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Offlinedr0mni
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I want to learn computer programming... advice please?
    #4701888 - 09/23/05 08:01 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

As my college education slowly progesses out of Gen Ed and I have to start thinking about my major, so much inspiration and ideas come to me. Simply put, I want to do scientific research into consciousness. This could invovle EEG biofeedback, brainscans, psychedelic testing, etc. But more than likely all of this will point towards the development of AI or Real Digital Consciousness. So chances are that I will eventually need to take some Computer Sciences classes.

Anyways, I'd like to get my feet wet and start learning a programming language, or the basics of programming. I'm taking Calculus-I right now, and I have a pretty good understanding of functions and stuff. The math shouldn't be too much of a problem. I've got a few ideas for programs that I would like to try to design that invovle colorful mathematic functions shifting color as they shift amplitude, etc...

So what languages would you guys suggest, or where should I start? Most likely I'll purchase a tutorial program or a book or something...


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InvisibleRustifer
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Re: I want to learn computer programming... advice please? [Re: dr0mni]
    #4702087 - 09/23/05 08:58 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

python... great starters language, easy santax, OOP, everything you'd want. It's what I started with.

http://www.miex.org/python/

great list of e-books for download.

Also if you'd like to learn C++, I'd suggest getting a copy of C++ Primer.


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Invisiblemoog
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Re: I want to learn computer programming... advice please? [Re: dr0mni]
    #4702102 - 09/23/05 09:03 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Start with C or C++, just the basic stuff. But concentrate on sequential programming rather than C++'s object-oriented approach (if you don't know the difference between the two types of programming, don't worry about it right now). The basic stuff you need to learn first is language syntax, loops, variables, creating functions and calling functions. C/C++ will give you a good grasp on how programs are structured. Once you learn the basics of sequential programming, switch to an easier object-oriented language like Python to learn about programming objects. (Don't start with Python as your first language though, it won't teach you good programming etiquette.) Then take that knowledge back to a more powerful language like C++ or C#/Java and start implementing it. Trust me when I tell you it'll be easier to learn object-oriented programming from an easier language and then transfer that knowledge to a more difficult language. This is just what I think, though. Suess and the programming veterans here may give you better advice.

And it's good that you know calculus. I would say that programming is 90% math. The other 10% is problem-solving, or simply figuring out how you're going to turn an idea into code.


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Invisiblemantis
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Re: I want to learn computer programming... advice please? [Re: moog]
    #4702566 - 09/23/05 11:27 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

moog said:
I would say that programming is 90% math. The other 10% is problem-solving, or simply figuring out how you're going to turn an idea into code.



Wow. A lot of people disagree with you in that sense. I certainly wouldn't say it's "90% math". Critical thinking is more important than anything, coupled with the ability to work with numbers (not necessarily a math wizard) Basic math is CRITICAL and advanced math is very helpful. It really depends on what you're making.


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Edited by mantis (09/23/05 11:34 PM)


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InvisiblelIllIIIllIlIIlIlIIllIllIIl
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Re: I want to learn computer programming... advice please? [Re: moog]
    #4702607 - 09/23/05 11:48 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

I have to disagree also with 90% math 10% problem solving. Maybe you meant the other way around?

The first language I learned was Java (mostly webpage stuff). From there I took C++ in college, then just plain C, and then some Visual Basic. It is not really as hard as it seems, once you get the hang of it you'll be like, "Oh it's so simple."

Of course there are a lot of frustrating nights where something won't compile that's due the next day (and it may or may not be your fault), but in general it's a useful skill to learn, highly reccomend it.


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Invisiblefufungi
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Re: I want to learn computer programming... advice please? [Re: Rustifer]
    #4702797 - 09/24/05 12:37 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Rustifer said:
python... great starters language, easy santax, OOP, everything you'd want. It's what I started with.





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InvisibleRustifer
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Re: I want to learn computer programming... advice please? [Re: fufungi]
    #4702994 - 09/24/05 01:26 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Programming is 90% creativity, and 10% math. And in what ways exactly does python teach "bad programming etiquette"?


Edited by Rustifer (09/24/05 01:29 AM)


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InvisibleEgo Death
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Re: I want to learn computer programming... advice please? [Re: Rustifer]
    #4704057 - 09/24/05 05:49 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Can you download python for free?


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InvisibleEgo Death
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Re: I want to learn computer programming... advice please? [Re: Ego Death]
    #4704058 - 09/24/05 05:50 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)



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Offlinedr0mni
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Re: I want to learn computer programming... advice please? [Re: Ego Death]
    #4704387 - 09/24/05 10:19 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

I think I tried dipping into C++ (or maybe it was Pearl?) when I was 13yo but was completely lost because I had never learned about functions.

Thanks a lot guys! I think I'll probably try both of those and do what moog said about learning sequential programming with C++ and object programming with python.

now I just have to learn the difference between sequential and object! LOL!


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Invisiblemoog
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Re: I want to learn computer programming... advice please? [Re: Rustifer]
    #4704439 - 09/24/05 10:56 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Maybe it's just the kind of programming i do, but i always seem to be spending the most time of a program on the math involved.

Anyway, Python teaches you bad programming etiquette because it's so easy. It takes care of a lot of nitty-gritty details for you. Of course this is a good thing. But if you start with a high-level language like Python and then go to low-level language like C++, for example, you'll be left wondering how to allocate and free memory, process keyboard input, and other things that are crucial to understanding how a program interacts with a computer at the lowest levels. But if you have no desire or need to learn those things, and can accomplish everything you need to with just Python or Ruby or whatever, then go for it.


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InvisibleKrishna
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Re: I want to learn computer programming... advice please? [Re: moog]
    #4705650 - 09/24/05 04:30 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

C or C++ to learn the fundamentals of how things work.

Perl to kick ass.

python = teh suck compared to perl.


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InvisibleRustifer
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Re: I want to learn computer programming... advice please? [Re: moog]
    #4705915 - 09/24/05 05:21 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

moog said:
Maybe it's just the kind of programming i do, but i always seem to be spending the most time of a program on the math involved.

Anyway, Python teaches you bad programming etiquette because it's so easy. It takes care of a lot of nitty-gritty details for you. Of course this is a good thing. But if you start with a high-level language like Python and then go to low-level language like C++, for example, you'll be left wondering how to allocate and free memory, process keyboard input, and other things that are crucial to understanding how a program interacts with a computer at the lowest levels. But if you have no desire or need to learn those things, and can accomplish everything you need to with just Python or Ruby or whatever, then go for it.




Yes, the reasons you say people shouldn't start with python, is the same reasons many professors choose python in their computer science courses.


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OfflineProsgeopax
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Re: I want to learn computer programming... advice please? [Re: dr0mni]
    #4716109 - 09/26/05 08:22 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

I have read many good things about Ruby as a programming language. The higher the level of abstraction of the language, the quicker the development time and the less debugging you'll have to contend with. As processor power has increased, and RAM and hard disk memory has gotten cheaper, the advantages of languages of a lower level of abstraction (like C and C++) have diminished. I would investigate things like Ruby and Python and see which syntax 'feels' most comfortable to you. As you progress you can try languages that give you more control and are compiled instead of interpreted (like C++). Once you've grasped the basics and want to delve more deeply in the process, a good book on software construction is "Code Complete" by Steve McConnell (the focus is on programming techniques, not any specific language).


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Money doesn't grow on trees, but deficits do grow under Bushes.

You can accept, reject, or examine and test any new idea that comes to you. The wise man chooses the third way.
- Tom Willhite

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change my opinions should I become aware of additional facts, the falsification of information or different perspectives. Articles written by others which I post may not necessarily reflect my opinions in part or in whole, my opinions may be in direct opposition, the topic may be one on which I have yet to formulate an opinion or have doubts about, an article may be posted solely with the intent to stimulate discussion or contemplation.


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: I want to learn computer programming... advice please? [Re: dr0mni]
    #4716631 - 09/26/05 09:58 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Start with C. It is the center from which all other languages flow. Master C syntax and you can master them all.


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"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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OfflineManicDelirium
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Re: I want to learn computer programming... advice please? [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #4716957 - 09/26/05 11:06 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

silly "assembly" is the center from which all languages flow :P


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"Buy the ticket, take the ride" --long live the great Gonzo


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InvisibleAnnapurna1
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Re: I want to learn computer programming... advice please? [Re: Prosgeopax]
    #4718855 - 09/27/05 09:46 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

I have read many good things about Ruby as a programming language




but why name the language after jack ruby??...


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"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...


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OfflineThePredator
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Re: I want to learn computer programming... advice please? [Re: Annapurna1]
    #4722249 - 09/27/05 10:34 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Python is the best language to start with. You don't have to worry about the stuff that is mostly memorazation. It teaches you object orientation and it teaches you proper proggraming ettiquette (it requires indentation). Its reletivly fast, you don;t have to worry about compiling. But remember at all costs stay away from the basic family, people who have started with it have been scared for life from it.


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