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First Programming Language

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WheyJames
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First Programming Language 2011-01-07 17:07:39 Reply

hey

I want to become fairly efficient with a programming language in prep for university later this year- and ive done a tiny bit of several languages such as c++ but im finding it hard to decide which to stick with because im unsure of its capabilities.
so what was your first language?
would there be anything wrong with learning as3 first? (only because flash is more fun for me right now)

thanks

UnknownFear
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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-07 17:41:04 Reply

I'd definitely give Python a try. I personally haven't tried it, but I hear it's a great language for beginners to play around with.

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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-08 00:08:27 Reply

At 1/7/11 05:07 PM, WheyJames wrote: would there be anything wrong with learning as3 first? (only because flash is more fun for me right now)

Not at all! It's a fine language.

WheyJames
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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-08 02:38:30 Reply

thanks- yeah I'll definitely have a go with python and have a mess around with it :)

As far as AS3 goes, I'm reading that its syntax resembles that of C++, Java, etc.. So maybe I would be benefitted to know it, before moving onto harder languages. hmm...

Anyway thanks again people

GustTheASGuy
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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-08 08:29:57 Reply

The syntax of a language is just the convention of how to write code as text. Needless to say, it doesn't concern the difficulty in programming.
You want to work on your understanding of the underlying concepts and your ability to implement various programs.

You can start with AS if you want. Java is almost exactly like it.
But check out http://processing.org/ . It's a simplified environment for starting out with graphics programming.


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WheyJames
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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-08 10:07:12 Reply

Looks awesome bro, ill give that a go aswell. :)

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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-08 16:39:59 Reply

AS3 has instant gratification (you get to see what you're doing immediately, and it's lotsa fun). Python is more delayed gratification, but is a better language overall in my opinion (and of people who have used them both extensively, you'd be hard pressed to find many people that disagree).

You may as well start with AS3 to see why coding is so much fun, but be sure to keep python in the back of your mind...


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Al6200
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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-09 13:35:57 Reply

First and foremost, program in whatever language you're having fun and will allow you to do interesting things. In the grand scheme of things, experience with design logic matters much more than experience with a specific language.

With that said, here are a few things that will be interesting to try:

-Lisp/Scheme. If you're used to OOP/functional programming it will really be a new experience. There are a lot of programs that are one line in LISP that takes dozens of lines in C++. The tradeoff is that Lisp requires a very different style of thinking than most languages.

-Linux/Unix. I would recommend getting a linux or unix machine to play around with python and shell scripting. When I started using Linux, I thought it was really cool that I could write my own code to control the operating system rather than relying almost entirely on built in features like Windows. Unix also has something called "filters", which means that data can come into a program from a standard input/output stream. This means that you can pipe data from a python script to a C++ program to a shell script, or whatever.

-C. Programming in C is a lot different than programming in Java or a high level scripting language because it will teach you about how a computer actually works at the hardware level.


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WheyJames
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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-11 03:22:47 Reply

Ok thanks

Gonna stay with AS simply because yeah, I enjoy it the most and I can see from flash submissions, etc, what is achievable for me- I hope to create something pretty awesome, worth submitting sometime soon :)

visua
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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-11 14:59:25 Reply

It depends on what you want to do with your programming knowledge. Each problem or 'solution' has it's own set of tools. I use a few different languages for various purposes.

C# / .NET
Great for game dev or writing software on windows. Also .net is capable of web apps, win mobile 7, and pretty much any platform MS is on. Also, the job market for C# devs is really good. From what I've seen, C# devs are doing 80-150k a year.

ActionScript 3
The VM runs on a vast array of devices. Adobe is pushing the VM to run on every mobile platform, televisions, game consoles, and obviously the web. Molehill will give you GPU access to write decently performing 3d games on all these platforms. Social gaming programmers are making big bucks at some of the bigger studios.

Javascript
Self explanatory, pretty much all browsers have invested a boatload of money in Javascript run times, so this isn't going anywhere when it comes to client side scripting. 'HTML5' exposes some api's for cooler stuff with JS in the browser. Web dev jobs are abundant, and also pay well.

Hope that helps.


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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-20 11:16:51 Reply

At 1/7/11 05:41 PM, UnknownFear wrote: I'd definitely give Python a try. I personally haven't tried it, but I hear it's a great language for beginners to play around with.

I've heard of this, too. I'm thinking I may want to give this a go. Even though I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to ever get into serious programming, I'm thinking that it'd be a good skill to have in the future, as computers grow more and more important each day...


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UnknownFear
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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-20 13:15:27 Reply

At 1/20/11 11:16 AM, puddinN64 wrote: I've heard of this, too. I'm thinking I may want to give this a go. Even though I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to ever get into serious programming, I'm thinking that it'd be a good skill to have in the future, as computers grow more and more important each day...

Absolutely :) I've actually been interested in learning Python for quite some time now, just haven't gotten the time to actually sit down and learn. Thinking I'll pick up a good Python book, I went to Chapters a few weeks ago and saw this book, Head First Programming: A Learner's Guide to Programming Using the Python Language. From what I've read of it so far, it's really good. Uses lots of examples, and even simple pictures and other techniques to get your mind to understand it and grasp it easier. I'd definitely recommend this book for starting it, and cause I love to read :P

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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-21 07:02:53 Reply

I went from Visual Basic 6 -> Java -> C and I'd say I've learned a considerable amount over time. I'm still not all that advanced a programmer, but I'm starting to learn to do some interesting things.

C is definitely a lot harder so far though.


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dELtaluca
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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-21 07:37:05 Reply

At 1/9/11 01:35 PM, Al6200 wrote: (unix)
This means that you can pipe data from a python script to a C++ program to a shell script, or whatever.

That isn't just unix btw, windows has it too.


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Al6200
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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-23 15:14:23 Reply

At 1/21/11 07:37 AM, dELtaluca wrote:
At 1/9/11 01:35 PM, Al6200 wrote: (unix)
This means that you can pipe data from a python script to a C++ program to a shell script, or whatever.
That isn't just unix btw, windows has it too.

But does Windows use standard input/output like Unix does? That's really what makes the pipes so useful.


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Redshift
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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-23 15:22:05 Reply

At 1/23/11 03:14 PM, Al6200 wrote: But does Windows use standard input/output like Unix does? That's really what makes the pipes so useful.

Yes, it does.


#include <stdio.h>
char*p="#include <stdio.h>%cchar*p=%c%s%c;%cmain() {printf(p,10,34,p,34,10);}";
main() {printf(p,10,34,p,34,10);}

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KemCab
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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-24 07:43:24 Reply

"The teaching of BASIC should be rated as a criminal offence: it mutilates the mind beyond recovery." - Edsger W. Dijkstra

C is actually a good start. It really depends on what you want to do. I was really interested in programming at one point but I only use AS3 now if I want to code some little flash gimmick or PHP for tweaking sites.

At 1/8/11 04:39 PM, johnfn wrote: AS3 has instant gratification (you get to see what you're doing immediately, and it's lotsa fun).

That would be AS2, really. AS3 is more strongly typed, and if I can remember correctly it forces you to import classes to do anything. Of course, AS3 is much more useful so you're better off learning that instead.


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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-25 12:06:56 Reply

C++ is what I'm learning (apart from as2)
It's okay, tho. Not too tough but not too easy either.


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Kunera
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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-25 14:11:08 Reply

I really can't say that I've learned enough to do anything particularly practical, but I spent my first semester in college learning Python.

I have to say, it's definitely not a bad place to start.


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nakedxbabe
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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-25 17:22:04 Reply

mine was html, i discovered myspace and loved learning it, so then i moved to css and then eventually my sql and java :D


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Wolfos
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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-25 18:42:11 Reply

At 1/11/11 02:59 PM, visua wrote: C# / .NET

I don't get the entire point of learning a programming language that can be used on only one platform...

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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-25 20:15:03 Reply

At 1/25/11 05:22 PM, MisterWonderful wrote: mine was html, i discovered myspace and loved learning it, so then i moved to css and then eventually my sql and java :D

Well, HTMl isn't a programming language, nor is CSS, and nor is SQL. So your first language was Java then (or JavaScript if you confused it with Java).

At 1/25/11 06:42 PM, Wolfos wrote:
At 1/11/11 02:59 PM, visua wrote: C# / .NET
I don't get the entire point of learning a programming language that can be used on only one platform...

What the hell are you talking about? And not to mention C# with XNA for xbox games.


#include <stdio.h>
char*p="#include <stdio.h>%cchar*p=%c%s%c;%cmain() {printf(p,10,34,p,34,10);}";
main() {printf(p,10,34,p,34,10);}

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milchreis
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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-26 03:11:34 Reply

Logo.
then something like Java (aka AS3, Processing..)

GustTheASGuy
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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-26 09:10:13 Reply

At 1/25/11 06:42 PM, Wolfos wrote: I don't get the entire point of learning a programming language that can be used on only one platform...

Jesus fuck, are you always trolling around here or are you really so thoroughly stupid?


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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-26 09:51:41 Reply

At 1/25/11 06:42 PM, Wolfos wrote:
At 1/11/11 02:59 PM, visua wrote: C# / .NET
I don't get the entire point of learning a programming language that can be used on only one platform...

I don't understand your obsession with multi-platform development. Most software isn't, and for good reason. Cross-platform is usually a pain in the ass. And this goes for Java as well. An application doesn't need to be cross-platform. You have to take into account the target audience, not just do it because it turns you on, or because you feel left out.

Also, for the millionth time, http://www.mono-project.com/Main_Page

C# is a great language. It's also an ECMA and ISO-IEC standard.


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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-26 13:01:43 Reply

At 1/11/11 02:59 PM, visua wrote: It depends on what you want to do with your programming knowledge. Each problem or 'solution' has it's own set of tools. I use a few different languages for various purposes.

C# / .NET
Great for game dev or writing software on windows. Also .net is capable of web apps, win mobile 7, and pretty much any platform MS is on. Also, the job market for C# devs is really good. From what I've seen, C# devs are doing 80-150k a year.

ActionScript 3
The VM runs on a vast array of devices. Adobe is pushing the VM to run on every mobile platform, televisions, game consoles, and obviously the web. Molehill will give you GPU access to write decently performing 3d games on all these platforms. Social gaming programmers are making big bucks at some of the bigger studios.

Javascript
Self explanatory, pretty much all browsers have invested a boatload of money in Javascript run times, so this isn't going anywhere when it comes to client side scripting. 'HTML5' exposes some api's for cooler stuff with JS in the browser. Web dev jobs are abundant, and also pay well.

Hope that helps.

This is a great post. OP: I'd listen to this and ignore most of the other posts. Don't waste your time with Python. It's a zealot's language.

One additional category I'd add is:

C / C++:
Great for performance. Low level so fairly easy to learn. Harder to use well. Supposedly C++ is the industry standard for games programming. But I'm sure that is changing rapidly.


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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-27 00:53:55 Reply

My advice for you would be to download ready made C++ or Java script and edit it then study it and learn the language from that!

If you want to learn something simple, start with batch programming then do the above.
Good luck!

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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-27 06:49:03 Reply

I think it depends on what you are going to do with it. If you want to do low level programming (hardware or OS) then you definetely need knowledge in C, C++ and sometimes even assembler (for inline stubs). For games and other multimedia apps you can use whatever you like. I'd recommend C# + XNA in Windows environments (or XBOX) or C++ for others (a LOT of libraries available).

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Response to First Programming Language 2011-01-29 14:01:52 Reply

I would say VBA is a very good starting language. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_Basi c_for_Applications
Many universities teach it to their first year students because it cuts off most of the graphical stuff and lets you go straight to coding logic. And because of how excel is built using cells is very good for teaching loops and such.
I do not recommend any server or web language as some here do because you want to start of the most traditional way. And going straight to AS3/Java is hard because starting programming AND object-oriented programming together is very hard.
Also Scratch is good tool to play around with before VBA.