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Getting Started in Programming & Scripting

Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've dabbled
in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention to
regarding the following considerations:

Hireability
Portability
Flexibility

The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.

Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe
something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good
way to get started in general?

Thanks,

PA
Jul 23 '05 #1
79 2944
Bibby wrote:
Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've dabbled in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention to regarding the following considerations:

Hireability
Portability
Flexibility
Flexibility will lead to the other two. Abject pursuit of hireability will
not bring happiness. You can't buy love (but you can often rent it).
The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.
Every language in that list, and in your list of newsgroups, sucks.

You need to learn to learn languages. Nobody should say "I'm a VB
programmer", like they would "I'm a Mormon" or "I'm a Vegan". Linguistic
monogamy is a dead end.

(Also, Java is no relation to JavaScript.)
Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe
something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good
way to get started in general?


You need to research two general categories: Open Source, and TDD. Get with
GNU, Linux, and SourceForge, download their projects, and futz with them.
See if you can get one to compile (an herculean effort), then tweak it to
add features. You will confront some of the toughest problems in
programming - both logical problems within the code, and logistic problems
deploying that code.

Next, observe that many projects typically don't have unit tests. The most
popular implementation technique today is debugging, and it is slow,
fragile, and the source of many bugs and delays. If you instead learn
Test-Driven Development, you can trade long hours of debugging for short
minutes writing tests. Many TDD projects simply never use the debugger, and
never need to. This will put you in the forefront of modern programming, and
boost your hireability.

--
Phlip
http://www.c2.com/cgi/wiki?ZeekLand
Jul 23 '05 #2
Bibby wrote:
Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've dabbled
in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention to
regarding the following considerations:

Hireability
Portability
Flexibility

The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.

Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe
something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good
way to get started in general?

Thanks,

PA

In order, personal preference:

Tcl/Tk (script language)
Perl (script language)
Visual Studio (VB, VC, J#)
Java

I started Tcl/Tk, because I needed an easy scripting language, that
would also do GUI interfaces. Then moved up to Perl, and integrated
that with the ktinit for Tcl/Tk, for more advanced, GUI scripts. Wrote
several applications, of various sizes and complexity in VB and .NET,
and now I'm working with Java, in concert with Oracle and MySql databases.

Your mileage of course may vary.
--
Dr. Karl E. Taylor
UNIX Systems Engineer / Oracle DBA
Jul 23 '05 #3
I'd recommend getting to grips with Java first. The design of the language
is very clean and you will not need to worry about pointer exceptions (no
pointers) or memory management (automatic garbage collection). Excellent
development environments such as Eclipse and NetBeans are also available for
Java.

C++, however, is very messy and has a much steeper learning curve owing to
its more complex facilities such as multiple inheritance; plus the hassle of
manual memory management and those pesky pointer exceptions.

Python and Ruby are two modern scripting languages, again with very clean
designs and fully object-oriented. If you want to do scripting for web
sites, PHP is still a popular and perfectly acceptable choice.
Jul 23 '05 #4
Mick Sharpe wrote:
Python and Ruby are two modern scripting languages, again with very clean
designs and fully object-oriented.


I'd like to second the suggestion for Ruby. It's really a fantastic
language, and the concepts map well to those in "grown-up" languages
like Java and C# well (at least superficially).
Jul 23 '05 #5
ben
Just pick any of them and half way down the learning you know how to learn
the others, literally.

ben
"Bibby" <bi***@hotmail. com> wrote in message
news:KX******** *************@n ews20.bellgloba l.com...
Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've dabbled in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention to regarding the following considerations:

Hireability
Portability
Flexibility

The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.

Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe
something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good
way to get started in general?

Thanks,

PA

Jul 23 '05 #6

"Bibby" <bi***@hotmail. com> wrote in message
news:KX******** *************@n ews20.bellgloba l.com...
Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've dabbled
in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention to
regarding the following considerations:

Hireability
Portability
Flexibility

The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.

Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe
something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good way
to get started in general?


What sort of programming? You've said the equivalent of "I want to learn a
trade." Any idea what?
Consider these areas of the "programmin g world":

Animated Movies
Digital Signal Processing
Server Database Systems
Commercial Web Sites
Excel Macros
Artificial Intelligence
Anti-Spyware Programs
3D Internet Games
Server Management Tools
Device Drivers
Enterprise Resource Management
Streaming Video Players

Obviously there are many more. Which languages, platforms, and environments you
look into depends on what sort of programming you want to do.
Jul 23 '05 #7
Mick Sharpe wrote:
I'd recommend getting to grips with Java first. The design of the language
is very clean and you will not need to worry about pointer exceptions (no
pointers) or memory management (automatic garbage collection). Excellent
development environments such as Eclipse and NetBeans are also available for
Java.

C++, however, is very messy and has a much steeper learning curve owing to
its more complex facilities such as multiple inheritance; plus the hassle of
manual memory management and those pesky pointer exceptions.

Python and Ruby are two modern scripting languages, again with very clean
designs and fully object-oriented. If you want to do scripting for web
sites, PHP is still a popular and perfectly acceptable choice.


I concur re C++ (ol C dog here) I use python and rebol for most web
programming. Rebol runs rings around python in terms of rebol code being
more productive than python code - but python has more libraries and a
larger user base that tends to thoroughly test the libraries and (from
my experience) scales better than rebol for large projects. Python is
very thoughtfully designed Object-wise. And there is a market for python
programmers, if you must seek employment.

But the main thing is to be adaptable. For instance, I use elisp to
customize my editor (emacs), use my editor to write rebol code that when
executed, produces python code, which when executed produces javascript
and mysql code.

My apologies to other "ol C dogs" - my unbiased opinion. Those header
files with object defs in them can be a real pain in the rear.

tim
Jul 23 '05 #8

"Mick Sharpe" <mi*********@bt internet.com> wrote

I'd recommend getting to grips with Java first. The design of the language
is very clean and you will not need to worry about pointer exceptions (no
pointers) or memory management (automatic garbage collection). Excellent
development environments such as Eclipse and NetBeans are also available
for
Java.

Java is a good choice for first language.
Really it comes down to the question of whether pointers or object
orientation is more confusing for the beginner. My own view is that even
experienced programmers often get into a mess trying to do object-oriented
design, and effecive use of objects cannot be taught in a few days.
Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but only if the
beginner has the right mindset.

The other advantage of Java is that the GUI is standard. Whilst basically a
good thing, this does have the disadvantage from the learner's point of view
that it is easy to get too ambitious too soon.

So my recommendation would be C. However I'm posting from comp.lang.c
Jul 23 '05 #9
In article <d6**********@n wrdmz02.dmz.ncs .ea.ibs-infra.bt.com>, Malcolm
<re*******@btin ternet.com> writes
Java is a good choice for first language.


Maybe, but my feeling is that it gets less so with every release. 'Java
in a Nutshell' 5th edition has over 1200 pages.

The second problem I have with Java as a first language is that it
heavily constrains the choice of programming paradigms. Such restriction
often results in difficulties with learning other languages. Quick,
visually attractive toy programs may give the student a sense of
achievement (actually that is important) but it can act as a hindrance
to long term progress.
--
Francis Glassborow ACCU
Author of 'You Can Do It!' see http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit
For project ideas and contributions: http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit/projects
Jul 23 '05 #10

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