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    Advice on Beginning Programming

    I'm about to start self learning programming and I was hoping someone would know what would be a good book to buy, I have some knowledge building webpages and know abit about Javascript and VB but would like to start from the bottom with a book that's easy to understand and follow.

    Cheers

    15 Comments

    what programming language do you want to learn first?

    If you want a good grounding in programming its probably best to learn C to begin with then an OO language (C++ or Java are good places to start). There are loads of books but you might find the 'for Dummies' series one of the best - I'd recommend you get the relevant books out of a library rather than buying to begin with though and see how you get on.

    Could try Sams teach yourself......in 24 hours, that series, check amazon theyve got loads, i got one of HTML/CSS and flash.

    Original Poster

    black gerbil1;2089218

    what programming language do you want to learn first?



    I've heard C# is fairly good to start with but I was thinking of going with C++

    natversion1;2089246

    I've heard C# is fairly good to start with but I was thinking of going … I've heard C# is fairly good to start with but I was thinking of going with C++


    oh never don't that, i've only doing VB.net , im sure other people can advise you though

    Banned

    Torrent some e-books

    i did some C for a module in my degree, i found the '.... for dummies' and sams learn .... in 21 days books really helpful

    If you do insist on buying a book make sure you have a good look at it first in a book shop to see its written in a style you can cope with and understand (I'd expect your local library will have a few books on C++)

    it depends what you want to do with what you learn! Best bet is to look at the industry you want to get in to, be it web development or software engineering or whatever, and find out what the commonly used languages are then go from there. C (++ or #) should give you a good foundation for most things I guess... if you've done no programming before it might be worth looking for a book which teaches you the basic concepts without being tied to any specific language since nearly every language is based around the same core ideas, just different syntax.

    As a cheaper alternative have a look at PHP, its for web applications but theres a absolute ton of tutorials, forums, guides and what-not all over the web to help you learn and its pretty easy to pick up.

    BUT, even b4 any of the above, decide on what you would like the computer to do - Do you want it to create a shopping list, random numbers for the lottery - your imagination is the limit and then when you begin using the language of your choice you will have a goal to try to achieve.

    .

    Decide what area you want to get involved in (e.g. mainframe, databases, web, etc). I asssume that as you mentioned web pages that's where you want to specialise.

    Then look at the languages that employers are looking for for jobs that involve your chosen are of speciality.

    Then look at each of the languages in turn, & decide which one looks as though you could cope with learning it.

    If you've done the first two bits & are stuck on choosing from a shortlist then let us know & we can advise you.:thumbsup:

    Banned

    If I were you I'd check out the charity shops. I've picked up a good few from there that students have handed in once they are done.

    It's not really used these days, apart from in education but turbo pascal is a great learning language.

    Have a little look at Pascal to start with - this is the very basic programming language on which all the others are based upon.

    From this, get onto VB,C++, C# etc

    davegthomas;2089367

    BUT, even b4 any of the above, decide on what you would like the computer … BUT, even b4 any of the above, decide on what you would like the computer to do - Do you want it to create a shopping list, random numbers for the lottery - your imagination is the limit and then when you begin using the language of your choice you will have a goal to try to achieve.



    I'll second this, you'll have a much easier time learning a language if you have a definite aim in mind. I've tried to learn C/C++ a couple of times but as I've had no use for them I've never gotten very far.

    I like Java personally. I found 'learn to program with java' by john smiley very readable although it is a bit basic and doesn't cover the java collections framework to file I/O. If you are stuggling to transfer over to this style from VB though it may help.

    ChrisUK;2093553

    Have a little look at Pascal to start with - this is the very basic … Have a little look at Pascal to start with - this is the very basic programming language on which all the others are based upon.From this, get onto VB,C++, C# etc



    I'll second that, Pascal was designed specifically for teaching programming and encouraging good programming practice. Although what ChrisUK said isn't quite right; non of the more recent languages are directly "based" on it, but they do rely on many of the same core programming principles. Which makes Pascal a good place to start.

    If you're really serious about learning to program and not just learning a language (there's a hell of a difference, good programmers with a solid theoretical background will pick up pretty much any language you throw at them very quickly) then you should probably look at doing a programming course.

    The most common language in use today is C/C++ although I wouldn't recommend it as your first proper programming language. It's a bit low level for a novice, you can get in a right mess if you don't at least cover some good programming practice before tackling it. Pointers in particular tend to confuse the hell out of folks new to programming.

    VB is a really bad language to learn first, as it lets you get away with the programming equivalents of murder. It's a language that's easy to learn after you've got the principals down in another language. Going from VB to another language like C/C++ however is a lot more difficult as you will pick up a lot of bad habits that you wont get away with in other languages.

    Java and C# are probably a bit high level for learning, they hide a lot of the complexity of programming with things like garbage collection. It's better to approach these languages when you have a bit more knowledge under our belt so you can appreciate what's going on behind the scenes.

    I'd say learn Pascal and get a good grip on procedural programming, once you get the principles down then C/C++ will look a whole lot friendlier.

    Google "learn pascal" or similar for a ton of tutorials. Same goes for C/C++ etc.
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