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Language for 9-year old?

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Hi! I was asked by a friend where to start with programming if you are 9 year old. His son wants to learn programming, and he himself don't know anything about it. I dont have any good idea what would be the best programming language to start with... 9 year old is kind of young :) Anyone knows a where to start? /T

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I really recomend BYOND,the language is very powerful for what its for,making online multiplayer 2D games,its very easy to understand its in english

For a 9 year old this is good cause:

1-Makes Games
2-As long as he knows english its easy
3-Fast prototype possibilities
4-Great comunity!

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He might want to check out one of a handful of programs the let you create games(The Games Factory, Stagecast, Game Maker, etc.) if he is more into making games than learning programming.

If, however, he really wants to learning a language, theres always all the different Basics. I have no idea which one would be good, but they can't be *that* different. Another possibility could be Python(python.org).

One of my friends started programming in 4th grade. I don't know what he started on, but he did move to c++ pretty quickly. I'm also sure that other people around here have started at about that age, too. So it is doable.

Good luck to him!
-Ezbez

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I could use QBASIC when I was 9. There are a lot of old books for kids still clogging up libraries around that were originally for the ZX Spectrum era of BASIC, full of relatively simple games that will mostly run with no modifications perfectly in QBASIC (graphical games won't run). I managed to pick a book up for around 10p (It was Usbourne's 'Computer Space Games', there was another in the series 'Computer Battle Games'), a snip compared to the £30+ you can pay for real programming books which certainly aren't aimed at kids.

And folks, I had no problem learning other programming languages afterwards.

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How motivated is he? If he just wants to make games and isn't profoundly interested in math/logic/etc. one of the various game maker tools might work. But if he's really interested in programming or wants to emulate the way professionals do it and you think he'll be able to remain motivated, not to mention extremely patient (programming can be very, very painful, and sometimes you just get completely stuck for a while), there's no reason to assume he can't start with C++. I was about 9 when I started learning C++ and somehow (I really don't know), I've held on to that motivation for six years.

It's important to have some guidance, though, which can be difficult if neither parent programs (unfortunately, elementary schools do not offer classes on programming). I actually got pretty lucky in this situation, because my older cousin had started taking programming classes in college shortly after I started trying to program, and I also stumbled upon the (now defunct) forums at cplusplus.com. I'm not sure I can really recommend online forums for a someone who's nine (particularly since this one has an age limit of 13. In some ways that bothers me, but it makes sense), but it worked for me (and I didn't get murdered by insane stalkers). Even so, I followed quite a few dead ends trying to learn (though I did learn things from all of them) and probably could easily have given up the whole thing.

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As someone suggested, if he wants to program, I'd also suggest the BASIC variants, a good one that I love to promote is freebasic, its a relatively simple language being based largely on QBasic, but as its name implies, its 100% free, and it has alot more power open to your son as his skill progresses.

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See if he would be interested in learning the basics of C++ and try writing some text-based games using the standard input/output libraries.

This is what did around that age, but in BASIC (blah).

"You have entered a very dark cave. You hear lions. Which direction do you want to turn? (N)orth/(E)ast/(S)outh" ... :)

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Quote:
Original post by BleedingBlue
As someone suggested, if he wants to program, I'd also suggest the BASIC variants, a good one that I love to promote is freebasic, its a relatively simple language being based largely on QBasic, but as its name implies, its 100% free, and it has alot more power open to your son as his skill progresses.


I'm really not a big fan of BASIC. It's true that I didn't learn it when I was 9 (and the fact that I did fine probably shows that there's really no need for a language to be simpler), but I've since learned more of it than I ever wanted to know and I'm just slightly underwhelmed. It's true that FreeBASIC looks better than any I've used before, but I'm still just not convinced as to what makes it the best choice.

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