow many of the same principles and ways of thinking.
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post #5 of 5

I also failed at c++ when i first tried it when i was 13. It was hard. I moved to learning some php then a few years later c++ seemed so easy. I recommend c over c#. It will gove you more options. Also the adaptation of previous knowledge in C to any other language is very easy. I have recently started learning c# and most of my prior knowledge is applicable. Since you have no knowledge at all I suggest you get yourself either a book or start looking online for tutorials. I started with a $40 php book and read the first 5 chapters of it. In my current school they had use take a class on programing logic before we even started writing applications. i used this book

. new is expensive but used it is very affordable. This book i found was full of information that was not specific to any one language, it focuses on the actual logic of code which is important in every language. Also, the cd doesn't have anything useful, its just a trial copy of Visio, which you can get from microsoft anyway.
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