Where to start?

Discussion in 'Programming & Scripting' started by Calamity, Feb 12, 2009 with 20 replies and 408 views.

  1. Calamity

    Calamity Script Kitty Retired

    Messages:
    6,923
    Ratings:
    1,091
    I'm not sure really where to start programming, so many languages, I've heard to start with VB, then again to start with C# or C++ etc.., and even I've heard PHP. I'm going to be writing programs for fun, misc and stuff nothing specific, things that will connect to the internet and retrieve things, and autos (I'll eventually wanna be VERY knowledgeable with programming).

    Just need to know what's the best to start with :smile:

     
  2. Ibdc

    Ibdc Retired Retired

    Messages:
    5,100
    Ratings:
    2,072
    I like VB because it's easy to learn and easy to write up a quick little program for personal use. Most of the stuff you just said you'd be using it for could be accomplished using VB.

    C# is more complicated, but more powerful. I know some C#, just not as well as I know VB, starting with VB made learning the C# that I do know a little easier. Anything you can do in VB, you can do in C# pretty much.

    C++ is more powerful and more complicated. Never tried it, been meaning too, but never got around to it.

    Java is like C# and C++ Tried it a little bit, wasn't a fan of it, but I can see how it would be useful.
     
  3. OP
    Calamity

    Calamity Script Kitty Retired

    Messages:
    6,923
    Ratings:
    1,091
    Lol yeah, I've heard this alot, i didn't know really if I SHOULD 100% start at VB, I got a C++ book, kinda old, but confusing imo when I started reading, I'm probably just going to try VB for awhile.

    By the way, what are you meaning my "more powerful," just curious on that.

    I also heard that all of these languages are almost similar?
     
  4. confused5

    confused5 Enthusiast

    Messages:
    766
    Ratings:
    75
    I know the feeling, I was debating languages myself for a while. As for your situation now, i would highly recommend not learning Visual Basic; the syntax bugs me and it's a fussy language. I mean If...Then statements? Come on

    C++ is widely recommended to new programmers not because of its ease but because transitioning to other languages after it will be no trouble at all (not the case with VB, at least in my opinion), and it is a very powerful language. If you really want to understand programming then C++ is a must, I can give you some resources if you're interested. As for C# and Java, those are higher level languages and would be more practical for you to use at this point when you are just beginning. If you are only using windows then your best bet is probably C#, otherwise I would use Java.

    I'm a C++ and Java programmer btw, so I'm speaking from my experience in working with the different languages

    "More powerful" typically refers to the efficiency of the language when dealing with lower level aspects, but it also means how flexible the language is.

    All languages have some degree of similarity, some more than others. Java and C++ are very similar, C# is almost identical to Java. Not so much to C++
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. OP
    Calamity

    Calamity Script Kitty Retired

    Messages:
    6,923
    Ratings:
    1,091
    Lord that couldn't be anymore clear, that was an EXCELLENT intelligent post made and I thank you for it.

    I know someone that is very experienced in programming too, but he has kinda told me 50 things to start with. He as well though said he would start something other than Visual Basic (which I know it's easy and stuff, just I would love to program in knowing code etc.. rather than that almost).

    But I would start in C# If that would be best. The other thing I would like to know is, how would I go by teaching myself? Grab a book? What kind etc...or online tutorials just lemme know :smile:
     
  6. confused5

    confused5 Enthusiast

    Messages:
    766
    Ratings:
    75
    You're welcome, glad i could help :smile:

    As for the teaching, online videos (at least to me) get old really fast. What I would do (and am doing really) is grab a book and learn the fundamentals of C#, so you have a solid base and you will be a better/well-rounded programmer instead of being one of those people who copy and pastes code into programs. Once you are confident with the basics, then you can use online tutorials for more advanced topics. I have had a hard time finding good online tutorials for C#, so I can't really help you there. We have a lot of C# programmers here so you should be able to find something to help you
     
  7. OP
    Calamity

    Calamity Script Kitty Retired

    Messages:
    6,923
    Ratings:
    1,091
    Yeah, online videos are kinda bleh..and copy and paste code isn't really "knowing it."

    Any suggestions on a book?

    I've heard of the Sam's Teach Your self (language here) in 24 Hours, and I have C# version of it downloading already (from some other time I guess), but I'd still want an actual book.
     
  8. Ibdc

    Ibdc Retired Retired

    Messages:
    5,100
    Ratings:
    2,072
    If you just plan on recreational development, and don't plan on becoming a serious hardcore programmer, then there's nothing wrong with VB. If you plan on doing serious development and writing programs that might want to be widely used then a more complex language like C++ is probably better. I'm not here to make the argument that you should learn VB, I'm just saying that if you want to do causal/recreational development you'll be fine sticking with VB. If you plan on learning a harder language then start with something more complex to get the basics of a more complex language down.

    By more powerful I mean, the level of control and flexibility you have with a language like C++ is more than that with VB. Basically you'll have more control of more stuff, at the expense of complicating the code and the syntax.

    @ confused, the structure of an If Then statement isn't fussy or confusing at all. If anything it's ridiculous easy.

    C++ isn't necessarily a must if you want to understand programming, but it would help with just about any other language. Java is very similar to C# because it influenced it, when the language (C#) itself was being created, it was heavily influenced by the syntax and structure of Java, and Java, to an extent was influenced by C++. My point here is the language you choose is gonna be similar to other languages.

    It would probably help but you don't necessarily need a book to start learning, you can start by learning the basics using online tutorials like [Click here to view the link].[Click here to view the link]
    If you just start small and work your way up, you'll get a better understanding of the language you're trying to learn. Start with small programs that do trivial things, add more and more features as you start learning, and imply the techniques you learn in any other programs you might make. In a lot of situations googling can pretty much give you any help you might need, because there's a pretty good chance someone else out there has tried something you've tried.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. OP
    Calamity

    Calamity Script Kitty Retired

    Messages:
    6,923
    Ratings:
    1,091
    It's all good I love opinions when it comes to these things haha, it helps me alot, confused gave alot of detailed info, and you gave alot yourself which where I should point myself too.

    I'm not going to be a hardcore programming YET, but I would love to eventually, That is why I was kinda thinking I'm not sure If I want VB or not.
     
  10. confused5

    confused5 Enthusiast

    Messages:
    766
    Ratings:
    75
    Yes but you're a VB programmer, I started with dialects of C and i find the Then at the end and the structure of the statement a little unnecessary & unappealing, but of course that's my opinion. not trying to put your language down, it's just personal preference.

    Other than that, I agree with Ibdc. You can't start writing big programs until you understand how small ones work. Anyway here's a book i found for you, seems like something you might want to check out: [ame=http://www.amazon.com/dp/0782129110?tag=gamezone06-20&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=0782129110&adid=1ZABWFXNR4JCC00FFHYP&]Amazon.com: Mastering Visual C# .NET: Jason Price, Mike Gunderloy: Books[/ame]


    Oh, and I didn't mean C++ is necessary for understanding programming in general, but matt said he wants to (eventually) know a lot about programming and C++ takes you closer to the workings of a program, compilation, etc. and not many other languages do that
     
  11. Ibdc

    Ibdc Retired Retired

    Messages:
    5,100
    Ratings:
    2,072
    Well whatever you do, don't start trying to learn multiple languages and the same time, you'll confuse the hell out of yourself. Keep in mind though if you start one that you absolutely hate, switch to a different one before you get too used to it.

    edit @ confused, the only major differences in If statements between VB and dialects of C are really the lack of need to put the conditions to check in parentheses, and putting then at the end of the line (which intellisense handles for you anyways) Oh yeah and you don't need to use brackets, other than that its really the same thing, checking to see if a condition is met, then proceeding to execute the code if it is, or skipping over it to the next check.

    I guess I know what you're saying though, when I try to write in Java, or C#, or even actionscript, I sometimes forget to put semicolons at the end of lines, because I'm used to not doing that in VB.
     
  12. confused5

    confused5 Enthusiast

    Messages:
    766
    Ratings:
    75
    Good point, (@matt) if you don't like Java, C#, C++, VB or whatever you pick at the time, then there really is no harm in experimenting with different languages. In fact I spent a lot of my free time this past summer doing just that and I am more confident with my choice of languages because of it

    Yeah and i never forget those, different experiences different preferences.
     
  13. OP
    Calamity

    Calamity Script Kitty Retired

    Messages:
    6,923
    Ratings:
    1,091
    It wouldn't harm me if I started reading a C++ book, then switched over to C# If I was bored right? Because that's probably what I plan on doing for a couple days.
     
  14. Ibdc

    Ibdc Retired Retired

    Messages:
    5,100
    Ratings:
    2,072
    It depends how far into the C++ book you are. If you're a decent chunk of the way into it, I wouldn't start C#. If not you should be fine.
     
  15. confused5

    confused5 Enthusiast

    Messages:
    766
    Ratings:
    75
    If you're still working with the fundamentals then you won't have a problem, but yeah if you are moving to more advanced topics like pointers and object oriented programming with C++ then you may as well finish the book. But switching over won't ruin your programming experience
     
  16. OP
    Calamity

    Calamity Script Kitty Retired

    Messages:
    6,923
    Ratings:
    1,091
    Nope lol, just got it, but I may get something more up to date, pretty old.
     
  17. confused5

    confused5 Enthusiast

    Messages:
    766
    Ratings:
    75
    Thinking in C++ volumes 1 & 2 and the preceding lecture on C are a good self-teaching course if you want a more up to date C++ book
     
  18. OP
    Calamity

    Calamity Script Kitty Retired

    Messages:
    6,923
    Ratings:
    1,091
    The "blah blah for dummie books," are they good/bad for this? I just feel like they are going to have it for dummies like me, and show GREAT examples, pics all that stuff, where I'll actually learn haha
     
  19. zadesa

    zadesa Enthusiast

    Messages:
    75
    Ratings:
    43
    I started with c# n im quite gd with it now lol. its not hard to learn u just gotta be dedicated with the lang you choose..
     
  20. Haxalot88

    Haxalot88 VIP VIP

    Messages:
    8,051
    Ratings:
    2,482
    not really, they're just like every other book/guide. It goes monotonously through each part explaining what they do and how to use it, then it gives examples of how to use it. Throughout the book, you'll also find many tips and tricks boxes which explains better techniques to use in different situations and everything.

    IMO, what language you want to learn all breaks down to what you want to do. If it's for application development, then c# should suit your needs rather well, without going into the complications of c++. For things such as game development, or even professional applications development (IE for a large company such as Sun), c++ is the way to go. I learned VB first, then c#, and then c++. Personally, I hated VB when i started c# (it's so weak, and the lack of structure and syntax really impeeds your work). C# provides a good way to work into c++, giving you the structure and syntax, along with the basics of how you'll program in c++, but they're aren't TOO similar.

    So really depending on what you want to do is what chooses which language you should learn. It makes absolutely no sense in learning a language just because you want to learn a programming language, only to realize that it doesn't fit your requirements, or that you will never need to use it on the road ahead.