[Tutor] New to Programming

cristeto1981 cristetoespiritante at gmail.com
Mon Jun 14 13:06:54 CEST 2010

Dave Angel 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
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Thanks for this thread. It really helps. Those links were very informative.

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