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  1. #1
    Randell1234 is offline Moderator
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    What is an easy programming language to learn?

    I want to take a programming course as a continuing development action item. I taught myself BASIC many years ago by typing the sample programs in my IBM PC Jr. and Commodore 64 books, removing lines or changing values to learn what would happen, and understanding what does what. I started to mess around with HTML and that seems kind straight forward. I can make a webpage in front page then manipulate certain things in notepad then save as an HTML page. Not really advanced but I am not totally lost.

    Now the question - what is a good beginner language to learn? Java, C+, Visual Basic?

  2. #2
    emmzee is offline Registered User
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    Since you're already somewhat HTML-savvy, what about a web programming language?

    PHP web programming language is a widely used & supported language which is also relatively easy to learn. (Ex, This forum was built using PHP as you can see from the URLs!)

    A fantastic book to learn PHP is "Build Your Own Database Driven Website Using PHP and MySQL", now in its 3rd edition by Kevin Yank (part of the Sitepoint series of books) ... I learned PHP on my own using various website tutorials, then later read this book and said "Woah, I wish I'd read this to begin with!" :)
    Last edited by emmzee; 06-25-2009 at 08:32 PM. Reason: Typos
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  3. #3
    BlueMason is offline Audaces fortuna juvat
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    Personally, I learned C first, a great foundation language and there are TONS of tutorials available online as well.
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  4. #4
    edowave is offline Registered User
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    I remember this question being asked on an IT forum and it sparked a ton of debate. Nobody seemed to agree on what was the "easiest" to learn. Java, C#, VB, Python, and a gazillion others were nominated. I say pick one you are interested in an go with it.
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  5. #5
    TEKMAN is offline Semper Fi!
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    Quote Originally Posted by edowave View Post
    I remember this question being asked on an IT forum and it sparked a ton of debate. Nobody seemed to agree on what was the "easiest" to learn. Java, C#, VB, Python, and a gazillion others were nominated. I say pick one you are interested in an go with it.
    I don't consider Visual Basic a programming language, but JAVA is the easiest after Web programming languages (PHP, XML, HTML, DHTML, ASP, and etc).
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  6. #6
    Randell1234 is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEKMAN View Post
    I don't consider Visual Basic a programming language, but JAVA is the easiest after Web programming languages (PHP, XML, HTML, DHTML, ASP, and etc).
    Why isn't VB a language?

  7. #7
    jaer57 is offline Registered User
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    If you have no formal education on programming and you are just looking to get your feet wet, any CS101 intro to computer science course will probably suit you well. The various languages differ in format and capabilities, but you could more easily port your skills from language to language if you learn the basics of problem solving, algorithm development, object-oriented programming , and data structures.

    While I don't agree that VB is not a language, I do agree with Tekman's sentiment to a degree (no pun intended). VB is more of a procedural language, as are most scripting languages like JavaScript, PHP, and to some extent Perl. While they work great for their intended purposes, applications that require complex structures or advanced processing are better achieved using object-oriented languages such as Java, Eiffel, Python, C++, Ruby, etc.

    I took formal classes in Java and C++, and I think that was a good foundation; at least for my purposes. I'm not a software engineer by trade, though I write code for FPGA's and microcontrollers in Verilog, VHDL, and assembly as part of my day job. Hardware languages are a bit different, but I think my foundation was solid enough to make the transition easy. I've dabbled in just about everything, though, at a hobby level.

    Sorry for blabbing. Good luck!
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  9. #8
    sentinel is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randell1234 View Post
    I want to take a programming course as a continuing development action item. I taught myself BASIC many years ago by typing the sample programs in my IBM PC Jr. and Commodore 64 books, removing lines or changing values to learn what would happen, and understanding what does what. I started to mess around with HTML and that seems kind straight forward. I can make a webpage in front page then manipulate certain things in notepad then save as an HTML page. Not really advanced but I am not totally lost.

    Now the question - what is a good beginner language to learn? Java, C+, Visual Basic?
    Ah the memories you stirred up! The first two languages I taught myself were BASIC (Commodore) and 6502 Assembly Language on the Commodore VIC-20. The first assembly language programming environment had to be typed into the computer as a BASIC programme and then saved to data cassette for subsequent use. Back in those days clock cycles and memory played a vital role in selecting which assembly language instructions would be used since memory was at a premium (an amazing 5 KB RAM of which only 3583 bytes were available to the user on the VIC-20). Kids today are spoiled with their 4 GB RAM computers running at more than 2 GHz.

    The best programming language is probably one that addresses the type of programming you plan on undertaking. Since you have already taught yourself BASIC you understand the basics of procedural languages (variables, flow control, data structures). If I taught an introductory programming course, the language I would likely choose as a teaching language would be SmallTalk.
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  10. #9
    naios is offline Registered User
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    Whatever happened to Pascal? That was one of the first languages I was taught on.

    how about C#? Lets you learn in the .net environment.
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  11. #10
    sentinel is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by naios View Post
    Whatever happened to Pascal? That was one of the first languages I was taught on.
    Pascal and its successor Modula-2 were excellent teaching languages because topics such as variables, namespace (scope), flow control, data structures, structured algorithms and programming , etc. were inherent in the language itself.

    Ironically, schools rarely teach COBOL despite the volumes of code written in this language being used everyday in various organizations. As COBOL programmers retire there will be nobody to maintain these systems. You think Y2K was a potential problem of significant impact? Wait until COBOL-decay sets in by 2020. Fortunately, the Mayans have already predicted the end of the world in December of 2012. Whew! Disaster averted before all the last mainframe coughs up an ABEND.
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  12. #11
    Randell1234 is offline Moderator
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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I found this link and it's pretty good. I started to look at the HTML tutorials and it is good. I think this will give a foundation for JavaScript. The local school has a 2 day JavaScript class that I think I will take in August. I still welcome suggestions!

  13. #12
    lawrenceq is offline Registered User
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    I plan on learning Javascript. I hear its a good program to cloak with.
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  14. #13
    BlueMason is offline Audaces fortuna juvat
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    I thoroughly enjoyed TP (Turbo Pascal)... it was a blast to learn and easy to work with!
    I don't do near as much programming as I used to, but still dable in C, Perl, php, and a few others :-)
    "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  15. #14
    raja3 is offline Registered User
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    better you can try to c language and c++ or java it is an easy to learn and valuable to your future.
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  17. #15
    BrandeX is offline Registered User
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    easy? LOGO!

  18. #16
    naios is offline Registered User
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    Ah yes, Logo :). I remember enjoying it on my Atari 400 back in the day.
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