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July 31st, 2016, 02:52 PM   #1
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what programing language to learn

Hi guys,

I am looking to learn a computer programming language. I first thought C, but as I am a full time student studying I believe learning C requires more time than I actually have. So I have been thinking of learning python, my question is python a good program language to start with?

One of my module next year is FORTRAN programming which I believe is similar to C just easier, so would Fortran be a good stepping stone.
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July 31st, 2016, 05:00 PM   #2
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Nooo don't bother with C.. xD.

I would recommend to start with a language that has object orientated (OO) capabilities at least... But if you are going to be studying FORTRAN, then i guess just start with that!
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July 31st, 2016, 06:01 PM   #3
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My personal favourite is Perl because it offers an OO structure as well as traditional function-based capabilities. As such, it's a good place to start for learning many other languages.

But I'd probably go with FORTRAN in your position.

Whenever you are picking a language, the starting point ought to be the question "what do I need to do with the language?" All languages have strengths and weaknesses, and so you should look for one that closely meets the requirements your project has. There's no point in learning C if you want to design websites, for example.
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August 1st, 2016, 04:46 AM   #4
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Fortran is one of the few languages I've not had the pleasure of, but I would agree with Joppy and v8, go for Fortran, it'll put you ahead of the game next year.

The problem with learning any language is finding a practical use to try your knowledge on, making your own code work is where the real learning occurs (in my opinion), so you will need to set yourself achievable goals. Project Euler has a whole bunch of maths puzzles which are suitable for solving using code. (I'd be interested in other ideas for practical learning problems/goals if anyone wants to share )
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August 2nd, 2016, 08:54 AM   #5
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I've been exposed to Basic, COBOL, Fortran and a couple others (YEARS ago!);
as far as I'm concerned, everybody should start with Basic:
quite easy, thus removing most "newcomer jitters"...

Btw, also suffered through Machine language...forgot everything!!
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August 2nd, 2016, 09:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis View Post
I've been exposed to Basic, COBOL, Fortran and a couple others (YEARS ago!);
as far as I'm concerned, everybody should start with Basic:
quite easy, thus removing most "newcomer jitters"...

Btw, also suffered through Machine language...forgot everything!!
Denis, things aren't the same any more. C++ is usually the beginner language these days.
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August 2nd, 2016, 10:35 AM   #7
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Denis, things aren't the same any more. C++ is usually the beginner language these days.
...big MISTAKE.
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August 2nd, 2016, 04:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis View Post
Btw, also suffered through Machine language...forgot everything!!
Funnily enough, i had to learn some assembly last year for a unit i was taking xD.

However, due to IoT, apparently assembly is rising back up (higher ranked than basic!).

@OP I'm not at all suggesting you learn it though . But it does highlight and re-iterate what v8archie and weirdave have said, you should really focus on whatever suits your needs.

The more important part of it is that you understand the philosophies and key principles/ideas behind the language that you study. Understanding these ideas will stick more than the syntax (which should always be of little concern) and other things, thus allowing you to produce more meaningful and effective code.
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August 2nd, 2016, 11:31 PM   #9
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Assembler is awesome! Sort of. It depends what architecture is used, it generally isn't transferable to other architectures. I prefer register based rather than accumulator based architectures as they are so easy.
As wonderful as it is, there's no reason to use it these days unless:
1) you need the speed of hand optimised code
2) there's no [insert language here] compiler
3) the compiler is rubbish and uses up all 32 bytes of RAM in your micro-controller before you even declare a variable! (new for 2016) ATtiny102

Of course, all of these languages will be redundant when VHDL gets going:
Data Centers Hit the Accelerator | EE Times
Intel already have some FPGA silicon in some Xeon CPUs
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August 3rd, 2016, 12:53 AM   #10
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As wonderful as it is, there's no reason to use it these days unless
You check out the link i posted regarding IoT? I'm not saying it's useleful, or encouraging anyone to bother with it xD, but, considering the recent data and IoT, it's interesting to see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weirddave View Post
Of course, all of these languages will be redundant when VHDL gets going:
What do you mean by 'gets going'? VHDL has been around for yonks. I read the article, but not entirely sure how it ties in, considering the fact that we can just use C/C++ over VHDL in most cases.
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