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  1. In Topic: old mainframe programmer new to PC world

    Posted 9 Jul 2012

    Just found out about this site. If you plan on being a Microsoft programmer, then the two posts may make sense. If you are not sure of what systems - e.g., Linux, Apple or some others, then the best place to start is with a good book on the C language. The language was developed by Kernighan and Ritchie, who worked at Bell Labs. They were also involved with Unix, where C was used. They wrote the book, "The C Programming Language". Some related books that are also good for a beginner are books published by Sam's Publishing. Books such as "Teach yourself in 21 days" or "Teach yourself in 24 hours", etc. As you become proficient, there are a number of excellent books that dig deeper into the language. Languages such as C++, C#, JAVA, etc. have their roots in the C language. At this point, then next language I'd recommend would be Java. It is object oriented (as is C++ and others). Again, Sam's Publishing will have a series of beginner books on Java (as well as C++ and others). ANother plus is the Sam's books offer a compiler (usually a basic version), which allows you to do the examples and exercises. You can also download compilers from sites like Sourceforge (GNU C/C++). Even Java development kit is a free download. If you plan on getting into Web programming, Javascript (another C-like language) plus HTML are good to learn. Again, as you get deeper into it, there are other languages like Perl, Python, PHP, Ruby, etc.

    BTW, there is a lot of free help and tutorials on the internet. You can download free operating systems like Linux (a Unix-like clone). Some of the Linux distributions, like Ubuntu will allow you to install from the various Linux and open-source libraries the various compilers including a "development environment" to make it easy to write code and develop applications.

    Like you, I worked in the M/F world (nearly 40 years). It is a different transition for you than for someone who started out with PCs and never worked with anything other than Windows and a Windows environment. You will also find, regardless of what you choose, it helps to get yourself certified and also connected to the internet. Good luck.

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