What is an easy programming language to learn?

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by Randell1234, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    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. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

    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 a moderator: Jun 26, 2009
  3. BlueMason

    BlueMason Audaces fortuna juvat

    Personally, I learned C first, a great foundation language and there are TONS of tutorials available online as well.
  4. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    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.

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    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).
  6. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Why isn't VB a language?
  7. jaer57

    jaer57 New Member

    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!
  8. sentinel

    sentinel New Member

    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.
  9. naios

    naios New Member

    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.
  10. sentinel

    sentinel New Member

    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.
  11. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    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!
  12. lawrenceq

    lawrenceq Member

    I plan on learning Javascript. I hear its a good program to cloak with.
  13. BlueMason

    BlueMason Audaces fortuna juvat

    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 :)
  14. raja3

    raja3 New Member

    better you can try to c language and c++ or java it is an easy to learn and valuable to your future.
  15. BrandeX

    BrandeX New Member

    easy? LOGO!
  16. naios

    naios New Member

    Ah yes, Logo :). I remember enjoying it on my Atari 400 back in the day.
  17. Fortunato

    Fortunato Member

    One of my most treasured possessions is a well-worn second edition copy of "the llama", a.k.a. "Learning Perl" by Randal L. Schwartz. It's a very gentle introduction to programming and by the end of it, you're fairly proficient in a language that has a wide variety of applications ranging from simple text munging to full-blown web and GUI application development. If you find yourself wanting more at the end of "Learning Perl", O'Reilly has helpfully created "Intermediate Perl", which dives even deeper.

    It might sound like hyperbole, but reading this book was the single event that changed me from a systems administrator into a programmer. Although Perl has fallen out of vogue, the concepts you'll learn in "Learning Perl" are portable to other interpreted languages, and if you're like me, you'll find yourself rereading it for pleasure. The book is now in its fifth edition, but if you run across an earlier version for cheap, the tutorials in the old books still compile and run under the latest versions of Perl 5. Best of luck getting started!
  18. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member


    If you're already comfortable with HTML, and you already plan to add JavaScript in the next few months, then of all the things that have been mentioned I'd urge you to go with PHP. I'm in a very similar situation to yours, and I've been learning PHP lately. I'm about halfway through Learning PHP 5 by David Sklar from O'Reilly and so far it's been really helpful.

    Good luck,

  19. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

    Yesss, finally someone backs up my original suggestion! :D
  20. sentinel

    sentinel New Member

    For those interested in learning the Python programming language, a book called Practical Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science using Python might be of interest.

    Authors: Jennifer Campbell, Paul Gries, Jason Montojo, and Greg Wilson
    Format: Paperback, 350 pages
    Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1st edition (May 28, 2009)
    ISBN-10: 1934356271
    ISBN-13: 978-1934356272

Share This Page