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Gormanilius

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Gormanilius    122
Hello all. My name is Gormanilius and I have been considering going with majoring in computer science or something similar as my major next year in college. I was wondering what is suggested to get a head start in the career. Such as what programming language should I learn first(I do know that C++ is the standard, but also heard it can be tough for beginers, not quite sure)

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ShauwnBlue    122
If you do not have programming experience, I recommend starting with Java.
Of course, this is an age-old debate, but that's my personal opinion.
When I was younger, I started with Python. That's a good place to start if you have zero programming experience, but it's quite basic.
From there, I easily transitioned into Java. I think it's a GREAT language for beginners to grasp. In the later stages, it's also a great language for advanced programmers, as it is still very, very powerful.

C++ may be the industry standard, but that does not mean you have to jump into the deep end when learning to swim.

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KodeNerd    106
C++ is a hard language to learn because it has a lot of little "gotchas" inside of it. A lot of people recommend C# but I would actually go with something like Python.

First thing you should do is check what language you will be learning at the university and concentrate on that for a little bit.

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ShauwnBlue    122
That'd a good point KodeNerd brought up. At the University I took courses at, all introduction (and some advanced ones) were in Java.
That was one reason I transitioned to that one. Certainly helped my grades.

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ibebrett    205
Quote:
Original post by ShauwnBlue
When I was younger, I started with Python. That's a good place to start if you have zero programming experience, but it's quite basic.
From there, I easily transitioned into Java. I think it's a GREAT language for beginners to grasp. In the later stages, it's also a great language for advanced programmers, as it is still very, very powerful.


I'm going to have to say that i think python is more powerful (expressiveness, language features) than java by literally 100 times. How experienced with java and python are you?

Unless you mean in running speed, in which case java is probably a good deal faster than python. But i would argue programming speed is much faster in python.

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Bera_Parth    108
Use good books and C++ is not that hard. But I recommand C for many reasons -
0) Plenty of learning resources for beginers.
1) Never obsolete.
2) U don't have to worry about OO gotchas so u can focus only on primitive features which u will find in most if not all programming languages and u will find it very usefull when u will switch to higher language later.
3) If u are good with just the tools of C, u will be great when equiped with OO.

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I would recommend either C# or Visual Basic. C# is more advanced and more similar to C++ than VB though. No matter what you start in, just make sure you understand the general concepts, they typically aren't language specific and are what people look for in programmers. There's a difference between being a 'programmer' and a 'C#-er or Java-er'.

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namingway    114
KodeNerd is pretty spot on try and find out what you'll be covering in the course and try adn learn that. Personally I wouldnt recommend VB because its syntax is so different from other languages. I learnt C++ first and it was a pain but I dont regret it, from there I learnt C# and Java and they were both very easy to pick up.

Oh and ibebrett your argument about java and python by programming speed are you refering to how quick you can get a python program written as apposed to a java one? Though I havent used python a great deal, I wouldnt say its more powerful.

Back to the OP your course is going to teach you how to program not so much a certain language and you will probably end up going through quite a few different ones.

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namar777    488
Quote:
Original post by Bera_Parth
Use good books and C++ is not that hard. But I recommand C for many reasons -
0) Plenty of learning resources for beginers.
1) Never obsolete.
2) U don't have to worry about OO gotchas so u can focus only on primitive features which u will find in most if not all programming languages and u will find it very usefull when u will switch to higher language later.
3) If u are good with just the tools of C, u will be great when equiped with OO.


This guys got it, C is quintessential as it is as simple as you want it and as complex as your design can be :^)

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BCullis    1955
I'll second the vote that said "find out what your courses will use and check that out". I started up a CS degree at the beginning of the year, and the prereq for all programming courses was a logic & design course, taught entirely in pseudocode. The fundamentals will carry to any language, my course-load this semester includes both C++ and C#, but the principles will be the same.

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Gormanilius    122
Please excuse me if I caused some small confusion. I am an upcoming senior in high school, not and upcoming college student.
From what I hear the best starting points seem to be either Python, Java, or C#?
Thanks for all the imput. I shall watch this thread a little longer to see if anything further is posted. Then I shall decide which to START with.

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argonaut    100
My suggestion might be a little controversial, but still worth the salt. I suggest you try out Visual Basic, or even some scripting language like javascript.

The reason behind my thinking on this is:
- You instantly discover if you have the metal for programming
- You get the basic gist of programming

After you have spent a few days or weeks of learning the basics of what goes into programming, I recommend you go into straight C. It doesn't matter at this point if you can make games or not, but C will give the knowledge of what goes on in the computer. From there, you can go on to program in whatever language you see fit!

Don't get disappointed though! Programming take a bit to get used to and understand.

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jpetrie    13151
Quote:
Original post by Bera_Parth
Use good books and C++ is not that hard. But I recommand C for many reasons -
0) Plenty of learning resources for beginers.

True of many languages, including Python, which would be my recommendation.

Quote:

1) Never obsolete.

True of many languages. Additionally, obsolescence has only little to do with whether a tool is the right tool for the job.

Quote:

2) U don't have to worry about OO gotchas so u can focus only on primitive features which u will find in most if not all programming languages and u will find it very usefull when u will switch to higher language later.

Largely irrelevant. You don't need to focus on OO in C++ or Python either -- do not make the mistake of conflating OO design with the use of 'classes.' The latter does not imply the former.

Quote:

3) If u are good with just the tools of C, u will be great when equiped with OO.

That's only true in that those "tools" that will transfer to another languag are those that are fundamental across all languages of that paradigm; for this C is no better a choice than Python.

Quote:

This guys got it, C is quintessential as it is as simple as you want it and as complex as your design can be :^)

"That guy" is actually wrong on pretty much every point he made, and the ones he's right on are irrelevant because they don't apply to C. C would very much not be the language I'd recommend for a beginner: it is extremely complex, and while it can be used in a simple fashion as you suggest (also true of every powerful language, including Python), it does not scale as well to the simple case as Python does. Plus there is a wealth of horrid misinformation about it out there, which is responsible for giving beginners the impression that C is "close to the machine," which nowadays is likely to be completely untrue for anything that runs on a desktop.

Gormanilius:
A good programmer will know many languages and know how to select the most appropriate for a task. As such, knowing multiple languages is a good thing and you cannot make a "wrong" decision about which to learn first -- even if you don't pick the one that your classes will use. You can make sub-optimal choices (C and C++ would qualify), but they won't be wrong. The most important thing is to make a decision and stick with it, and be ready to forget much of what you learn because you will invariably learn things that are wrong or constitute bad habits; don't become indoctrinated or attached, and keep an open mind.

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daviangel    604
Quote:
Original post by argonaut
My suggestion might be a little controversial, but still worth the salt. I suggest you try out Visual Basic, or even some scripting language like javascript.

The reason behind my thinking on this is:
- You instantly discover if you have the metal for programming
- You get the basic gist of programming

After you have spent a few days or weeks of learning the basics of what goes into programming, I recommend you go into straight C. It doesn't matter at this point if you can make games or not, but C will give the knowledge of what goes on in the computer. From there, you can go on to program in whatever language you see fit!

Don't get disappointed though! Programming take a bit to get used to and understand.

I agree if you are still in HS and just want to have some fun and get a feel for it you can quickly get started with some scripting language like javascript or vbscript.
In college you should stick with whatever language they use since that what you will be graded on. Most colleges use either Java or C lately from what I have seen.
If you work for a company after college programming you will have to stick with whatever language they say. At google you have to use either C++,Java or Python for instance.

p.s. If you can make up your mind just go with Python arguably the "easiest" language out there today even easier than VB although VB still has a better IDE/debugger for beginners.

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