Selecting a programming language

Need help in selecting the right language to learn

Page 1 of 1

4 Replies - 1321 Views - Last Post: 14 November 2009 - 12:02 AM

#1 wrmusgrove  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 12-November 09

Selecting a programming language

Post icon  Posted 12 November 2009 - 06:58 PM

I am an experienced macro programmer in Lotus 123 and would like to create a program for commercial purposes; however, I don't know anything about selecting the right language to learn. Any suggestions or guidance would be very much appreciated.
Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0
  • +

Replies To: Selecting a programming language

#2 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

  • Toubabo Koomi
  • member icon

Reputation: 5191
  • View blog
  • Posts: 26,901
  • Joined: 10-May 07

Re: Selecting a programming language

Posted 12 November 2009 - 07:21 PM

** Topic moved to Software Development **

Sorry that I don't have anything to add. I've never done anything like that before. Best of luck!
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#3 Oler1s  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 1395
  • View blog
  • Posts: 3,884
  • Joined: 04-June 09

Re: Selecting a programming language

Posted 12 November 2009 - 11:42 PM

Quote

Any suggestions or guidance would be very much appreciated.
There isn't a right or best language, otherwise we would all use it. Programming languages are considered tools, where one uses the right one or what seems to be the best one for a particular objective.

You might be better off doing a few things:

(1) Having a very thorough idea of what your program does. Needs to be more than a one line description...
(2) Researching various modern programming languages. Spend some time on Wikipedia if Google gets tedious... But really, spend some time doing research.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#4 wrmusgrove  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 12-November 09

Re: Selecting a programming language

Posted 13 November 2009 - 04:56 PM

View PostOler1s, on 12 Nov, 2009 - 10:42 PM, said:

Quote

Any suggestions or guidance would be very much appreciated.
There isn't a right or best language, otherwise we would all use it. Programming languages are considered tools, where one uses the right one or what seems to be the best one for a particular objective.

You might be better off doing a few things:

(1) Having a very thorough idea of what your program does. Needs to be more than a one line description...
(2) Researching various modern programming languages. Spend some time on Wikipedia if Google gets tedious... But really, spend some time doing research.



Thank you for your response. I asked this question as part of my research into deciding what is the right one for what I want to do. Since I have limited resources I was hoping that someone might suggest something that has plenty of very low cost aids, ie, flowcharts, cheatsheets, etc..

I understand there is a lot of choices but I was hoping to hear some reccomendations, based on experience, from people who have worked with a number of different languages. I know that some might be more difficult or easier than others. Some may have more aids or snippets that can be used so that I don't have to reinvent the wheel. Maybe there is one that has more free or very low cost aids like compilers. I just don't know and came here to learn what the best choices are.

I am dedicated to learning a programming language so that I can create a program that hopefully will supplement my retirement income. I still have several years before I retire and we certainly can't count on customary retirement strategies any more. I have a lot of experience in a niche market that could seriously use my program and it would be beneficial for the environment. Dare I say "green".

It isn't a complicated program but being a complete novice with anything other than macro programming I will have to start somewhere and thought I would ask you professionals for your opinion.

I am resolved to finally bringing this goal to fruition. If it take me a few years to learn well enought to accomplish my goals, so be it.

Thank you for your interest. I appreciate your input.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#5 Oler1s  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 1395
  • View blog
  • Posts: 3,884
  • Joined: 04-June 09

Re: Selecting a programming language

Posted 14 November 2009 - 12:02 AM

You haven't provided any particular details on the program you want to write. Given that you are considering an idea that if realized could provide you non insignificant returns, I can understand your reluctance to reveal details. That said, the best I can do is give you generic advice I give to any beginning programmer who comes in with a question of "what programming language".


The short answer first. Look at Python first. Consider C# as an alternative.

The longer answer: You're in the same boat as any other programmer. These the following things that are especially important for inexperienced programmers:

1) Likelihood of finding quality learning resources: All the mainstream programming languages have an abundance of learning material, but you'll discover that abundance or popularity doesn't necessarily mean they are easy to learn from. In practice, this is something a bit hard to gauge without experience in the language. You'll know how good the learning resources are when you actually program for a while. I have plenty of criticism on the learning resources for Python and C#, but compared to the alternatives, I think they work out to be the "best". If you are willing to spend about $50 on books, you can set yourself up with good learning material for either language.

2) Homogeneity of the language: Kind of an odd way to say it, but I think this is best way to sum it up. A number of considerations fall under here. Examples are the number of different pathways to get started in the language. For example, how many different compilers exist, how many different toolchains do beginners have to choose from? How many different programming styles? Python's relatively easy: using Python means you use the official one from the website. C# means the official C# toolchain or Mono. Java is good here too, with basically the official Java distribution.

3) High level abstractions in language: Programming languages are like a bridge to middleman. The computer cannot understand you, so there's this intermediate language. You formulate your program in this intermediate language, which can then be translated according to a set of rules to what the computer understands. The easier the language makes it to express the kind of logic humans have, the easier it is to program. Python and C# are better in this regard, when it comes to mainstream languages (along with not so mainstream languages like F#).

That's how I look at things anyway. No programming language will replace either non language specific issues (which is what the majority of programming is about), or domain specific knowledge.

You don't have to pay any money to start exploring the big programming languages like Python, C#, Java, C++, and so on. It does require investment of your time in evaluating each programming language, but that's going to be insignificant compared to the time you spend learning and developing your idea into a working program.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

Page 1 of 1