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How to learn Programming

by gryng (Hermit)
on Aug 02, 2000 at 21:33 UTC ( #25791=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Learning Programming


It's a tad open ended question. If I had to do it over again right now, I would start by buying a Oreilly book, such as Learning Perl or Learning Python. Since I haven't gotten my hands very dirty with Python yet, and because exists, I would suggest picking up Learning Perl book :) . Then read it, twice or three times, and then jump in.... (preferably with something small to begin with).


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RE: How to learn Programming
by BlaisePascal (Monk) on Aug 02, 2000 at 22:17 UTC
    I'd suggest jumping in -while- reading it the first time, don't wait until the third reading. Even so, you'll pick up things on the third reading you didn't quite get the first two times.
      Well, I guess it's a difference of opinion, but I would test my patience and read as much as I could before starting in on it. While it may not help your memory to have to simply absorb everything at once, I think it's more important to have a larger base and understanding of the language before trying to use it.

      How many times have you started in on a language (even now in perl) and had solved a problem long ago in some way (perhaps cleverly, perhaps copaciously) only to find in some reference text later, or on a site like the "correct" way to do it?

      I just think it would be better to fill your cup up before drinking from it, rather than to pour in a few drops, sip a few drops, repeat.

      (But respectfully noting your view)


RE: How to learn Programming
by BigJoe (Curate) on Aug 03, 2000 at 00:47 UTC
    I would probably start off by installing a Linux box. With a normal install of linux you should have most(Minus VB) of the compilers and interperters that a programmer needs. Then decide which language you would like to learn.

    I would suggest a more restrictive language at first. It will make your programs flow better and give you a better understanding of what perl is actually doing for you. This also will show you why so much of us love perl. A more stuctured language like C will also give you good code formatting skills. A compiled language like C will also give you DEBUGGING Skills (which one of my Profs at GVSU says the CS classes are missing now).

    But if you want to dive into PERL get a linux box up and a copy of Learning PERL and read it. Then try the stuff in it. Then get the Perl Cookbook. Then read it.


    Learn patience, you must.
    For a Perl Monk craves not these things.
      I want to start this post out with an "ommmmm". That's right clear your monkish spirit and relax.

      Now, we all agree that there are two parts to programming, that which is the language, and that which is beyond the language -- what you created, a part of you, and thus a mirror, and so, a problem solver.

      They key to becoming a programmer is to become a problem solver, and impart that skill into your programs and thus breath into them life.

      However, it would be easy to say that the programming language is not important, a mask or sheet that covers up the true nature of the problem solver you create -- something that hinders and hides your efforts.

      It is so that the language is a mere contrievance and hinders the unwary.

      But it is also so that each language has in itself it's own beauty, like a well adorned mask, that in some ways enhances what is behind rather than hide it.

      Therefore the choice of your programming language shapes the nature of your problem solver. Unstructured languages lend to the programmer power like the water fall and bee-hive. Structured languages lend to the programmer power like the great thinkers and craftsmen.

      And for those that start off, it may be dangerous to use the untamed power of the unstructured language, but it offers them a kind of greed that lets them further the developement of the problem solver.

      But for those that start off with structured languages a greater discipline and drive is needed, because the power of control requires more energy to develop as great of works as the unstructured languages which lend the power of titans to the initiate.

      And return to the center, breath out,

        I appreciated your post :)
        I'm particularly interested in answering (better, just trying to) this question:
        Do language affects intellicenge?

        I spent some time teaching programming, and I always started saying to the class: "Solve the problem using pseudo-code or other formalism, then write program. Writing the program is merely a linguistic matter."

        But I'm not truly convinced :)
        From this point of view, Perl is very interesting.

        see you

        If you're interested in languages, natural and artificial, I suggest reading Steven Pinker, "L'istinto del linguaggio". Sorry, I don't know original title: it could be something like "Language Instinct".

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