[BangPypers] how to learn programming

Pradeep Gowda pradeep at btbytes.com
Fri Jan 23 19:09:14 CET 2009

Learning programming via C will force you to understand data structures like
lists, queues and hash tables better purely for the reason that C does not
provide them in the standard library.

C++/Java/Python do via STL and standard libraries respectively. Generalizing
C++ with C shows how misunderstood C++ is. C++ is not C with stuff bolted

Teaching C in the first year of engineering compared to a language like
Python, Lua or Ruby is a sure way of turning off students to the joys of
programming.  Not everybody needs to know how to implement a linked list and
a queue.

A vast majority of technical graduates go on to do programming either as
software developers and/or engineers in other streams do NOT have to do low
level programming. If they were taught to solve problems using a dynamic
language like Python/Lua/Ruby instead of twiddling bits, we would see newer
applications being built by non-CS graduates in their domains.

Oh well, why would CS professors be concerned about productivity.

A lot of my mechanical engineering classmates(who were bright students)
where scared to death of FORTRAN and C, because C made it so difficult to do
simple things like Computer Graphics (which is what they wanted to
accomplish in the CAD lab).
A library like Pygame would have allowed them to write CG apps and CAD
programs without racking brains about C  and pointers.


On Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 10:22 AM, prasanna diwadkar <pdiwadkar at yahoo.com>wrote:

> I was talking in general.I am not saying python/java programmers are lesser
> quality than C/C++ .Ultimately programming is a programming is a
> programming.
> Since 80s to late 90s many Indian/foreign(US etc) have been teaching
> programming in C/C++.When I talked to 2 ex-professors in India,they observed
> that the rigor when students go through using c/++ is higher than
> java/python.For.e.g.manipulation of linked list,hash table.IMO better
> programming is not just understaning the layers of abstraction but
> understanding some intracacies,what goes below the hood.
> Regards
> PD
> --- On *Thu, 1/22/09, Sridhar Ratnakumar <sridhar.ratna at gmail.com>* wrote:
> From: Sridhar Ratnakumar <sridhar.ratna at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [BangPypers] how to learn programming
> To: "Bangalore Python Users Group - India" <bangpypers at python.org>
> Date: Thursday, January 22, 2009, 11:50 PM
> On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 11:29 PM, Darkseid <lorddaemon at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> have found those how have programmed  in C/C++ are generally better(in
> >> problem solving) than who program in other languages.
> >
> > I would disagree quite strongly based on my experience. I don't thing
> C/C++
> > programmers are any worse, but they certainly aren't any better on
> average.
> > What I have observed in my particular area of work (which has an emphasis
> on
> > OO) is that C/C++ programmers are least likely to respect good OO
> practices,
> > followed closely by Java/C# folks.
> I'm guessing that Prasanna was thinking of ACM ICPC kind of problems
> when he claimed that C/C++ is better in problem solving. These kind of
> problems require the contestant to write code so that they run within
> a given time limit.. a restriction which forces one to write it on
> C/C++ than a high-level language.
> BTW, if one is just starting to learn programming.. I hear HtDP is
> pretty good - http://htdp.org/
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