Getting Started in Programming & Scripting

Discussion in 'C Programming' started by Bibby, May 21, 2005.

  1. Bibby

    Bibby Guest

    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
     
    Bibby, May 21, 2005
    #1
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  2. Bibby

    Phlip Guest

    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
     
    Phlip, May 21, 2005
    #2
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  3. 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
     
    Rev. Karl E. Taylor, May 21, 2005
    #3
  4. Bibby

    Paul Mesken Guest

    On Sat, 21 May 2005 13:10:12 -0400, "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#.


    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.
     
    Paul Mesken, May 21, 2005
    #4
  5. Bibby

    Mick Sharpe Guest

    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.
     
    Mick Sharpe, May 21, 2005
    #5
  6. Bibby

    Chris Dutton Guest

    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).
     
    Chris Dutton, May 21, 2005
    #6
  7. Bibby

    ben Guest

    Just pick any of them and half way down the learning you know how to learn
    the others, literally.

    ben


    "Bibby" <> wrote in message
    news:KXJje.13358$...
    > 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
    >
    >
     
    ben, May 22, 2005
    #7
  8. "Bibby" <> wrote in message
    news:KXJje.13358$...
    > 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.
     
    Steve Gerrard, May 22, 2005
    #8
  9. Bibby

    Tim Johnson Guest

    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
     
    Tim Johnson, May 22, 2005
    #9
  10. 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
     
    Mark F. Haigh, May 22, 2005
    #10
  11. Bibby

    Malcolm Guest

    "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.
    >

    Java is a good choice for first language.
    Really it comes down to the question of whether pointers or object
    orientation is more confusing for the beginner. My own view is that even
    experienced programmers often get into a mess trying to do object-oriented
    design, and effecive use of objects cannot be taught in a few days.
    Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but only if the
    beginner has the right mindset.

    The other advantage of Java is that the GUI is standard. Whilst basically a
    good thing, this does have the disadvantage from the learner's point of view
    that it is easy to get too ambitious too soon.

    So my recommendation would be C. However I'm posting from comp.lang.c
     
    Malcolm, May 22, 2005
    #11
  12. In article <d6paqp$qit$-infra.bt.com>, Malcolm
    <> writes
    >Java is a good choice for first language.


    Maybe, but my feeling is that it gets less so with every release. 'Java
    in a Nutshell' 5th edition has over 1200 pages.

    The second problem I have with Java as a first language is that it
    heavily constrains the choice of programming paradigms. Such restriction
    often results in difficulties with learning other languages. Quick,
    visually attractive toy programs may give the student a sense of
    achievement (actually that is important) but it can act as a hindrance
    to long term progress.


    --
    Francis Glassborow ACCU
    Author of 'You Can Do It!' see http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit
    For project ideas and contributions: http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit/projects
     
    Francis Glassborow, May 22, 2005
    #12
  13. In article <428fcba0$0$5181$>, ben
    <> writes
    >Just pick any of them and half way down the learning you know how to learn
    >the others, literally.


    I wish it were that simple. A great deal of bad C has been written by
    those who learnt Pascal as their first language. There is a lot to be
    said for NOT protecting students from the consequences of lack of
    understanding.

    --
    Francis Glassborow ACCU
    Author of 'You Can Do It!' see http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit
    For project ideas and contributions: http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit/projects
     
    Francis Glassborow, May 22, 2005
    #13
  14. Bibby

    Phlip Guest

    Chris Dutton wrote:

    > 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).


    No way. Ruby will spoil you, and make returning to those languages
    miserable.

    --
    Phlip
    http://www.c2.com/cgi/wiki?ZeekLand
     
    Phlip, May 22, 2005
    #14
  15. Bibby

    Billy Patton Guest

    On Sat, 21 May 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
    >
    >
    >


    As one who has nevery done any web programming, I can speak as only a hard core
    unix programmer. Learning just language should NEVER be your goal.
    A person I workd for for @ 17 years, told me "When you don't know where to
    start, just start until you figure out where you need to start".

    So if you interested in programming in one of the languages above, flip a coin?


    ___ _ ____ ___ __ __
    / _ )(_) / /_ __ / _ \___ _/ /_/ /____ ___
    / _ / / / / // / / ___/ _ `/ __/ __/ _ \/ _ \
    /____/_/_/_/\_, / /_/ \_,_/\__/\__/\___/_//_/
    /___/
    Texas Instruments ASIC Circuit Design Methodology Group
    Dallas, Texas, 214-480-4455,
     
    Billy Patton, May 23, 2005
    #15
  16. Bibby

    Scott Moore Guest

    My recommendation would be:

    Stop crossposting to every group in creation. Please.

    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
    >
    >
     
    Scott Moore, May 23, 2005
    #16
  17. Bibby

    Bibby Guest

    Hey Guys, I really appreciate everyones input - it's really helping me out.
    I haven't fully decided where to go yet but I'm leaning towards Javascript
    and VB (just for starters). You'll, hopefully be hearing more from me on my
    journey and I can't wait for the day when I'll have some helpful advice for
    another newbie.

    Great community.

    PA

    "Scott Moore" <> wrote in message
    news:d6tals$on9$...
    > My recommendation would be:
    >
    > Stop crossposting to every group in creation. Please.
    >
    > 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
    >>
    >>

    >
     
    Bibby, May 23, 2005
    #17
  18. Bibby

    Bibby Guest

    What would be your suggestion then, if not Java? Which starting language
    would serve a newbie well on a quest to master many?

    PA
    "Francis Glassborow" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In article <d6paqp$qit$-infra.bt.com>, Malcolm
    > <> writes
    >>Java is a good choice for first language.

    >
    > Maybe, but my feeling is that it gets less so with every release. 'Java in
    > a Nutshell' 5th edition has over 1200 pages.
    >
    > The second problem I have with Java as a first language is that it heavily
    > constrains the choice of programming paradigms. Such restriction often
    > results in difficulties with learning other languages. Quick, visually
    > attractive toy programs may give the student a sense of achievement
    > (actually that is important) but it can act as a hindrance to long term
    > progress.
    >
    >
    > --
    > Francis Glassborow ACCU
    > Author of 'You Can Do It!' see http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit
    > For project ideas and contributions:
    > http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit/projects
     
    Bibby, May 23, 2005
    #18
  19. Bibby

    Bibby Guest

    No offence intended (crossposting), just needed input from varying
    backgrounds - it's proven really helpful.

    PA

    "Scott Moore" <> wrote in message
    news:d6tals$on9$...
    > My recommendation would be:
    >
    > Stop crossposting to every group in creation. Please.
    >
    > 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
    >>
    >>

    >
     
    Bibby, May 23, 2005
    #19
  20. Bibby

    Peter Julian Guest

    "Bibby" <> wrote in message
    news:Ghrke.2493$...
    > Hey Guys, I really appreciate everyones input - it's really helping me

    out.
    > I haven't fully decided where to go yet but I'm leaning towards Javascript
    > and VB (just for starters). You'll, hopefully be hearing more from me on

    my
    > journey and I can't wait for the day when I'll have some helpful advice

    for
    > another newbie.
    >
    > Great community.
    >
    > PA
    >


    Those 2 languages, JavaScript and VB, are the only 2 i would discourage a
    newbie to delve into. Specially VB, which in my opinion is not a language
    but a mind-corrupting scripting system.
     
    Peter Julian, May 24, 2005
    #20
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