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Question for Programmers/Coders

ford_prefect
Posts: 4,139
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8/25/2015 4:08:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I took an intro to Comp Sci class in college a few years ago. I really enjoyed it but didn't have time to take other classes, since I had to do lots of math and econ for my major. Now I'm working for a tech research and reviews startup, but I seldom use math or econ.

Now I want to learn to code, because I think it could help my career prospects and also because it's something I'm genuinely interested in learning more about.

My question to the experts on this site is this: What are some good options for my first language to really learn in depth? I've gone to sites such as codecademy.com and learnpython.org and I've seen free tutorials available for Python, Java, Ruby, and others. I'd like to start with a language that isn't too difficult, yet is still at least somewhat marketable, if possible. Are these good options? Is one better or worse than the others? At the moment, I'm leaning toward either Python or Java.

If it makes a difference, the Intro Comp Sci class I took in college taught me the basics of Java. I picked it up fairly quickly, (at least whenever I actually bothered to attend class and do the homework, lol). I would by no means describe myself as proficient in Java, but I do remember many of the basic concepts.

TLDR: What are some good computer languages for someone with little experience, but is a quick learner and up for a moderate challenge?
TBR
Posts: 9,991
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8/25/2015 5:26:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Well, here is the thing. The way most of the programming you are going to do now works is in tier. A back-end language, web services, front end etc.

On the client site, getting a firm grasp on HTML5 (ja<x>vascript,css) is where you want to go. Add a framework like jQuery. For back-end, don't worry too much at first. Really, something like classic ASP or PHP is good. The reason I say that is, learning .net is great, or Java can be more... big. Not to complex, just bigger than what you need when you start.

Also, as a side note, JS is getting used in the back-end more now. This reduces code complexity, as you are using the same for both client and server.

Best place to start is with a good project. Something that will keep your interest.
DisKamper
Posts: 63
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8/25/2015 6:53:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Like TBR said, it depends on what you want to do/learn. Python, along with other scripting languages, is generally considered one of the easiest programming languages to start with, but if you want to go really in depth and can handle difficulty, I suggest something else.

If you want to build desktop or mobile applications learn C# or Java (they are very similar). You can build applications with other languages like Python too, but it is generally harder.

If you want to really get into the mathematical side of things, MATLAB/Octave (octave is free and basically the same as MATLAB) is your best bet. This excels in computation.

If you want to learn about computers and memory and hardware, learn C++. It allows you to directly manipulate the memory in your computer using pointer arithmetic (most languages don't let you do it to quite the same extent). Plus, the syntax of the language is found in many other languages.

If you want to do things with the internet, ja<x>vascript is probably your best choice, since you can use it for front-end as well as back-end. An added bonus is that many if not most websites, including this one, use ja<x>vascript that you can look at. In many other programming languages you can't do things that are really useful until you have learned quite a bit.