As a complete beginner, it may be hard to understand all the programs around, and know the difference between them. What is good to start with? What should I avoid? What’s the most easy one and will I learn relevant thing with it? I know the questions is very many, and I promise to at least try to help you with them.
First up, you need a decent program to learn. It can be tricky to choose among the hundreds of different ones. I’ve chosen four (or five, depending on how you see it) of my preferred ones, that I think can be good for you. It’s easy to learn, fun to use and you will get some useable knowledge out of it. The programs gives you the important knowledge needed for more advanced programs, but keep in mind that every program is unique in its ways. What works on one may not work at another. Anyhow, here is a short presentation of my five preferred languages for programming.
Java – probably one of the most well-known languages. And it’s not for nothing. Java is at far one of the most persistent, longest standing and influential languages in web programming. Although it can be a bit tricky to grasp and get the hang on, it’s still a great multi-platform programming language that makes the base for many applications. Most of it comes from the syntax of C and C++, so if you are going to, or have been, using C++ you will definitely recognise it. Java also makes you think about how the computer will process all the information – you will soon be thinking analytically and logical.
Python – the fast and easy-to-learn language that many people once started with. Python is the language that is extremely easy to pick up, which makes is such a great language for beginners. It’s open source, free for all to use, and it’s mostly seen as a scripting language. It gives the user a way to spit out very long strings of functioning code in a short period of time, which is also easy to read. Therefor, it makes a good beginners language if you want to have a lot of results fast. For the one that rather go bit deeper, Python can be suiting here as well. It’s also very dynamic and supports, among other, both procedural and functional programming. Python is, however, a bit of a learn-as-you-go language, since it does not start at the very beginning. It may not be crystal clear at first, but after some using you will have learned some useful things like modularity and indentation. This will help you a lot when it comes to the other languages as well.
C and C++
C and C++ – it’s hard to not mention these when talking about programming and learning languages. C (and C++) is one of the most used of all the programming languages. It’s used in almost every device somehow, and has come to influence many of the other kinds of language. It’s fundamental and learning C and C++ will definitely give you some usable knowledge. C is the widely used fundamental language for general purpose, as well as for imperative programming. C++ evolved straight out of C and took things to the next step. It included virtual functions and templates, among other things. It quickly increased in popularity and is now, alongside C, one of the fundamentals. Many argue that there is no need for C since there is C++, but many still uses C for it’s general purpose and fundamental character. C++ is a bit harder to get the hang on than C, but boil it down and it has the same base. If you learn C and/or C++, you will have a much easier time understanding the rest of the languages. C also has a lot of variations of it’s language that are used for more specific programming. For example, there is a language called Robot C that focuses on programming robots, and ANSI C that is used to program Arduino microprocessors.
Ruby – one if the youngest languages, made easy to use for humans. It’s open source, dynamic and object-oriented with sytax that should be easily understood and used by the humans. One of its many pros are that it does not require a whole lot of specialised vocabulary and a huge base of commands to use it well. It is very user-friendly and you can still do a lot of things with it. It is easy to get started with it, and after a short period of time you will have a good understanding of it. In many ways, you might say it’s similar to Python with its quick warm up period, and it’s soon familiar language. If you want to use an easy language and have a lot of fun with it quickly, Ruby as well as Python (or Perl) is recommended.
I hope you get something out of this and that you found something you liked. You now have a few things to choose from, depending on what you want with your programming. Ruby and Python makes a good start if you quickly want to program and get fast results in an easy way. C and C++ is a bit more challenging, but it will pay off in the long run. It’s the base for many other languages and learning this will help you a lot with Java, as well as others. Java itself is also a very fundamental language and you will have a good start in your programming career if you learn this as well.