HELP! Must choose language!

Andres Rosado arosado at
Fri Jan 3 02:34:00 CET 2003

On 12:06 AM 12/30/2002 -0500, the keyboard of 
python-list-request at emitted:
>Hello, everyone, I am a 9th grade student, who is very interested in learning
>programming. I realize I waited too long to begin, as many have started in
>earlier grades, but I am determined to learn something.

Some has waited longer. ;)

>But that is where it
>stops. I have no idea what programming language to learn. This, for me, as a
>beginner, is incredibly frustrating and I keep questioning myself. WHAT is the
>best language to learn, in your unbiased opinion, for a complete beginner to
>programming? I have seriously considered C( I even bought and started on a 
>about it), Python(my original choice, however, teachers deterred me from it),

Any particular reason for doing so?

>C++(instead of C, supposedly quicker to get into), as well as some form of

I don't like Basic, because it's, well, basic. Don't get me wrong; it is a 
good language, just that I don't like it.

C/C++ are great languages, once you get the hang on them. On the beginning, 
they are kind of rough. Once you have a clearer picture, it gets "easier" 
to write it. Compile the code is an horror story, though.

Python is a great language too. Easier than C/C++ to learn.

However, first learn to program and then take care of the details. If you 
first focus on the details of the programming language, you might getting 
into trouble. On the other hand, if you learn how to program first, then 
the rest is just RTM (Read the Manual).

>But I, in all seriousness, am running out of time. I get back to school
>the week after next, and I want to have some intermediate knowledge of a
>language by then.

Take it easy. Don't expect to get intermediate knowledge in a week. You may 
have the basics by then.

>I get little time to do anything I want after school, and
>thus my chances to further my knowledge of a language would be severly limited
>to weekends, which are also packed for me.

Some of us have the same problem.

>Basically, everyone, I need a
>language, I need it fast.

Python is a good choice. But take care of learning to program first. You 
may be a competent programmer without the basics, but it will be a tad 
difficult to do so.

>Also, I have heard C and C++ are rough to start with. Any truth to this?

If you try to get the basics of programming first, any language will be OK. 
It's more important to have the basics than the language you decide to use.

You may want to try Alan's tutorial at .

Andres Rosado
Email: andresr at
ICQ: 66750646

I am sorry to write you such a long letter.  I don't have time to
write a short one.
         -- Oscar Wilde

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