[Techtalk] Programming language for a beginner?

Mylène mylenereiners at gmail.com
Fri Nov 23 09:00:47 UTC 2007


I agree with Kat. I am a Java programmer (well, actually I don't program
anymore - became architect after a few years) since 1997 (before  I
programmed in Cobol and other mainframe related languages).
I love the Head First series, but it's purely personal - my experience is
that you love or hate them.
At least in Europe Java/EE (and .NET - but that's very proprietary) are the
most used environments.
Ruby (on Rails) is a niche, Python is (to my regrets) hardly used, PHP is
used a lot, but mostly done by students, as a side-job during their studies,
Perl is used, but not too much (niche markets and students also).

Good starting points are the Java Tutorial (freely downloadable from Sun),
"Java programming with passion", a free online course by one of Sun's
programmers/architects (and he has some follow-up courses too), and if you
don't know anything about programming you can try "How to think like a
computer scientist" (Java version - there is also a Python version).

The learning curve, especially  if you intent to "do"  Java  EE  is steep,



On 11/23/07, Kat <binaryjane at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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!
> Kat
> 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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