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Old October 29th, 2009, 01:57 PM
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Default New Programmer

I am looking at the possibility of becoming an Applications Programmer, programming everyday applications. I have quite a bit of experience in VB (I am going through the Beginning Visual Basic 2005 book by Wrox, as well as having taken a class in high school in Visual Basic programming.) In my researching, I find that theres almost no professional programmers using Visual Basic, that employers are always looking for other languages.

What language should I learn then? As I read through forums and articles, everything says it depends on this and that. I enjoy the problem solving associated with programming, and I would rather program applications instead of videogames. What language would you recommend? The main languages I've heard of are C++, C#, Java, Visual Basic and such. I have no clue what languages like Python, etc are, or what they are used for.

I know that people recommend knowing multiple languages, but where do I start? I just want to know what program I should look into for college. I would also like to go into college knowing something about programming, so I would like to start teaching myself a language that I will be using. If Visual Basic isn't that commonly used, why learn it?...even though I've spent quite a long time learning it :P.

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Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:01 AM
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Default First programming language recommendation

I would recommend C as the first programming language to learn. Despite its age and various quirks that even Kernighan and Ritchie regretted in print, it is a well-designed, small language, and the most portable language in the known universe.

C has been so profoundly influential that most present-day imperative languages have grammar and syntax that resemble C.

I recommend buying The C Programming Language, by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie, Second Edition. It is the standard definition of the language, concise, and clearly written. Well, some find it a bit _too_ concise, more like "terse."

I recommend setting up a computer with Linux. People are scrapping computers that are perfectly suitable for Linux. The Linux box provides access to free programming tools including text editors, more complete development environments, and your choice from over 15,000 free software packages. You can download Linux for free or, for a copying and shipping fee, get a Linux CD or DVD.
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