Re: Newbie needing advice

Lew <>
Thu, 10 May 2012 19:26:47 -0700
On 05/08/2012 07:49 AM, Jeff Higgins wrote:

On 05/03/2012 01:02 PM, Jeff Higgins wrote:

On 05/03/2012 11:55 AM, zack ballard wrote:


So, I am a complete newb when it comes to programming and am wanting
to learn. Been clicking on stuff for years and finally want to learn
what makes what do what and how it works. I have been checking out
some tutorials and have noticed that some of them are for people with
prior programming expierence. My main question is this: should I
start with java or start with a different language to learn as my
first steps. Again, no expierence with any programming before (way
back in high school, but don't remember a single thing) but am willing
to put in the time and effort to learn.

Any suggestions would be great. Thanks.

There are a lot of levels of "what makes what do what and how it works".
Java is a fine language for many programming tasks, not so fine for
others. If you could pick a subject area of interest that would probably
narrow the choices of a language. Device drivers, dynamic HTML, etc.

Michael L. Scott
Programming Language Pragmatics
ISBN 1-55860-442-1
For a great "what makes what do what and how it works" (on one level).

I just found this, and it looks like it will be an interesting read.

Bookmarked. Thank you.

Theory works, interestingly enough.

I wanted to learn Prolog once, so I read a textbook on predicate logic
featuring Horne clauses. This helped.

Not that I remember that stuff now, but once your brain gets certain grooves
worn it's never quite the same again.

The flip side is that learning such things improves your mental versatility.
Someone in these threads asked a while back about how you break into a new
area when you need experience to get a job in that area, and your private
learning isn't going to impress.

Weirdly, I've mostly seen the opposite problem - being hired by folks
deliberately for languages or platforms that one has never even seen, much
less used, quite on purpose and with the expectation that one will master it
in, oh, a day, maybe two. I've had people gripe at three days and never
anyone happy with a week.

The (meta-)skills of rapid learning are critical to survival. Especially if
you need quick, short-term work to tide you over a hump. Trust me, it happens.

How can you metalearn better? By understanding the tree from which you pluck
the fruit.

Honi soit qui mal y pense.

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