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Koopid
post May 22 2009, 08:20 PM
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I recommend learing .NET programming, preferrably in C#. C# is easy to learn and can be used for both windows and web programming.

Its for microsoft platforms but its the most modern language and runtime of today. PHP is nice but for the really high level professional stuff its not enough



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JamesT
post May 22 2009, 08:49 PM
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The basic constructs of all languages are about the same:

1. Flow Control (loops, functions, etc.)
2. Conditional Evaluations ("if, then, else" statements, switch/case)
3. Data Storage (variables, structures, arrays, strings, etc.)
4. Logical Operations (AND, OR, NOT, etc.)
5. Math Operations (multiply, add, subtract, etc.)
6. Do Object Oriented stuff after items 1 thru 5 (see below).

Programming is really NOT overwhelming at all but I'd recommend taking a single language and working through all of the above systematically and thoroughly to gain a good grasp of programming in general. You'd be amazed of the programs you can write with just the above basics. My recommendation is to start with "C" because it's a very fundamental language and used commonly in industry. C++ is an extension of C that adds the power of "object oriented design". It can be a little difficult to grasp the associated paradigms (object classes, inheritance, poly-morphicsm, etc. ) of an object oriented language, but these concepts are very powerful and used for high level programming applications (like the ones you use on your computer every day).

I learned programming before there was really any worthwhile educational content on the internet. So these days, you have a vast array of sources for education that did not exist when I started. The first thing you'll need for getting started in C, is a compiler. Borland offers some low cost complers that are excellent. you might find something for free these days on the internet, but the benefits of a commercially available compiler are better documentation, better robustness, a typically more full featured toolset. Secondly, get a book that covers the basics. (or find something like GMC for programmers on the web).

Learning to program is indeed a lot like learning to play guitar. If you build a solid set of fundamentals, you can really go places. Once you get these in one language, it will be easy to move to other languages as needed. Programming for a career is a lot of fun, it's creative, and you make decent bucks. Like any other job, it is subject to burnout, office politics, continuous change, and career setbacks. Eventually, we all have to deal with these things for sure.

I got my degree in Electrical Engineering and really only got into programming after getting out of college. I learned Basic, Fortran, and Assembly in college, but only when I got into the field did I really have to "get good". It was then when I followed my own advice (above) and completely went through an entire textbook on Pascal (a language that my then boss/company was into). Though it was a new language to me, I had seen all the constructs above, so learning the syntax was easy and I was able to focus on the finer points of programming to build some commercial applications. Most of my career has been in software now. At this time, I am working as a Software Engineering Manager at a gaming company. I still get involved with design discussions, but for the most part I don't do programming any more.

Jim.

This post has been edited by JamesT: May 22 2009, 08:51 PM


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Emir Hot
post May 22 2009, 08:56 PM
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QUOTE (Koopid @ May 22 2009, 08:20 PM) *
PHP is nice but for the really high level professional stuff its not enough


I have to disagree here. I can name you just a few big companies that use PHP and MySQL and I think that tells enough.

1. Facebook
2. Youtube
3. Google
4. Yahoo
5. GMC smile.gif



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MigeZ
post May 22 2009, 09:11 PM
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In my opinion if you want to start learning the web programming I would recommend that you start from HTML basics and then move to CSS (which is REAAAALLY important) after you have learned those some advanced html coding and javascript ect would probably be a good idea. My knowledge in programming includes only advanced in HTML (CSS) coding but then with the others I havent learned them perfectly as 8 finger tapping, yet wink.gif (sry for my english but I'm meaning that I havent mastered 8 finger tapping YET too biggrin.gif)


QUOTE (David Wallimann @ May 22 2009, 03:56 PM) *
Thanks Emir, that sure sounds fun!
Let's say that I would like to start programming for the web, what should I start with?
Would it be beneficial to start learning on my own before starting school?


This post has been edited by MigeZ: May 22 2009, 09:13 PM


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-Zion-
post May 22 2009, 10:23 PM
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I have been living as a developer for 7 years now, and i've been working with a lot of different languages..
However, the one that i really stuck with, the one i really really like.. is C#.

C# is a powerful object oriented language, and no matter what language you choose you should definately go with one that is object oriented..

C# is like someone has already mentioned, a part of the .NET framework, which is really awesome. You can create websites, which i did for the better part of 5 years, or you can create windows applications.. You can even create a program that other languages can easily talk with.. .NET consists of what is called the "Common Runtime Language" which makes it possible to almost any language to communicate with anything made in .NET.

However, it really depends on WHAT exactly you want to do?
Me, i am a kind of all round guy.. I do a lot of HTML, CSS, XML, Javascript, C# / Java programming, Data Access, Integration,.. Sometimes i even do some old school VB.

But if you want to do webpages, HTML and CSS is a great thing to do, and this is where i lack a lot of skills.. I usually do everything that the user cannot see.. i communicate with the database and other systems.. I do all the business logic that makes everything tick..
I am also designing systems, databases and communication which is in fact a totally different area..

While it's true that PHP can do a lot of stuff, I cant help think of all the colleages i've know through the years that laugh everytime that (or any other language like that) is mentioned.. Now, i dont really know PHP, but i am definately not going to find out either..

Back when i was studying we learned basic things. Data types, if-statements, classes, objects etc. etc. and we programmed a little in Java, and even a little C++.

However, i really learned to code when i first got hired.. i couldn't code much in school, but the basic idea of coding apparently stuck with me.. smile.gif

I can only suggest trying out the .NET framework.. There are loads of great examples on www.asp.net.. Give both a try even, and use the one you like more.. But dont take one over the other because it seems "easier".. Usually easier things have big limitations..

Good luck
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Nadir
post May 22 2009, 11:11 PM
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As mentioned above almost every programming language today is object oriented, meaning that problem you need to solve is modeled with classes and objects (well known example is: class is Student and object is David). Object oriented design and programming is way of thinking and it is not just about learning programming language syntax. You can learn this approach with choosing any object programming language, and if you do it right you will be able to adapt to any other language. C++ is one of the first and most complex object oriented programming languages, many things you have to do on your own but you have complete control. That is why I suggested it for learning. In real life you will probably use more C# or Java etc. because development is faster and cheaper. Most classes are already there and you won't need to make them (for example you have Windows Form class and you just use it by drawing windows form like in paint, in C you have to call many complex WINAPI functions to draw simple window smile.gif ).

I suggest you to become familiar with basic concepts of programing and object programming. For begining make Hello World program that will just print Hello on screen. Then make program that will print some sentence that you entered from keyboard etc.

For C++ and principles of object oriented programming I suggest book: Thinking in C++ by Bruce Eckel. Book is free and available on internet (there is also Thinking in Java from same author).

In that book you have explanation of OOP concepts like: abstraction,encapsulation, inheritance, polymophism. Basic idea of OOP is to reuse as much code as possible.

Regards

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Keilnoth
post May 23 2009, 12:17 AM
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QUOTE (Koopid @ May 22 2009, 09:20 PM) *
PHP is nice but for the really high level professional stuff its not enough


The real problem with PHP is that he is not well known and that he does not have the consistency of Java or .NET. It's open source.

And the second problem is that companies prefer to talk with a certified .NET or Java programmer with Sun and Microsoft backing him. The PHP certification is not well known and it is really hard to distinct between a good and a bad PHP developer as a lot of script kiddies are playing with it. smile.gif

But when you work with pros, PHP can be really powerful especially the version 5 which is fully object oriented. Still, PHP leaves you the freedom to choose between complexity and speed without struggling with the language itself. You build it the way you want it to work by optimizing and compiling his core.

I dunno a lot about Java and .NET but I really know PHP and I can tell you that it's very powerful. wink.gif


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Emir Hot
post May 23 2009, 02:22 AM
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QUOTE (Keilnoth @ May 23 2009, 12:17 AM) *
The real problem with PHP is that he is not well known and that he does not have the consistency of Java or .NET. It's open source.

And the second problem is that companies prefer to talk with a certified .NET or Java programmer with Sun and Microsoft backing him. The PHP certification is not well known and it is really hard to distinct between a good and a bad PHP developer as a lot of script kiddies are playing with it. smile.gif

But when you work with pros, PHP can be really powerful especially the version 5 which is fully object oriented. Still, PHP leaves you the freedom to choose between complexity and speed without struggling with the language itself. You build it the way you want it to work by optimizing and compiling his core.

I dunno a lot about Java and .NET but I really know PHP and I can tell you that it's very powerful. wink.gif


PHP 6 is nearly out and will have even better OOP support. Books are already printed. The good thing about this is that everything is free php, mysql, apache all that stuff is free with an extensive documentation and support. Top-pro sites use it and it is a good proof of reliability for me. There are also good frameworks for PHP (e.g. Zend). Microsoft servers are not free plus I can't think of anything in .net framework that cannot be done in PHP. Somebody can laugh about it but who can think that a company with multi billion profit such as Facebook would use something that programers laugh about?


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David Wallimann
post May 23 2009, 05:02 AM
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Hehe!
I think I turned this thread in a big geek meet and greet! I love it!
I have no clue what you guys are talking about but still love it!


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Emir Hot
post May 23 2009, 08:41 AM
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QUOTE (David Wallimann @ May 23 2009, 05:02 AM) *
Hehe!
I think I turned this thread in a big geek meet and greet! I love it!
I have no clue what you guys are talking about but still love it!


Now you know what's gonna happen if you become one of us smile.gif


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Muris Varajic
post May 23 2009, 11:35 AM
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Nadir
post May 23 2009, 01:42 PM
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QUOTE (David Wallimann @ May 23 2009, 05:02 AM) *
Hehe!
I think I turned this thread in a big geek meet and greet! I love it!
I have no clue what you guys are talking about but still love it!



Well in most cases it becomes this kind of discussion, and it reminds me on discussion which guitarist or guitar is better laugh.gif .

Some things are meter of taste and need in particular moment and when you get into programming you will choose between them. For beginning chose any programming language and make simple Hello World program. I recommend simple Windows console program, not related to web or any specific technology.
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Koopid
post May 25 2009, 08:05 AM
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QUOTE (Emir Hot @ May 22 2009, 09:56 PM) *
I have to disagree here. I can name you just a few big companies that use PHP and MySQL and I think that tells enough.

1. Facebook
2. Youtube
3. Google
4. Yahoo
5. GMC smile.gif


Yeah, I guess I should have been more clear smile.gif If you are going to integrate windows applications with web functionality (like high end project management or financial systems) where the website is fully integrated with the windows applications you are going to be better off with .NET since you can use the same language and functionality seemless.

But anything you can use on web only I don't see any reason why PHP shouldnt be enough (although personally I prefer .NET it has with my limited experience in PHP much more ready-to-go functionality). I have programmed some pretty big sites in scripted language only and havent had any problems.

Besides, all those 4 first sites use a lot of programmed, compiled objects for searchengines and stuff right? I wouldnt know, not so familiar with PHP but it is a scripted language, not compiled right? The difference with .NET is that the whole code of the website would be compiled meaning less need for compiled objects outside the sourcecode but maybe that is what PHP does in later versions too?


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Keilnoth
post May 25 2009, 10:26 AM
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PHP is scripted. But some accelerators (APC, eAccelerator) can compile the code. Those tools give more power to PHP.

Facebook, for example, use their own pre-complied framework under PHP. Not sure how it works though.


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Darfuria
post May 25 2009, 11:32 AM
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I dreamed of the day when people use musical theory as a medium to explain web programming.

"You need to know CSS like you need to know your major scale"

Tears of joy right there.


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Gus
post May 25 2009, 12:43 PM
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Hi, David.

I've been working with C++ for 8 years. I am an electrical engineer, currently working towards my PhD in Mobile Communication and even though programming is not my main objective, I really had to master C++ to conduct my research which involves computer simulation of mobile communication systems.

I can remember I checked a couple of times jobs at Line 6 and they sometimes look for people who have experience with C++ and musical background is a plus. Testing vintage amps and simulating them, I think that would be a dream job for you, wouldn't it? Well, I thought myself of applying to it a couple of times tongue.gif

The C and then C++ path, is probably one of the hardest to get through (it would need quite a large effort to master it. I am talking about years not months), but it is probably also one of the most rewarding.
If you decide to go for that path I can suggest a book called "Essential C++", Stanley Lippman, and then "The C++ programming language" by Bjarne Stroustrup.

This post has been edited by Gus: May 25 2009, 12:45 PM


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David Wallimann
post May 25 2009, 01:22 PM
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Thanks Gus!
I decided to start learning some html..
I know it's super basic, but it's a start!
My question is, does one need to memorize by heart all the different commands from a language or is it acceptable for a programer to refer to a "dictionary of command" for lack of better words....
m


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Wabba
post May 25 2009, 01:30 PM
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QUOTE (David Wallimann @ May 25 2009, 01:22 PM) *
Thanks Gus!
I decided to start learning some html..
I know it's super basic, but it's a start!
My question is, does one need to memorize by heart all the different commands from a language or is it acceptable for a programer to refer to a "dictionary of command" for lack of better words....
m


I dunno, I would suggest using a "dictionary of command" when needed. But you will learn the commands pretty fast, I think smile.gif
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Darfuria
post May 25 2009, 02:27 PM
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QUOTE (David Wallimann @ May 25 2009, 01:22 PM) *
My question is, does one need to memorize by heart all the different commands from a language or is it acceptable for a programer to refer to a "dictionary of command" for lack of better words....
m


You just end up remembering them. All of your HTML tags, for example. As you use them more and more they get lodged in your brain. Just like those chord shapes.


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-Zion-
post May 25 2009, 03:03 PM
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QUOTE (David Wallimann @ May 25 2009, 02:22 PM) *
Thanks Gus!
I decided to start learning some html..
I know it's super basic, but it's a start!
My question is, does one need to memorize by heart all the different commands from a language or is it acceptable for a programer to refer to a "dictionary of command" for lack of better words....
m

no problem mate..

although i think using html and css you'll most likely learn and memorize the markup you use most..

But i use google all the time.. if you know its possible to do, but dont know exactly how, chances are that someone else have had the same problem, or can at least guide you in the right direction.. no reason to invent the wheel twice.. wink.gif
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