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Discussion on: How did you first start out learning programming?

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michaelgv profile image
Mike

I got started with old university textbooks from my father, they taught HTML 1.0, at the time, state of the art - I read them cover to cover in an evening as “light reading”, and five days later I had my own site on the internet. I read the book and realized “reading isn’t cutting it for me, I need to just do” - so I did, at the time my father was into home labs so he got me set up on the net, and I’ve used that place for 5 years; now fast forward 10 years later I’ve got my own home lab, and teach programming in my free time.

If I could give advice to younger me, it would definitely be: “learn C first, then focus on other languages” - I unfortunately did the web stack first, and after years of doing that, C/C++ was “messy” to me, so I feared it; now I’m proud to say I do know it generally about how it works at a higher level

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Andy Zhao (he/him) Author

Like @mauricehayward said, interesting advice. Most folks nowadays learn a higher level language like Python, Ruby, JS, etc. first. Do you think that C/C++ are not as hard as people make it to be?

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michaelgv profile image
Mike

The language itself isn’t hard in my opinion, but we, as developers, have put this barrier around it in a way and warded developers away, almost like an “elite” class

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pim profile image
Pim • Edited on

C++ was one of the first languages I used as well. Albeit only to a very introductory level during an enrichment program at a local university when I was in high school. I'm doubtful anything I learned then has actually helped me in my career. But you never know. I think the big issue with systems languages, like c++/c, is that it's difficult to produce something meaningful in the first little while. Considering most people are results driven, especially with respect to learning, I posit that this is the main reason most people use a higher-level language as their gateway drug.

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Maurice Hayward

interesting advice. I definitely feel that after learning a lower level language like C and a higher language like python, other imperative languages are easier to learn on the fly.

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Pim

In general, I don't like this idiom. You should learn the tool that enables you to accomplish what you want. If your goal is to make a simple web application. It hardly makes sense to start off learning C. Can you imagine how discouraging that would be for a new programmer? I'm a seasoned programmer at this point, and I still don't like much about it.