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Where to start with computer programming?

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A friend recently walked up to me and said "nightcrawler1089, I'd like to learn about computer programming."

My expertise is in web programming, so I wasn't too sure what to tell him. If you're a complete no0b, where would you start? Fortran, Perl, C++?

Thanks for your help, guys!


P.S: No, he didn't really call me "nightcrawler1089" :P.

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All depends on what he wants to write and for what OS.

Or if he wants to do multi platform or OS independent programming like Java.

It's not something you just learn. You kinda have to pick a direction.

Perl is more a scripting language than a programming one.

Fortran... does anyone use that anymore?

C++ is everywhere. Good language to know.

Tell him/her to get an educational copy of Visual Studio to start with.

Gives you a few languages to mess with and you can write programs that are OS independent.

Plus there are tons of coding samples out there to use as a reference and support forums are everywhere.

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if he wants to be an IT professional, I'd suggest him to start Java or C#... two major platforms and both are object oriented. Many books start really from the basics, teaching what a variable is, how classes work and stuff.

If he is more of a computer geek then he sould go for C, C++ and start messing around in linux distributions.

That's just my 2 cents.

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I think one of the most valuable things one has to learn by heart is the difference between a reference and a pointer. Compilers that hide these details are causing much confusion in later life. C will teach him that by lots of access violations and give him a solid understanding that withstands the more incoherent features of Delphi, C# and Java...

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My vote for Ruby.

Simple. Powerful. Add some JavaScript and viola! You can write Web 2.0 apps ;)

And... Python will be good to.

Anyway its good to know something to script your computer life (shell scripts, python, apple script etc.)

And Java... Not for GUI! Code faceless modules, servlets etc but NOT GUI. Its a nightmare... Didn't see anything good written in Java and with GUI...

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Programming is not a one day thing; you will need to hone your skills over time to learn the ins and outs of it. You also have to settle with learning (and mastering) one or two programming languages at a time because you can't be a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. But it is good to have background knowledge on all possible programming languages that you can be learned. It is also important to continue reading about developments on the programming language(s) you choose to specialize in.

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@SirSmiley: I think that's Adobe AIR, formerly known as Apollo, you're thinking of. Sort of a cross between Silverlight and Java. Cross-platform, web based desktop apps.

For an easy start, I'd go down the DesktopX route - uses Javascript or VBscript, there's hundreds of examples to learn from.

Once you get comfortable with the layout, terminology, what-have-you, grab yourself a copy of Visual Express Edition - completely free and great move on Microsoft's part - and step into either VB.net or C# (C++'s little managed brother). These will give you a nice IDE to work in, is easy to pick up now that you've got the basic concepts under your belt and give you some more options.

From there, it all depends on where you want to go. I'm with C# and don't see myself needing to move on, though I'd love to get into C++. There's Ruby, Python, Java for the cross-platform guys, though I could throw C# with Mono and GTK+ in with those, C++, VB, you name it...

All said, it really comes down to picking one and sticking with it. Once you learn one, you shouldn't have much trouble picking things up with other languages.

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i want to get into programming too...

mainly just for fun little practical programs, like search bars for windows xp, findexer or programs that showup drives on the desktop... so i guess ones that modify windows. (yeah I know these would be hard to make)

but i wouldnt mind developing something like iphoto for windows, llol tho it'd never happen.

As for Java (or at least the runtime environment associated with it)- I hate it. just.... more the programs that go with it tend to slow down ur computer or overtake it.

I like programs developed for .Net... is that C++ ?... i have no idea.

Im not sure I'd make a good programmer tho. Like, i'd prefer just to design the layout of where the buttons go, how they work and get someone else to do all the script.

But I have a good problem solving ability with windows, not sure if that'd make me a good programmer.

PS- I know SQL and basic HTML. so watch out!

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I dont posses a huge knowledge of all the platforms

like many people here do, but

I know only c++ and some amount of apis and stuff

and yet i find it quite upto my needs!

maybe the person who is a newbie is in similar situation as me

and i may tell that c++ (or c#) is a safe bet perhaps ?!

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Scripting languages are best to start in, as i did. (Python, Batch (batch doesn't really count...))

2. Html (just to learn basic structures and programming techniques) and CSS.

Then to actual languages...

3. Perl, C, C# C++, PHP, Java, ect.

I don't think you can count HTML as programming oO

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