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Learn how to program

by alf123 (Initiate)
on Jan 15, 2008 at 23:54 UTC ( #662591=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
alf123 has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I am 13 years old, still not serious for a career. I want make small desktop applications. The author of Learning Perl said that it is not for beginners. And I found three books that do not need experience: Elements of Programming with Perl (L Andrew Johnson). Teach Yourself Perl 5 in 21 Days (David Ut). Beginning Perl, Second Edition (James Lee). What is the best?. Thanks. OFF: Pardon my English very basic. I am Argentinian and I am learning English. If the book is in English there isnt a problem. Thanks.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Learn how to program
by swampyankee (Parson) on Jan 16, 2008 at 00:40 UTC

    I tend to think of Perl as a good option, although certainly not the only one. If you chose Perl, I think that the best Perl primer is probably Learning Perl, by brian d foy, Randal Schwartz, and Tom Phoenix.

    However, while many people (especially beginning programmers) believe the choice of language is critical, it's not: the language is a tool, and programming is a discipline. In addition to a book about a computer language, you need to get educated about programming. For that, you're going to have to do quite a bit of hunting. One place to look may be here: The Art of Computational Science, but my background is in engineering, not computer science, and most certainly not in computer science education.


    Information about American English usage here and here.

    Any Northeastern US area jobs? I'm currently unemployed.

Re: Learn how to program
by GrandFather (Sage) on Jan 16, 2008 at 00:42 UTC

    The canonical book for learning Perl is Learning Perl (the Llama). You may also find the Tutorials section and, (just a very little) later on, the Seekers of Perl Wisdom section (right here in fact) are very useful resources for learning.

    Perl is environmentally friendly - it saves trees
Re: Learn how to program
by Anonymous Monk on Jan 16, 2008 at 04:07 UTC
      Hi dude,
      indeed what you're trying to do is the most fundamental on what you want to learn.
      If you're a computer science grad or wannabe, then learning OOP through C++ should really be helpful to provide u a solid foundation.

      If you're an engineer or have to manipulate a lot of data, doing a lot of background stuff, then perl is for you.

      If you want to do window type programming, either choose c# or java, which language is totally a matter of your personal choice :)
      Or if you just want to program for fun, maybe it's syntax is easier to learn. and you can still leverage on the powerful .net framework
      ~that's just my two cents~
Re: Learn how to program
by ArmandoG (Sexton) on Jan 16, 2008 at 14:59 UTC
    Hola!!! Sorry perlmonks but this comments has to go in spanish
    Hola Mira lo que yo te recomiendo es que empieces con un libro como el "Llama Book" de O'Reilly y el de Sam's Teach you Perl in 21 Days o algo asi se llama el libro, porque los dos? bueno Sam's te da la informacion mas en palabras que entiendas, Llama book es mas conciso mas explicativo y a veces tiende a hacerte bolas, :o) , no te miento yo uso ambos libros todavia, cuando ya estes a gusto con lo basico te recomiendo mucho que despues compres el libro del dromedario ( "Camel Book" )ya que despues ese libro se vuelve tu mejor aliado. Saludos desde Mexico
Re: Learn how to program
by dsheroh (Prior) on Jan 16, 2008 at 15:45 UTC
    As much as I love Perl and tend to use it for just about everything, making graphical desktop applications is not widely regarded as one of its strengths and I do not believe that Learning Perl goes into GUI programming at all. I do have a separate book (also from O'Reilly), Learning Perl/Tk on that topic, but, while I have read the book, I have not done enough with Tk programming to have any real sense of how good the book's information may be.

    If, however, you're interested in making web-based applications, Perl is an excellent choice. The last chapter of Learning Perl covers CGI programming, which is the fundamental method of creating web-based applications in Perl, and there are many other books (as well as tutorials here on perlmonks) covering CGI for once you're comfortable with the basics of the language.

Re: Learn how to program
by rreck (Initiate) on Jan 16, 2008 at 11:03 UTC
    Despite what others say, I find OReilly books hard to learn from. Don't get me wrong I think they are great reference material. I learned Perl from David Till's book ->
    I guess if you are buying a used copy for 31 cents you can hardly go wrong. David Till was even nice enough to send me the programs all typed in. Structured programming is easier to learn, but might not serve you in the long run if you choose programming as a career.

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