[CentralOH] First Programming Language

Len Jaffe lenjaffe at jaffesystems.com
Thu May 26 16:01:05 EDT 2016

On Thu, May 26, 2016 at 12:01 PM, Joe Shaw <joe at joeshaw.org> wrote:

> On Thu, May 26, 2016 at 11:43 AM, Len Jaffe <lenjaffe at jaffesystems.com>
> wrote:
>> I'm a fan of constraining the learner at first, especially since there's
>> a lot more learning involved with the "first language" beyond syntax and
>> grammar.
>> If you can't work out a sorting algorithm on graph paper, learning a
>> dynamic/oo/functional programming language won't help, and might hinder.
> I guess it depends on what your goal for learning to program is.  Are you
> looking to just have fun and play around, or do you want to become a
> serious programmer and make a career out of it?  I'd argue that a sorting
> algorithm isn't important for the former, so a language that "gets out of
> the way" in many respects is a better starting place for them.  I think
> Python fits very well here.

A sorting algorithm uses non-scalar data structures, looping, flow control
(if/then), plus maybe input and output:
All of those concepts are important to learn whether you want to be a fool
around or have a career.
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