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Kaius  ·  2255 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Need advice on learning a programming language  ·  

Many years ago a young man called Hugo decided he wanted to learn a foreign language. It sounded interesting, his friend Tom told him it was pointless but Hugo decided to try anyway. He picked up some books on the french language and begun his journey. After a while he began to struggle, he had no one to speak french to which made it pretty boring. What good was knowing how to ask where the Eiffel tower was when you weren't in france! Hugo gave up and felt depressed for a few weeks until he won the lottery. I hear he now employs a servant to speak french for him. Good old Hugo.

I know of another young man called Pascal who was in love with a pretty girl called Ada. She was so pretty that all the Bigwigs in the area bought her expensive gifts like fancy jeans and arc reactors. Adas friend Julia told her she was whoring herself out for gifts but Ada was all like "No its Cool".

Pascal desired Ada desperately and although he had no money he did know that Ada was originally from France and wanted to go back there someday. He decided to play on Adas desire to see her homeland as a way to entice her into romantic relations, such is often the way with true love. He studied hard but Pascal was infuriated by the language, "what the hell is all this gender based stuff, how the hell do you conjugate this stuff. Why is a door male and a doorway female, who the hell decided all of this crap". Only his desire to get all up in Adas bistro kept him focused. Once he was able to make basic smalltalk in french he decided to ask Ada if she wanted to get a cup of coffee or a cool glass of cola.

He did it with style, his french was perfect, even with a slightly Vendee accent. He smiled in triumph as Ada stared at him, stunned by his linguistic prowess. Ada said "eww no friggan way, like oh ma gawd get away from me you german freak". Such is the path that true love takes.

My point with all of this nonsense is that learning a programming language is a common desire but one that wont carry you through. What you need is a goal to sustain you. I am able to program in the following languages: C#, VB.net, javascript, c, cPlusPlus, perl, python, sql, powershell and a whole bunch of other ones that I have played with over the years but those are just tools that help me build what I want to build. I don't think about languages so much as capabilities, even for people starting out with programming this is important to understand. There are thousands of languages (enough for me to compose a silly story with their names!). Each of them are fit for different tasks, some superceed others which further complicates the landscape for newcomers.

My advice is pick a little project. Maybe a web page which will need HTML, CSS and javascript. Or maybe you want to write a commandline application that does something for you. One of my first programs processed a CSV file and extracted some values I needed. Instead of a task taking me hours it brought it down to seconds... I dont even remember what I wrote it in because in a way it doesnt matter, what I do remember is the time it saved me to do something much more fun.

If I had to recommend a language for beginners i'd start with C#, but encourage them to checkout javascript too as those 2 languages are very popular right now and are going to see even more growth in coming years.

Kaius  ·  2264 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Let's do this again: Give an unshared post a second chance.  ·  

Ok so I have posted quite a few articles that got no love but looking back at them now it is no real surprise as most of them are... esoteric is probably the kindest word.

The ones I was a little disappointed by their lack of hub love would be:

Lets put the future behind us I meant to mention this one to kleinbl00 as it might interest him.

Visualizing Algorithms Far more sophisticated to my own post on vizualising hubski connections over here but lacking the hubski reference hook.

The forbidden island

And a selfish one, something I wrote myself. Not a random post, more of a system for producing random text using a special syntax. Like I said, esoteric. I made a thing, it creates Test Data using a regular expression like syntax.

Kaius  ·  2305 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Beautiful Maps  ·