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Author Topic: Where should I start in programming  (Read 9472 times)
curiousgeorge
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« on: February 19, 2004, 03:21:23 PM »

I am a network admin. I haven't done any programming since my college days 15 years ago. And I forgot everything that I learned.

Where should I begin (which languages and in what order)?

Thanks to all that reply.
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2004, 02:54:03 PM »

Quote
Originally posted by curiousgeorge
I am a network admin. I haven't done any programming since my college days 15 years ago. And I forgot everything that I learned.

Where should I begin (which languages and in what order)?

Thanks to all that reply.


This is a hars question to answer since *why* you want to program and *what* you wish to do with yout skills is important in determining your first language. If you are a Windows sysadmin, I would suggest that you first start learning DOS batch programming. Yes, I know, "DOS is dead", right? Wrong. Many of the old DOS commands are still around in Windows and can automate some of the tasks that you rotuinely wish to do. If you are a Unix admin, then learn the syntax for the Bourne shell in order to automate mahy of your tasks in that environment. At first this consists mainly of stringing together common commands in sequence, but later you will need to make use of conditions and use your scripts to make decisions based upon input or other things.

If you are into web design, you might start using ASP, Perl or PHP, as they are most commonly used for web scripting and are used for simpler tasks than heavy-duty languages.

For a general sarter list, I can tell you this: Bourne shell, DOS Batch files, Tcl, Visual Basic, Python, PHP, HTML, Pascal, and SQL may make good starting languages. COBOL may be useful in certain circumstances.

Assembly, C, C++, C#, Objective C, Java, LISP, etc. are for experienced programmers. If you start out with one of these languages, it will probably be your last. They are too confusing and complicated for beginners.

Tell me more what you want to do and maybe I can give you some more pointers.
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2004, 11:59:29 PM »

Take a look at the HTML and XML.. for website

Then into Java, Javascript,...
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« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2004, 01:35:32 PM »

take my advice...

DONT start with C

actually one of the best is html.

it is easy to learn, and it gives you instantly verifiable results without any special software.

all you need is notepad(any plain text editor) and a browser.

plus it has so much "add on" stuff. after you get the basics of html, then throw in a little css or java if you are daring...

the best thing is that it was easy to learn a little, implement it, learn a little more, etc.

C is tough and very complicated especially after the first couple chapters. that "hello world" is easy to do but not easy to understand.

for me it involved downloading several hundred MB of extra programs, all of which had to be learned to be used effectively. so i was looking at double duty. i soon realized that close to a month of pretty intense exploring was necessary to even begin to understand the compliers and libraries and add ons etc before i could even start with learning C.
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2004, 12:25:02 AM »

I'm also majoring in network admin and would like to dwelve into programming but specifically scripting.  I just need to know to write scripts for Unix and Windows to automate tasks.  I think I will start with Visual Basic.  I know my DOS batch files and I'm pretty proficient with Unix scripting in BASH but I have another 3 semesters left in school to tweak my skills.
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2004, 11:37:01 AM »

Quote
Originally posted by DaDnDe
take my advice...

DONT start with C

actually one of the best is html.

it is easy to learn, and it gives you instantly verifiable results without any special software.

all you need is notepad(any plain text editor) and a browser.

plus it has so much "add on" stuff. after you get the basics of html, then throw in a little css or java if you are daring...

the best thing is that it was easy to learn a little, implement it, learn a little more, etc.

C is tough and very complicated especially after the first couple chapters. that "hello world" is easy to do but not easy to understand.

for me it involved downloading several hundred MB of extra programs, all of which had to be learned to be used effectively. so i was looking at double duty. i soon realized that close to a month of pretty intense exploring was necessary to even begin to understand the compliers and libraries and add ons etc before i could even start with learning C.


Very good advice.
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2004, 07:29:01 PM »

HTML and XML are not programming languages, folks.  And SQL hardly qualifies as "programming".
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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2004, 07:41:16 PM »

Ah another O.G.  I figured that scripting versus programming debate wasn't worth it Smiley

As far as SQL there is always PL/SQL for a charge
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« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2004, 07:43:34 PM »

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Originally posted by azimuth40
Ah another O.G.

What's an "O.G."?
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azimuth40
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« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2004, 10:11:48 PM »

oh my.  Well in todays music (sic) it would be Original Gangsta. In the programmers jargon file it would be a level below the First Ones (F.O.'s), that is, Original programming Gods or those who have written tons of lines of code in C/C++, asm Fortran, Algol, PL/I, Pascal etc. back when hacker was not a dirty word.

I do not consider myself an OG; hardware, microcode, and state machines were my first love. However I have done all of the above languages and long ago passed the MLOC level in C which I took up seriously in the early 80's from K&R 1. I had a primative C on CP/M until Lattice came out for the PC but was really doing mainframe Algol on B6800's along with a little RATFOR.  

OG's typically do not consider scripting, true programming which should only be a level or two above moving CPU registers.  If you can't visually see them then you can't program them.
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« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2004, 10:41:42 PM »

PL/1!!  Man haven't heard anyone reference that language in a coversation in years.  A great language in its day. I remember writing a few simulation programs in PL/1 by in my college days. :cool:
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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2004, 11:24:24 PM »

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Originally posted by azimuth40
Original programming Gods or those who have written tons of lines of code in C/C++, asm Fortran, Algol, PL/I, Pascal etc. back when hacker was not a dirty word.

I see.  Well, no, I'm not an "O.G.".  It's true that for the last 12 years or so I've been making a living writing programs in C and C++, and occasionally Java, Lisp, Python, shell, Scheme, and maybe others.  But I ain't no "O.G.".  I'm wondering why you called me an "O.G."...

Anyway, that doesn't change the fact that HTML and XML are not programming languages, nor are they scripting languages (as you're implying if I'm getting it), since they are markup languages.  Programming versus markup, quite different businesses, aren't they?
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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2004, 11:54:49 PM »

well i suggested HTML because its easy to learn and still requires the same basic skills as programming does although planning isnt as critical in HTML, syntax is.

as i stated in my post, he is just starting out and has never programmed. i suggested HTML simply because if he didnt like it, he will hate real programming.

i specifically told him NOT TO START WITH C.

that maybe good advice or bad advice depending on your school of thought. but HTML is free and easy. I dont think most people can or want to program. but most dont know it until they try it. HTML is simply a good way to see if one has the mentality and certain kind of perseverance to do the work.
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azimuth40
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« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2004, 11:55:06 PM »

True as its name implies however when I think HTML I think of a superset collection of tools. If you use it solely as a markup language then true but some type of scripting is always included. HTML is rarely used by itself and Netscape introduced Javascript early in the live of the web to overcome the markup only limitations.
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azimuth40
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« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2004, 12:15:04 AM »

Quote
Originally posted by DaDnDe
well i suggested HTML because its easy to learn and still requires the same basic skills as programming does although planning isnt as critical in HTML, syntax is.

as i stated in my post, he is just starting out and has never programmed. i suggested HTML simply because if he didnt like it, he will hate real programming.

i specifically told him NOT TO START WITH C.

that maybe good advice or bad advice depending on your school of thought. but HTML is free and easy. I dont think most people can or want to program. but most dont know it until they try it. HTML is simply a good way to see if one has the mentality and certain kind of perseverance to do the work.


yuk that is like the original basic pre Visual and Real variants.  We will probably never agree on whether HTML is programming so I am not going there.  I have watched many people go straight to C with little difficulty. People used to do it when Newsgroups and Fidonet ruled before Tim Berners-Lee and Mike Sendall dreamed up the Web concept. If they have the ability to be a programmer then they might as well find out right away. Then they can go back to being users of programs and complain about stupid programmer and their should be obvious bugs.

As far as cost bring up a cheap Linux box for 100 bucks and download a distribution and all the tools are free.  Use the tools in text mode and learn the basics or learn that programming is not for you.
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