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getting started with programming


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12 replies to this topic

#1 leciel

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 12:18 AM

Hi. I love computer and I want to learn programming. I am really new to this so could anyone please explain to me the pros and cons of each language. I believe in a good basic that can expand well and will be useful when I further my study. Could anyone please give me the concept of each language as well? Thank you very much. ^^
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#2 BlaineSch

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 05:59 AM

It really depends on what your looking for.

PHP is the most popular web language
JavaScript is used for Websites
C/C++ are desktop languages
Java/C# do not have as much 'power' when dealing with memory

I'd probably start with one of those.
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#3 WingedPanther73

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 06:30 AM

One problem with your question is that there are literally hundreds of different programming languages, ranging from Fortran and COBOL that are dying, but still have legacy code around, to GO that was just announced in the past week by Google. In addition, there are some languages that are used only for certain hardware/operating systems, but are irrelevant to anything else.

Most languages can be broken down by a few categories:
1) target platform: Windows, Linux, RISC chips, ARM processors, Intel processors, etc.
2) level: High level would be .NET languages, Java, etc. Low level would be assembly/C, mid level includes things like C++
3) Development style: plain text and a compiler, and IDE, RAD, etc.
4) run method: web, compiled, scripting, other
5) programming paradigms: spaghetti code, procedural, OOP, generic, functional, logical, others
6) purpose: teaching language, product to sell, product to "get things done", etc.

Languages range from very powerful but generally harder to learn, to moderately powerful and fairly easy to learn, to not powerful and simple to learn. A few languages manage to be both powerful and easy, but they tend to involve odd ways of thinking.
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#4 leciel

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 11:47 PM

A few languages manage to be both powerful and easy, but they tend to involve odd ways of thinking.


Could you please name that few languages for me? I want to have a look at them.

Thank you both of you for taking time to reply my question. I will still read a lot on this site. Thank you. :thumbup:
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#5 Coldhearth

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 06:23 AM

In my opinion (I'm just a beginning programmer ofcourse...) it doesn't really matter what language you start with. Logical thinking is way more important to a programmer than the language he's using. If you know the syntax of a language but aren't able to solve a problem effectively you can't do anything...
So just pick one for the platform you want to develop.
If you wanna do desktop development pick C or C++
For the web PHP or C# with .NET
Otherwise Java is also good for applications that are cross-platform. :)
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#6 WingedPanther73

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 08:24 AM

Could you please name that few languages for me? I want to have a look at them.

Thank you both of you for taking time to reply my question. I will still read a lot on this site. Thank you. :thumbup:


Lisp appears to be one example of this. However, if you can't wrap your head around its approach, it suddenly switches from "easy" to "psychotic".
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#7 JCoder

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 01:40 AM

The power of LISP is arguable. I wouldn't call a single-paradigm language a powerful one even if this paradigm is powerful enough to mimic other paradigms (like OOP with CLOS). It may look powerful, if you compare it with imperative style of programming for simple things (e.g. quicksort). This looks beautifully in theory. In practice it is a no go for large systems and it is almost non-existent in this area. Even the AI people now use limited, imperative Java more often these days, and Scala seems to catch a lot of attention recently (probably Scala takes the best from these two worlds - it enables building DSLs even in a more flexible way than Lisp/Scheme, while it has more sophisticated object-model than CLOS).

I have yet to see a large system build in LISP, that didn't suffer from maintainability problems. LISP is dynamically typed - dynamic typing and large projects is... not a good thing.

Other reasons for why you should not bother with LISP seriously are listed here (though it really IS valuable to learn LISP for educational purposes):
The Joel on Software Discussion Group - LISP sucks

This is probably the same problem as with Prolog - it is also a one-paradigm-fits-all language, also extremely high level (higher level than LISP?), requires thinking in a much different way, but almost no-one uses it except in some academic AI projects.

If you look for something both easy to start with and extremely flexible/powerful (and additionally fast) I wholeheartedly recommend Scala.

Edited by JCoder, 03 December 2009 - 04:52 AM.

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#8 ishmael

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 10:38 AM

hello all. maybe my question looks like idiot bcoz i know nothing about programming but i am really want to learn it. i will start from zero.i just want to know badly if i prefer to start with c# or c++ or java, what books should i read to get the basic concept of them. i am OCD guy, so what i prefer is must be detail. the books must explain everything not just give a fact then does not explain where the fact come from. i have bought some books but i did not understand them because they are not basic i think, i want to get a book that is very basic and has exercise and could give me the fundamentals of programming. i am not in university or college, i am self-learning.
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#9 WingedPanther73

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 11:10 AM

What do you want to do in programming? It will make a bit of a difference as to which language is best.
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#10 ishmael

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 11:19 AM

What do you want to do in programming? It will make a bit of a difference as to which language is best.

i prefer to do website and making desktop software for windows...
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#11 WingedPanther73

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 11:34 AM

C# is probably your best bet, then. It can be used for ASP.NET and desktop apps.
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#12 ishmael

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 11:49 AM

so C#, how do i get start? eg:download the compiler then try to do coding by copying source code? i prefer to get a book to grab the concept first or should i do otherwise? could u be more specific as to how to get started as i was mentioned that i am start from zero. thanks
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