programming

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steve88
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Post by steve88 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:05 pm

Thanks so much. I can't believe all the programming that are available.

p14175
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Post by p14175 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:10 am

Christine_NM wrote:Retired programmer here. It will go much better if the 14-year-old (or anyone of any age) starts learning a language in a classroom environment.
dratkinson wrote:I can not overstate the importance of learning to properly design software before one goes off and just starts slinging code. No language can save a poor design. One might be able to get by with a poor design in a small program (like the ones required in a college assignment), but a poor design in a large program is a recipe for failure.
x2!

I spent way too many hours at the end of my IT career repairing mangled code written by self-taught "programmers".

livesoft
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Post by livesoft » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:54 am

Some of the best programmers I know are self-taught. They didn't just "learn by doing", but they spent some time with books like "Code Complete" and many others.

p14175
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Post by p14175 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:57 pm

Good point! I am sure there are many excellent self-taught programmers who are interested in doing a good job. I wish I had worked with some of those!

steve88
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Post by steve88 » Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:32 am

Good Morning everyone,
Sorry to bring the topic back up. Would you guys recommend Dr scheme?

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Christine_NM
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Post by Christine_NM » Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:37 pm

Steve -

In programming and probably a lot of other areas, whatever is learned becomes either a help or impediment to future progress. If the initial learning is too small in scope, too simple, or too undisciplined, all must be unlearned and eventually if you are to become a programmer whose code others can use, you must learn the current standards of the profession. (The standards, just to make it fun, will change just after you've mastered them.)

Of course I've never looked at Dr Scheme's stuff. It might be OK if you like it and are willing to unlearn it and do things differently in the future.

There is no one best starting point, other than a classroom. You begin a journey with a single step, and you never stop learning.

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CyberBob
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Post by CyberBob » Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:30 pm

One thing I didn't see mentioned, and that I've found interesting, is the MIT OpenCourseWare, including the course A Gentle Introduction to Programming Using Python.

Bob

geekpryde
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Post by geekpryde » Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:41 pm

I program in Visual Basic. I like it alot, although I think there is a stigma associated with it. The company I work for makes alot of money with our VB code! I think this would be a good language for a 14 year old. Knowing VBA, which somes free with MS Office, is very similar to Visual Basic, and knowing VBA comes in very handy for HS/College level Excel manipulation.

Paladin

Post by Paladin » Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:58 pm

Christine_NM wrote:Steve -

In programming and probably a lot of other areas, whatever is learned becomes either a help or impediment to future progress. If the initial learning is too small in scope, too simple, or too undisciplined, all must be unlearned and eventually if you are to become a programmer whose code others can use, you must learn the current standards of the profession. (The standards, just to make it fun, will change just after you've mastered them.)

Of course I've never looked at Dr Scheme's stuff. It might be OK if you like it and are willing to unlearn it and do things differently in the future.

There is no one best starting point, other than a classroom. You begin a journey with a single step, and you never stop learning.
Dr Scheme is an IDE for Scheme. If you want to learn Scheme, Dr Scheme is a nice environment.

mattymcmatt
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Post by mattymcmatt » Sat Jun 27, 2009 2:43 pm

I find it surprising how many people are recommending C++ and Java. This is a 14 year old just learning programming.

In my view, it needs to be something that is easy to learn, fun, quick to setup and can offer immediate feedback.

I would recommend PHP with HTML (and JavaScript/jQuery if he wants to continue). This way he can start building websites right away. There are lots of resources to get started, there's no configuration required and you can pay $5 a month and get a web hosting account with a place like 1and1.com so he can put his stuff up on the Internet, play around and show his friends.

I might be biased though as I currently work as a PHP web developer (although I have done Java in the past).

livesoft
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Post by livesoft » Sat Jun 27, 2009 5:15 pm

mattymcmatt wrote:I find it surprising how many people are recommending C++ and Java. This is a 14 year old just learning programming.
As I wrote above, high school students in our public school district can take Java, so a 14-year-old freshman learning Java is not surprising to me.

gw
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Post by gw » Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:58 pm

1) Learn a language that matters:

http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/ ... index.html

2) Find the most "expressive" language you can, i.e., one near the bottom of this list:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison ... essiveness

In other words, start with Python, because you'll be able to do stuff fast. Then learn C, because it's the lingua franca, and because then you'll be able to make the computer do stuff fast, and because it leads to C++. That should keep you busy for awhile.

While I'm handing out advice: Don't use languages that make you dumber. Or rather, use them when you must, but don't depend on them.

Valuethinker
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Re: programming

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:46 am

steve88 wrote:Does anyone have a recommendation for a 14 year old who is interested in programming? Can you recommend on where to start?
Steve

Drawing this all together:

- fun is important - quick gratification by making computer do fun things

- I vote for Smalltalk and descendants, which really are fun

- Python also seems to be commonly used in first year university courses

With greater expertise will come a desire to do greater things, which will lead to C, Java etc.

Main thing is to learn logical thinking rather than programming per se, as by the time your son (?) reaches university, programming languages will have changed again.

I stopped programming nearly 20 years ago, and yet, I find I know/ knew at least 10 languages. The 'right' language is never solved

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Sunny Sarkar
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Post by Sunny Sarkar » Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:27 am

CyberBob wrote:One thing I didn't see mentioned, and that I've found interesting, is the MIT OpenCourseWare, including the course A Gentle Introduction to Programming Using Python.
The links to the chapters are broken, but the older edition is still accessible at http://www.openbookproject.net/thinkcs/python/english/

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Sunny Sarkar
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Re: programming

Post by Sunny Sarkar » Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:31 am

Valuethinker wrote:The 'right' language is never solved
The 'right' language is the one that pays, and for the last two decades they have been C, then C++, and now Java, or should we call them the 'good' languages, good as in Get Out Of Debt :).

Valuethinker
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Re: programming

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:04 pm

Sunny wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:The 'right' language is never solved
The 'right' language is the one that pays, and for the last two decades they have been C, then C++, and now Java, or should we call them the 'good' languages, good as in Get Out Of Debt :).
Yes but we don't know what that language would be, when this kid is 22.

Better he/she should have some fun programming, and learn some principles of logic.

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