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Getting Started in Programming & Scripting

 
 
Bibby
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      05-21-2005
Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've dabbled
in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention to
regarding the following considerations:

Hireability
Portability
Flexibility

The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.

Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe
something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good
way to get started in general?

Thanks,

PA


 
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Phlip
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      05-21-2005
Bibby wrote:

> Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've

dabbled
> in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention

to
> regarding the following considerations:
>
> Hireability
> Portability
> Flexibility


Flexibility will lead to the other two. Abject pursuit of hireability will
not bring happiness. You can't buy love (but you can often rent it).

> The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.


Every language in that list, and in your list of newsgroups, sucks.

You need to learn to learn languages. Nobody should say "I'm a VB
programmer", like they would "I'm a Mormon" or "I'm a Vegan". Linguistic
monogamy is a dead end.

(Also, Java is no relation to JavaScript.)

> Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe
> something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good
> way to get started in general?


You need to research two general categories: Open Source, and TDD. Get with
GNU, Linux, and SourceForge, download their projects, and futz with them.
See if you can get one to compile (an herculean effort), then tweak it to
add features. You will confront some of the toughest problems in
programming - both logical problems within the code, and logistic problems
deploying that code.

Next, observe that many projects typically don't have unit tests. The most
popular implementation technique today is debugging, and it is slow,
fragile, and the source of many bugs and delays. If you instead learn
Test-Driven Development, you can trade long hours of debugging for short
minutes writing tests. Many TDD projects simply never use the debugger, and
never need to. This will put you in the forefront of modern programming, and
boost your hireability.

--
Phlip
http://www.c2.com/cgi/wiki?ZeekLand


 
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Rev. Karl E. Taylor
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      05-21-2005
Bibby wrote:
> Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've dabbled
> in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention to
> regarding the following considerations:
>
> Hireability
> Portability
> Flexibility
>
> The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.
>
> Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe
> something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good
> way to get started in general?
>
> Thanks,
>
> PA
>
>

In order, personal preference:

Tcl/Tk (script language)
Perl (script language)
Visual Studio (VB, VC, J#)
Java

I started Tcl/Tk, because I needed an easy scripting language, that
would also do GUI interfaces. Then moved up to Perl, and integrated
that with the ktinit for Tcl/Tk, for more advanced, GUI scripts. Wrote
several applications, of various sizes and complexity in VB and .NET,
and now I'm working with Java, in concert with Oracle and MySql databases.

Your mileage of course may vary.
--
Dr. Karl E. Taylor
UNIX Systems Engineer / Oracle DBA
 
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Paul Mesken
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      05-21-2005
On Sat, 21 May 2005 13:10:12 -0400, "Bibby" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've dabbled
>in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention to
>regarding the following considerations:
>
>Hireability
>Portability
>Flexibility
>
>The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.


I would say C++. This also involves learning C (C++ is _almost_ a
superset of C). If you can do C++ then Java and C# won't pose much of
a problem. C++ can be used for OOP but also traditional, procedural
programming.

>Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe
>something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good
>way to get started in general?


In my experience, the "scriptkiddies" do different things. They're
mostly used doing "web stuff". There's quite a substantial demand for
scriptkiddies (at least, where I live).

It all depends on what you want to do.

Note that a lot of applications (and websites) make use of a database.

Being able to program in SQL is helpfull (and knowledge about the
extensions offered by Oracle and MS SQL Server, MySQL is also popular
for websites).

Even though I, mostly, make applications in C++, most of my code is
actually SQL and resides on the DBMS as stored procedures. The
performance of such applications is more dependent on the design of
the DB and its SPs. This is normal, to have most of the "intelligence"
on the DBMS so that the client's interface is light weight and can be
easily changed or replaced. You don't have to be a genius to make
interfaces and the language hardly matters performance-wise,
especially since there are so many components taking care of stuff
(charts, reports, etc.). But it is important to be a very good
database designer.

Note also that not only a language(s) is demanded by employers but
also a specific development platform (like, for Windoze, MS Visual C++
or MS Visual Studio.net with its multiple languages, Borland Builder
seems to be less popular). These development platforms offer certain
components that a developer needs to be able to use.

But it is best to get the standard language down first. I would say
that C++ is the best choice and SQL as well, unless you want to stay
clear from database applications.

 
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Mick Sharpe
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      05-21-2005
I'd recommend getting to grips with Java first. The design of the language
is very clean and you will not need to worry about pointer exceptions (no
pointers) or memory management (automatic garbage collection). Excellent
development environments such as Eclipse and NetBeans are also available for
Java.

C++, however, is very messy and has a much steeper learning curve owing to
its more complex facilities such as multiple inheritance; plus the hassle of
manual memory management and those pesky pointer exceptions.

Python and Ruby are two modern scripting languages, again with very clean
designs and fully object-oriented. If you want to do scripting for web
sites, PHP is still a popular and perfectly acceptable choice.


 
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Chris Dutton
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      05-21-2005
Mick Sharpe wrote:
> Python and Ruby are two modern scripting languages, again with very clean
> designs and fully object-oriented.


I'd like to second the suggestion for Ruby. It's really a fantastic
language, and the concepts map well to those in "grown-up" languages
like Java and C# well (at least superficially).
 
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ben
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      05-22-2005
Just pick any of them and half way down the learning you know how to learn
the others, literally.

ben


"Bibby" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:KXJje.13358$(E-Mail Removed) ...
> Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've

dabbled
> in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention

to
> regarding the following considerations:
>
> Hireability
> Portability
> Flexibility
>
> The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.
>
> Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe
> something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good
> way to get started in general?
>
> Thanks,
>
> PA
>
>



 
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Steve Gerrard
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Posts: n/a
 
      05-22-2005

"Bibby" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:KXJje.13358$(E-Mail Removed) ...
> Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've dabbled
> in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention to
> regarding the following considerations:
>
> Hireability
> Portability
> Flexibility
>
> The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.
>
> Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe
> something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good way
> to get started in general?
>


What sort of programming? You've said the equivalent of "I want to learn a
trade." Any idea what?
Consider these areas of the "programming world":

Animated Movies
Digital Signal Processing
Server Database Systems
Commercial Web Sites
Excel Macros
Artificial Intelligence
Anti-Spyware Programs
3D Internet Games
Server Management Tools
Device Drivers
Enterprise Resource Management
Streaming Video Players

Obviously there are many more. Which languages, platforms, and environments you
look into depends on what sort of programming you want to do.


 
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Tim Johnson
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      05-22-2005
Mick Sharpe wrote:
> I'd recommend getting to grips with Java first. The design of the language
> is very clean and you will not need to worry about pointer exceptions (no
> pointers) or memory management (automatic garbage collection). Excellent
> development environments such as Eclipse and NetBeans are also available for
> Java.
>
> C++, however, is very messy and has a much steeper learning curve owing to
> its more complex facilities such as multiple inheritance; plus the hassle of
> manual memory management and those pesky pointer exceptions.
>
> Python and Ruby are two modern scripting languages, again with very clean
> designs and fully object-oriented. If you want to do scripting for web
> sites, PHP is still a popular and perfectly acceptable choice.


I concur re C++ (ol C dog here) I use python and rebol for most web
programming. Rebol runs rings around python in terms of rebol code being
more productive than python code - but python has more libraries and a
larger user base that tends to thoroughly test the libraries and (from
my experience) scales better than rebol for large projects. Python is
very thoughtfully designed Object-wise. And there is a market for python
programmers, if you must seek employment.

But the main thing is to be adaptable. For instance, I use elisp to
customize my editor (emacs), use my editor to write rebol code that when
executed, produces python code, which when executed produces javascript
and mysql code.

My apologies to other "ol C dogs" - my unbiased opinion. Those header
files with object defs in them can be a real pain in the rear.

tim
 
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Mark F. Haigh
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      05-22-2005
Bibby wrote:
> Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've

dabbled
> in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my

attention to
> regarding the following considerations:
>
> Hireability
> Portability
> Flexibility
>

<snip>

Hireability varies as geographical locations change. What's in demand
in Chicago is different than what's in demand in Silicon Valley. Look
at your local job listings.

> The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.
>
> Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in?

Maybe
> something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a

good
> way to get started in general?


Skip C and C++ until you're familiar enough with programming to know
what you're getting yourself into. You're right: scripting is a
perfect way to get started, so pick one and get coding.


Mark F. Haigh
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)

 
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