[Techtalk] Programming language for a beginner?

jim stockford jim at well.com
Fri Nov 23 04:07:31 UTC 2007

    i researched for a while and decided that python was
my best choice. i already knew shell scripting and
assembler and C and perl and had some acquaintance
with other languages.
    i settled on either ruby or python and had some
difficulty choosing, mainly because the two languages
are very similar in their capabilities and approach. I did
not attach importance to differences of syntax.
    i chose python for the following reasons:
* it's a modern, object oriented language (so is ruby).
* one of its design points is readability (this is said to
be true for perl, too, but perl code often seems opaque,
python code rarely does).
* it's mature: there are lots of modules to import, there
are lots of books and on-line tutorials and info, there's
a big python community to run to for help.
* there are many application areas, including lots of
web-related modules, GIS, math, on and on (ruby, on
the other hand, while the language itself is general,
has married the rails web-development framework:
just about everyone using ruby is working with rails;
in contrast there's a wide range of python work).
* colleges and universities are moving toward python
as a first programming language.
* the One Laptop Per Child community has settled on
Python as its primary programming language.


On Nov 22, 2007, at 7:24 PM, AstroGirl 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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