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  1. #1
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    Question New to programming: Where should I start?

    I have read a book, "Computer Programming For Teens" (I am 15) and I am interested in learning my first language. I am leaning towards learning Java and I am not sure exactly what I am going to program, I may start out programming games.

    So my questions are, is Java a good beginner language? What other languages should I consider? If I begin learning Java, what are some good resources (web info, books, etc.) and what should I do to fully understand the language.

  • #2
    God Emperor Fou-Lu's Avatar
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    Java is a fantastic language to learn for your first. Not too little control, and not too much. Know as well that programming has nothing to do with a language, its only the tool used to implement that skill.

    It is my recommended starting OO language. If your looking for procedural, I'd look at perl. If your looking at starting procedural and moving to OO, I'd go with PHP, though be warned that PHP is limited in usefulness to pretty much cli and web development only.

    See this thread: http://www.codingforums.com/showthread.php?t=197636
    I put a link to the Sun tutorials which are very very handy.
    PHP Code:
    header('HTTP/1.1 420 Enhance Your Calm'); 
    Been gone for a few months, and haven't programmed in that long of a time. Meh, I'll wing it ;)

  • #3
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    Okay, thank you. I have already started looking at the Java Tutorials from Sun's website.

  • #4
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    Java is a good language to start with.

    I highly recommend getting a book - How to Program Java by Deitel & Deitel (a father/son team). And you really need to learn how to program.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no..._2.68_48&fsc=2

    You see there are many editions, but the 1st half of these are essentially identical, teaching the basics of the language. So for the basics any will do; but I recommend the 4th edition because it focuses on Object Oriented Design. Yeah, it's old (and so am I!) but new copies of the latest editions are over $100 - that's because these books have become very popular as textbooks. So Bottom line, find a cheap how to program java volume, regardless of edition.

    Another book I give 2 thumbs up to is Head First Object Oriented Analysis & Design. Very readable, very understandable, and the examples are in Java.

  • #5
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    Java is an awful language to start with, it's inefficient and incomparable to c++ which is superior. If your starting programming you should start with vb.net which will give you programming fundamentals and enable you to create advanced applications quickly (impossible in java and c++) although progressing to a more commercial programming language like c++ is fundamental if you want a job in programming or are planning to write applications which require number crunching and speed like an operating system or a rendering engine. BTW I am also 15.
    Last edited by XtremeDeveloper; 07-23-2010 at 04:51 PM.

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    Just go w/ Java and don't worry if it's "the best" language to code with.

    Java has all of the bells and whistles you'd want to learn about in a modern general-purpose programming language.

    Like I said, once having learned Java picking up your next language, in particular vb.net or C# is easier. The similarities to Java are very striking (and intentional). The joke is: ask Microsoft "what is C#?" and the answer is "not Java" (haha, because it is, basically).

    This thread is not asking the question "what is the best language to program in?" The best answer is "it depends." I bet Boeing is not writing missile guidance systems in vb.net.

  • #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RadarBob View Post
    Just go w/ Java and don't worry if it's "the best" language to code with.

    Java has all of the bells and whistles you'd want to learn about in a modern general-purpose programming language.

    Like I said, once having learned Java picking up your next language, in particular vb.net or C# is easier. The similarities to Java are very striking (and intentional). The joke is: ask Microsoft "what is C#?" and the answer is "not Java" (haha, because it is, basically).

    This thread is not asking the question "what is the best language to program in?" The best answer is "it depends." I bet Boeing is not writing missile guidance systems in vb.net.
    Visual Basic is much better to teach programming virgins programming concepts. Then they can make the decision as to whether to go with c++ or java. Of course boeing won't write applications in visual basic for flight software visual basic isn't designed for that but neither will they write it in Java most airplane software is written in c/c++.

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    you should know the programming prerequisites.. and decide what language you want to learn

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    Regular Coder DELOCH's Avatar
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    If you are new, I think your best bet is Python and Ruby. Simple and clean and introduce you to all concepts without crippling your productivity -- their libraries support anything from simple console interfaces to fullscale 3d graphics editing software.

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    Im also new to all of this. I want to gain new skill for a possible career change. As a complete begginer. Could you please point me in the correct direction of where to begin from scratch.

  • #11
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    You could start practicing to write simple programs in Java.
    Sites like MyCoding would help a lot.

  • #12
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    Java is easy to learn, also C# .net. C++ is a little bit harder but if you know C++ you can very easily pick up almost any language.

  • #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD83 View Post
    Im also new to all of this. I want to gain new skill for a possible career change. As a complete begginer. Could you please point me in the correct direction of where to begin from scratch.

    Your best bet is to look into your local community college. You need a coherent curriculum to teach you the right stuff in the right order. And having a real person who is a good teacher is invaluable.

    You said "career". Having that certificate or degree from an accredited college is by far better than saying in your interview "yeah, everything I need to know I learned from the internet."

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    Quote Originally Posted by XtremeDeveloper View Post
    Visual Basic is much better to teach programming virgins programming concepts. Then they can make the decision as to whether to go with c++ or java. Of course boeing won't write applications in visual basic for flight software visual basic isn't designed for that but neither will they write it in Java most airplane software is written in c/c++.
    Fado fado (long time ago) I did Visual Basic (6 i think) and Java in collage. I hated VB with a passion boring as hell drawing boxes all day long much prefered the OO Java.

    Anyway am now doing this teach yourself c++ in 21 days if you want a look.

    http://newdata.box.sk/bx/c/index.htm

    I'm finding it very easy because its so simaler to java (which i havent touched in 5 years or more but is coming back to me!) so i dont know what its like for a novice.
    Last edited by el Burro; 03-01-2011 at 09:58 PM.

  • #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RadarBob View Post
    Your best bet is to look into your local community college. You need a coherent curriculum to teach you the right stuff in the right order. And having a real person who is a good teacher is invaluable.

    You said "career". Having that certificate or degree from an accredited college is by far better than saying in your interview "yeah, everything I need to know I learned from the internet."
    This ^^

    Quote Originally Posted by DELOCH View Post
    If you are new, I think your best bet is Python and Ruby. Simple and clean and introduce you to all concepts without crippling your productivity -- their libraries support anything from simple console interfaces to fullscale 3d graphics editing software.
    And this^^ Python is great, very user-friendly, has a great IDE (parsing, as opposed to compiling, is awesome for learning how to write code), and avoids overly convoluted coding methods in order to teach you the basics. In general, OOP (object oriented programming) is an advanced programming concept. Learning is best done at a basic level (procedural, in regards to computer programming), so stick to something simple.

    For example, java "hello world" example:

    public class HelloWorld {//this file MUST have a name "HelloWorld.java"
    public static void main(String[] args) {
    System.out.println("Hello world!");
    }
    }

    and then, python:

    print 'Hello World'
    Python contains simple, easy to understand programming concepts that can be built upon with higher-level languages.

    Quote Originally Posted by XtremeDeveloper View Post
    Java is an awful language to start with, it's inefficient and incomparable to c++ which is superior. If your starting programming you should start with vb.net which will give you programming fundamentals and enable you to create advanced applications quickly (impossible in java and c++) although progressing to a more commercial programming language like c++ is fundamental if you want a job in programming or are planning to write applications which require number crunching and speed like an operating system or a rendering engine. BTW I am also 15.
    DEFINITELY not this^^ C++ is great, and so is java, for different reasons. VB.net is... well, not, if you ask me. Visual basic is based on a very old and very incapable language and is slowly but surely being phased out. Sure, programming concepts can be learned from it, but other languages are MUCH better and relate better to other languages than VB (python, for example).

    Read 'Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science' by John M. Zelle. GREAT read for anyone interested in getting into programming.


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