[Techtalk] Programming language for a beginner?

Kat binaryjane at gmail.com
Fri Nov 23 03:53:53 UTC 2007

If I were to start over, I think I might start with Java.

I started out with databases, then fiddled with PHP, tried a little
Python, and ended up with a job as a ColdFusion programmer, but
learning Java helped me get a solid foundation in how to think
algorithmically (if that is a word) and a grasp of Object Oriented
program which has helped me in everything else I do.

With Java I started out with a college course that was pretty useless,
then picked up Head First Java by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates (which
taught me more in two days than I had learned in four months at uni),
then joined the "Cattle Drive" at javaranch.com, which is a sequence
of assignements that are designed to teach you very specific things.
As far as I can tell, people who have been programming for years learn
a lot from the course, as do complete beginners. The strength of the
Cattle Drive is *code review*. You submit a program that works. From
there, the "nitpickers" help you refine your code, refactor, tweak,
whatever. There is a huge focus on readability. After a while I got
asked to join the team of nitpickers, so I am completely biased.

Once things settle down, I'd love to look into both Python and Ruby.

Looking forward to hear everyone else's suggestions!


On 11/22/07, AstroGirl <astrogirl at spin.net.au> wrote:
> Hi all.
> I'm interested in learning to program for a living.. :) I was looking for a
> suggestion for a language. I've never really programmed before - but looking
> around, Python looks interesting (mostly because of pygame, admittedly!). Is
> that a good starting language, or is there something that employers would be
> looking for instead? If there are any Aussies reading - is there a good place
> to learn to program? The TAFE courses in my area seem to cover everything BUT
> programming (OH&S, communication, how to use a mouse... :p)..
> I appreciate any advice or help! :)
> Thank you!
> AstroGirl
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