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#1 15yearoldCoder  Icon User is offline

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Languages to learn

Posted 27 December 2011 - 07:13 PM

I haven't been on the forums as much as I used to but I have a few questions. I put together a list of programming languages I want to learn before I finish high school or at least by my freshman year of college. I want to get into game development (Win, OSX, Linux, iOS, Android, WP7 and Web) and also get into mobile app development. I just put together the list at random and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions of other languages I should and some I should not learn. The programming languages below are the ones that I'm most interested in learning.


Programming Languages to Learn:
  • Java
  • VB.Net
  • C# & XNA
  • C++
  • Python


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Replies To: Languages to learn

#2 Oler1s  Icon User is offline

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Re: Languages to learn

Posted 27 December 2011 - 08:18 PM

You have this giant open wishlist of technologies. You want to be write programs for every platform, tackle desktop, web, and mobile properly, and know a bunch of languages. Pretty generic wishes, and that's no concrete goal.

Especially as a beginner, this isn't helpful. I'm pretty sure you are not an experienced programmer, meaning you've never tackled programs of any real complexity or had to maintain and iterate over large programs. Also, you probably don't have an exposure to many problem domains.

So the first thing you need to do is pick a single language. If you're already productive with a language you are learning now, stick with that. Otherwise, pick one language based on a set of priorities.

Focus on being able to write meaningful software. Once you can do that, you can start exploring a bit more.
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#3 15yearoldCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Languages to learn

Posted 27 December 2011 - 08:39 PM

View PostOler1s, on 27 December 2011 - 09:18 PM, said:

You have this giant open wishlist of technologies. You want to be write programs for every platform, tackle desktop, web, and mobile properly, and know a bunch of languages. Pretty generic wishes, and that's no concrete goal.

Especially as a beginner, this isn't helpful. I'm pretty sure you are not an experienced programmer, meaning you've never tackled programs of any real complexity or had to maintain and iterate over large programs. Also, you probably don't have an exposure to many problem domains.

So the first thing you need to do is pick a single language. If you're already productive with a language you are learning now, stick with that. Otherwise, pick one language based on a set of priorities.

Focus on being able to write meaningful software. Once you can do that, you can start exploring a bit more.


I already know PHP and Javascript and I use them daily for web development. I know a bit of Java and C#. I use Java occasionally and I use C# mostly to make games for WP7. The only reason Java and C# are on my list is because I want to know them more in depth. The other languages I want to learn are there because they seem interesting. I just wanted to know if there are any other languages I should learn or any languages on the list that wouldn't be good for me. Since I am somewhere around an intermediate programmer. I started with Basic and I moved on. I've been programming for 5 years now so if I am still a beginner by your standards, then I'm a beginner. But coming from the things I have done, I don't consider myself a beginner anymore.
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#4 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: Languages to learn

Posted 27 December 2011 - 08:46 PM

View Post15yearoldCoder, on 27 December 2011 - 10:39 PM, said:

I just wanted to know if there are any other languages I should learn or any languages on the list that wouldn't be good for me.

This is how the conversation will work. Someone will suggest a langauge because they like it. Someone else will say that langauge is shit & should die in a fire. Then other people that use that langauge will fire back, & so it goes.

Who are we to tell you what's best for you? Nothing good will come of this.
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#5 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Languages to learn

Posted 27 December 2011 - 10:57 PM

Quote

So the first thing you need to do is pick a single language. If you're already productive with a language you are learning now, stick with that. Otherwise, pick one language based on a set of priorities.

I want to second the points Oler1s made here. Rather than trying to learn a bunch of languages, try and tackle a project that is feasible but will push your limits. Then in the design stages, choose a language that you are reasonably comfortable with to tackle the project. You'll learn more about the language and programming than jumping around with a wishlist that encompasses everything and isn't feasible to accomplish in the short term.
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#6 Raynes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Languages to learn

Posted 28 December 2011 - 07:55 AM

*Shrug*. This is always the wrong question to ask. You're asking "what languages should I learn?" when you should be asking "Why am I not just writing some fucking code?".

I mean, just learn shit. Write lots and lots of code and learn whatever you want. It is difficult to go wrong.

With that said, I'll make a few suggestions on your language learning goal list: skip VB.NET. If you're interested in or already know C# at all, don't bother. This isn't an attack on VB.NET, so please don't take it like that (Adam), I just feel like it doesn't make much sense included with the rest of those languages. I'd also suggest adding a functional language to your list. Clojure, Haskell, etc. They'll give you a very welcome alternative perspective of programming that will make you a better developer in all of the languages that you use.

But yeah, just do whatever. The languages that you use are so much less important than what you actually do with them.
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#7 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Languages to learn

Posted 28 December 2011 - 08:37 AM

So far, there's some very good points made - Oler1s hit the most important one: Don't try to do everything at once, pick something and do it, then do the next thing. Raynes's suggestion of learning a functional language is also good. Lisp and scheme are easier to grasp, for me, than the newer ones like Clojure and Haskell, but the main point is to get a new way of thinking about code, not to learn one particular language.

It sounds like you're doing a fair bit of code already, and that's good. Given that, you should be able to get a good handle on one new language per year, if you put your mind to it, and this would put you pretty close to your stated goal. Based on what you're doing already, I might say you should start with Python. It's a sound language, it's a little different from everything you're doing now, and you'll probably like the immediate gratification it offers. (most people do). It's not a language I use every day, but it's a lot of fun. Whichever one you pick, keep that list handy, and add stuff to it as you go. This time next year, grab another language off of it and learn that.
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#8 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: Languages to learn

Posted 28 December 2011 - 01:14 PM

View Post15yearoldCoder, on 27 December 2011 - 09:13 PM, said:

I put together a list of programming languages I want to learn before I finish high school or at least by my freshman year of college. I want to get into game development (Win, OSX, Linux, iOS, Android, WP7 and Web) and also get into mobile app development.


I'll go in a slightly different direction. If you truly are 15, before anything else, see about checking with a guidance counselor at your school about careers in software development. From there, consider going onto a job board like Monster or Dice and just look at typical IT jobs in your area. The reason I mention this is because, at 15, you have stated that you're interested in game development and mobile app development...and likely the reason for that is is because those are the applications you're most commonly exposed to as a 15 year old. Not trying to diminish your interests there but there is a whole world of other applications out there aside from games and mobile apps.

If by "get into" you meant "be gainfully employed building" then it might indeed serve you well to learn what a game dev and a mobile app dev actually make and what kind of life they actually lead. Once you're a 25yearoldCoder and not a 15yearoldCoder you'll find the things that drive your interests are much more affected by how the affect the rest of your life. Things like job satisfaction (not dreading getting up every morning hating your job), pay (which helps determine what kind of car you drive, where you live, how nice a place you live in, where (or even if) you go on vacation, what kind of hobbies/outside interests you can pursue), career longevity/security, etc.

There is nothing inherently wrong with knowing a whole bunch of languages. It can be impressive on a resume to say you know a dozen languages but the real measure is what can you do with them and do they suit the task/industry you're trying to apply them to. To that end, I'd recommend thinking a little further afield than just game and mobile app development which can't be too terribly uncommon a thought amongst 15 year olds. It can't hurt to look past them to other possibilities.
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