[Tutor] New to Programming

Kaushal Shriyan kaushalshriyan at gmail.com
Sun Jun 13 17:38:27 CEST 2010

On Sat, Jun 12, 2010 at 4:04 PM, Dave Angel <davea at ieee.org> wrote:
> Kaushal Shriyan wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I am absolutely new to programming language. Dont have any programming
>> experience. Can some one guide me please. is python a good start for
>> novice.
>> Thanks,
>> Kaushal
> Like nearly all questions, the answer is "it depends."
> Mainly, it depends on what your goal is.  In my case, I made my living with
> programming, for many years.  And in the process, learned and used about 35
> languages, plus a few more for fun.  I wish I had discovered Python much
> earlier, though it couldn't have been my first, since it wasn't around.  But
> it'd have been much better than Fortran was, for learning.
> So tell us about your goals.  Abstract knowledge, console utilities, gui
> development, games, web development, networking communication, ...
> Next, you might want to evaluate what you already know.  There are a lot of
> non-programming things that a programmer needs to understand.  If you
> already know many of them, that's a big head start.  If you already know how
> to administer a Linux system, you're already a programmer and didn't know
> it.  If you write complex formulas for Excel, you're a programmer.  If you
> already know modus ponens, and understand what a contrapositive is, you've
> got a head start towards logic (neither is a programming subject, just a
> start towards logical thinking).  If you've worked on a large document, and
> kept backups of  incremental versions, so you could rework the current
> version based on earlier ones, that's a plus.  If you know why a file's
> timestamp might change when you copy it from hard disk to a USB drive and
> back again, you've got a head start.  If you know why it might have a
> different timestamp when you look at it six months from now without changing
> it, you've got a head start.
> If you're using Windows and never used a command prompt, you have a ways to
> go.  If you don't know what a file really is, or how directories are
> organized, you have a ways to go.  And if you think a computer is
> intelligent, you have a long way to go.
> Python is a powerful tool.  But if you're totally new to programming, it can
> also be daunting.  And most people have no idea how easy some programs are,
> nor how hard some other programs are, to build.
> In any case, some of the things recommending Python as a first language are:
>  1) an interactive interpreter - you can experiment, trivially
>  2) very fast turnaround, from the time you make a change, till you can see
> how it works.  This can be true even for large programs
>  3) this mailing list
> DaveA

Thanks Dave. You saved my day and really motivated me


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