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Re: Learning Perl as a First (programming) language

by Spenser (Friar)
on Aug 02, 2002 at 22:11 UTC ( #187237=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Learning Perl as a First (programming) language

I didn't start with Perl, but it is the first programming language that I have learned successfully.  Of course, one could say that my failed attempts in other languages and my exposure to Access development contributed to my learning and understanding of programming and thereby prepared me for Perl.  I would have to agree with that. However, the most I did before Perl, was to make minor modifications to programs others had written in a variety of languages.  I did write very basic programs in BASIC and COBOL in college many years ago, but I would call them meaningless exercises and not true programs.  I also developed a bit with Microsoft applications such as Access.  My attempts at true programming were with VB and a couple other such non-sensical languages that rendered much frustration and no finished programs.

So I did know a little of the fundamentals of programming before starting with Perl, but I think if I had started with Perl I would have learned to program sooner.  It was not until I began learning Perl that everything came together for me.  Now, with Perl I can start with a blank page in my text editor and envision the commands and functions and create something.  I never was able to accomplish that with any other language.  Perl is more of a natural language (Larry Wall, et al) and therefore fits well into the internal program in my head that drives languages, spoken human languages.  If a computer language like VB can't fit into the neural system that manages language communication--VB is more of a scatter brain type arrangement to my mind--then I must memorize rather than learn the computer language.  That is the difference I see with trying to learn that which is not learnable but requires memorization like VB and learning that which is natural and learnable like Perl, especially when starting out.  But, maybe I'm biased.

Incidentally, I'm a big fan of the monk danger's (Andrew Johnson's) book, "Elements of Programming with Perl" for anyone starting out in programming.


That's Spenser, with an "s" like the detective.

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