On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 4:46 PM, Ross Singer<rossfsin...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 8:54 AM, Jon Gorman<jonathan.gor...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> As far as
>> languages, I'd probably lean towards ruby or python for starters or
>> maybe Java.  Then move into php after you have a grasp of good
>> programming practice.  You'll also figure out more what you like to
>> work on.
> Given the plaintive tone of the original post, I disagree with this
> advice.  Development is almost solely based on confidence and
> experience (with the latter affecting the former and vice-versa).
> "Good code" is secondary.
> I would almost certainly say start out with a procedural scripting
> language (or at least a procedural approach) that is more common and
> Googleable (PHP immediately comes to mind).  The nice thing about
> something like PHP, in my mind, is that it's incredibly easy to see
> immediate results without having any real idea of what's going on
> (that being said, I have _no_ idea what Wayne's background might be --
> perhaps this advice is too novice).  As many others have replied, it's
> so much easier to learn by solving an actual problem (rather than
> following the 'pet store' example in your tutorial) and, in my mind,
> PHP is the easiest way get off the ground.  Successes breed confidence
> to take on bigger projects, etc.

Fully agree with that. Programming has to be learned incrementally, by
getting your hands dirty a little then studying the necessary theory
and repeating the cycle to tackle bigger problems. If I didn't hate
the language so much I'd vote for PHP as well:) But surely a scripting
language with a prominent Web presence, to start with. Preferably one
that is clean, minimalist and well thought through like Smalltalk :)

> Once you've realized that this stuff isn't rocket science, /then/
> break out the theory, find a different language (perhaps more suited
> to the task at hand -- or not!) and think about good code.
> Rob Styles sent this to my delicious account the other day (I'm not
> sure what he was trying to tell me):
> http://cowboyprogramming.com/2007/01/18/the-seven-stages-of-programming/
> which I think sums up the arc pretty well.
> -Ross.



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