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Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by vinderbilt: 1:09am On Feb 05, 2012
Hi, I am new to programming and I am looking to learn professional programming in the coming weeks/months, I have resources like videos and tutorials on PHP and C#, I am a bit confused on which to pick first so I am presently learning both at once.

Please guys is there any disadvantage to this, And if I should drop one of the languages for now, which should I keep learning and practicing with. Thank you
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by delomos: 5:12am On Feb 05, 2012
C# and PHP are almost two similar languages with one distinct difference, one is strongly-typed, the other doesn't compiles at run-time. If none of what I just said makes sense, forget learning C# or PHP, learn the basics first.

What you want to aim for is to be able to "speak" multiple languages and pick up new one with ease; not understanding the basics makes that difficult, learning syntax is only half the story -- since you're new, I will strongly advise against PHP or C#, they seem simple but they have a lot of crutches and gotchas for a bigger (plus too many barriers to entry). Try learning a language that you can start being productive almost right away and also learn core coding skills. In my experience, all those videos, and all solve specific problems and narrow things down too much, not good for starting out.

I advice you learn coding with Python or Ruby (not both), ignore the nay-sayer or all the big buzz-words flying around, start simple (yes, everybody wants to write their own "cool" stuff then the world is fool of junks) -- and you can start right away here: http://learnpythonthehardway.org/book/ and if you prefer to get a book, get this: Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science (don't let the tile scare you, it's really fun)

Welcome to the fun world of programming, we're the learning never stops smiley
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by ektbear: 5:42am On Feb 05, 2012
No.

Focus on one, learn it very well.

Mastery of a topic is better than mediocrity in two topics.
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by ektbear: 5:43am On Feb 05, 2012
Unless of course this is for your job/money/two different classes you are taking that use two different languages, in which case you have no choice.
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by delomos: 5:45am On Feb 05, 2012
ekt_bear:

Unless of course this is for your job/money/two different classes you are taking that use two different languages, in which case you have no choice.

IMO, very unlikely you'd be stuck between this choices.
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by ektbear: 5:53am On Feb 05, 2012
Delomos's advice above is on point.

Btw I've seen adverts on Fbook for that "learn python the hard way" course.

To be honest, I wish I'd gotten into Python instead of Ruby 2 years ago. Oh well, both are good choices for someone starting.
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by delomos: 6:03am On Feb 05, 2012
ekt_bear:

Delomos's advice above is on point.

Btw I've seen adverts on Fbook for that "learn python the hard way" course.

To be honest, I wish I'd gotten into Python instead of Ruby 2 years ago. Oh well, both are good choices for someone starting.
You're not missing a lot, I actually prefer Ruby to Python though Python seems faster (getting more into the ruby world lately though) -- but in these days where more and more is moving to the cloud, and computing time is cheap, Ruby and it's gems are definitely are sweet.
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by ektbear: 6:45am On Feb 05, 2012
Python seems to be more popular in the corporate world though. Google for example.

Ruby seems to be primarily popular with people building websites.

Oh well, it won't be hard for me to pick up Python at some point if I need to.

I do think that the Ruby libraries are better. A lot better organized than the Python equivalents, at least.
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by dhtml18(m): 6:51am On Feb 05, 2012
Learn one language first, and get the basic principles of programming. You may pick C,C++,C#,Java or PHP. But start with 1.
Once you have learn the principles of programming and OOP stuffs, believe me, you can learn other languages in a very short time. Although i am more or less exclusively into website development these dayz, but i started off as a software programmer - and till date i always put that in my profile.

Learning other languages is easier when you are already a good programmer - and dont have to learn the basics of programming.

Knowing when to use inbuilt functions, create custom classes, functions and other stuffs comes with your understanding of programming. Being a programmer is not just about cramming all the functions or all the books. You may know more codes than me and yet not be a real programmer - because you might be clueless as to what to do with them codes.

But aside of that, if you wish to go into website development, starting with PHP is not the way - you will get stranded. If you want to learn website development, it will be helpful to visit my facebook page - www.facebook.com/
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by delomos: 7:00am On Feb 05, 2012
*dhtml:

,
But aside of that, if you wish to go into website development, starting with PHP is not the way - you will get stranded. If you want to learn website development, it will be helpful to visit my facebook page - www.facebook.com/
Isn't this needless self-promotion, I don't see how visiting that page answers this question? You should read the responses already given, don't just respond for the sake of it, your response has added even more confusion to the mix.
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by lordZOUGA(m): 7:02am On Feb 05, 2012
@op, if you think you can learn both of them, go ahead,
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by dhtml18(m): 7:58am On Feb 05, 2012
delomos:

Isn't this needless self-promotion, I don't see how visiting that page answers this question? You should read the responses already given, don't just respond for the sake of it, your response has added even more confusion to the mix.
*spits on the ground* Please Zap off, are you the thread poster or the board moderator?? If it does not make any sense to you, dont read it, close your eyes. i.d.i.o.t
I seriously hate talking to morons, my advice is next time you see my post is to just skip it (and save your face).

Okay, maybe i am too harsh, but seriously, did i not spend time advising the OP on learning one at a time? And what is wrong is saying he could use my resource - i do online website development training - and PHP is one of the stuffs there.

How many posts you even get on nairaland sef? Instead make you chilax and study things first, you wan take me collect star - and me i bi omota programmer.
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by delomos: 4:32pm On Feb 05, 2012
@ekt_bear: I agree with you totally, bigger company lean towards Python, one, it's older and it's US-born (the creator of the language actually works at Google, see the bias wink ). And I should also add that Ruby is popular among web-dev'er  mostly because Ruby on Rails framework and it's gems/library (as your pointed).

And picking Python (I crazily recommend that hard way thingy or if you're feeling funky, visit: http:///z6TrVJ (also from Zed, the author of the programming hard way series) isn't a biggie if you're comfortable with Ruby, I personally mostly mix Ruby with shell scripting.
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by dhtml18(m): 7:08pm On Feb 05, 2012
*autoignore* Aye, much better. . .
@OP, take if from a multilingual progranmmer, it is better to start out with an OOP - because the whole world is now OOP.
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by ektbear: 8:24pm On Feb 05, 2012
Guido Van Rossum (the python guy) is dutch, I assume?

But yeah, Ruby was obscure before Rails.

Fortunately what I see from companies these days is that they don't care what language you know (since presumably you can pick up new syntax in a week or less), but that you are just a good programmer. And by "good programmer", they mean able to answer programming puzzles, lol
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by dhtml18(m): 8:27pm On Feb 05, 2012
^^^^very very correct ekt

*dhtml:

Learn one language first, and get the basic principles of programming. You may pick C,C++,C#,Java or PHP. But start with 1.
Once you have learn the principles of programming and OOP stuffs, believe me, you can learn other languages in a very short time.
Although i am more or less exclusively into website development these dayz, but i started off as a software programmer - and till date i always put that in my profile.

Learning other languages is easier when you are already a good programmer - and dont have to learn the basics of programming.

Knowing when to use inbuilt functions, create custom classes, functions and other stuffs comes with your understanding of programming. Being a programmer is not just about cramming all the functions or all the books. You may know more codes than me and yet not be a real programmer - because you might be clueless as to what to do with them codes.

But aside of that, if you wish to go into website development, starting with PHP is not the way - you will get stranded. If you want to learn website development, it will be helpful to visit my facebook page - www.facebook.com/
And it is the same i have noticed too. Once you are a good programmer you can adapt to other languages easily. It is the same arrays, loops, IFs and all that. . .the other things you can learn on the job.
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by billion11: 1:55pm On Feb 06, 2012
Focus on one is my advice. It will be easier to learn the second language as soon as you've mastered the first.
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by mkmyers45(m): 2:06pm On Feb 06, 2012
You can hammer out PHP and MySQL first then come back to C#
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by delomos: 2:18pm On Feb 06, 2012
ekt_bear:

Fortunately what I see from companies these days is that they don't care what language you know (since presumably you can pick up new syntax in a week or less), but that you are just a good programmer. And by "good programmer", they mean able to answer programming puzzles, lol

F***ing right mate! There is hardly any interview these days (that's worthwhile) that wouldn't have you tackle these puzzles, which will somewhat then your knowledge of Data Structures, Algorithms, Design Patterns and Logics.

One thing I'm slowly realizing is that in programming, leaning a language syntax is oft the easiest of solving real problems.
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by delomos: 2:29pm On Feb 06, 2012
*dhtml:

,  take if from a multilingual progranmmer, it is better to start out with an OOP - because the whole world is now OOP.
@*dhtml: Please don't confuse the questioner. NO, NO! the world is not now all OOP, OOP is *just* a pattern that most languages now strongly support it is not a language itself! C'mon, if you speak many languages you should know that.

You can write OOP code in ANY language, yes, even C. Any language that allows you to declare a "function" or at least encapsulate code blocks can use the pattern.

And NO, it's not better to start out OO, understand the basics first!

And yes, PHP v5 natively supports OO.
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by toluxa1(m): 2:51pm On Feb 06, 2012
Heyyy, sup friends. I started learning Python a few weeks ago and really its been great. I started with a video tutorial from a guy called bucky (new houston tutorial) and then decided to use a book. I Ǎ̜̣̍м̣̣̥̇̊ currently using OReilly Learning Python 4th edition and  find it interesting but then today  check out the learning python the hard way site and it looks really cool too. Ǎ̜̣̍м̣̣̥̇̊ not sure its good switching from one book τ̲̅☺ the other so what do you guys think? Should i stick with this or try out the learning python the hard way? Thanks in anticipation.
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by delomos: 2:56pm On Feb 06, 2012
toluxa1:

Should i stick with this or try out the learning python the hard way? Thanks in anticipation.

Yes, Yes, Yes. Learning Python is an interesting book (I own a copy too). But Zed Shaw (the author of the 'hard way') doesn't just teach you python syntax, he also teaches you HOW to solve programming problems, usually exercise and reading documentations and writing clean/effective code that is a huge plus in learning to code
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by toluxa1(m): 3:15pm On Feb 06, 2012
delomos:

Yes, Yes, Yes. Learning Python is an interesting book (I own a copy too). But Zed Shaw (the author of the 'hard way') doesn't just teach you python syntax, he also teaches you HOW to solve programming problems, usually exercise and reading documentations and writing clean/effective code that is a huge plus in learning to code

This sounds more to me like I should use the two simultaneously cheesy
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by charlsecy4(m): 3:27pm On Feb 06, 2012
@Delmos
Please, I would love you to email me the book. charlsecy@gmail.com.
Thanks
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by okeyxyz(m): 3:34pm On Feb 06, 2012
toluxa1:

Heyyy, sup friends. I started learning Python a few weeks ago and really its been great. I started with a video tutorial from a guy called bucky (new houston tutorial) and then decided to use a book. I Ǎ̜̣̍м̣̣̥̇̊ currently using OReilly Learning Python 4th edition and  find it interesting but then today  check out the learning python the hard way site and it looks really cool too. Ǎ̜̣̍м̣̣̥̇̊ not sure its good switching from one book τ̲̅☺ the other so what do you guys think? Should i stick with this or try out the learning python the hard way? Thanks in anticipation.

i've seen bucky's video's too. great tutorials.
about switching books, unfortunately some people are just bad at teaching others, so one is forced to switch. not that i know anything abt the books u just mentioned though.
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by delomos: 3:42pm On Feb 06, 2012
@charlsecy4: I do have the paper copy not ebook, but I'm sure you can look around to 'find' the ebook.


@toluxa1: No, dump the book (for now) and go with the hard way lessons -- sorry I sounded confusing.
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by jimjones: 3:47pm On Feb 06, 2012
simple asnwer: NO!, you should learn 4 at once. that's the best way to start.
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by sisqology(m): 4:06pm On Feb 06, 2012
*smh and walks away*
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by Afam4eva(m): 6:43pm On Feb 06, 2012
Why should you learn just two when there are tens of programming languages. learn at least ten at once and your life will never remain the same. After that, don't forget to get at least ten jobs from ten different companies so that you will be working simultaneously. The pay will be worth your time i must tell you.
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by IbroSaunks(m): 6:49pm On Feb 06, 2012
well some top people have already given good advice, but I would just like to add that to an extent personal ability matters. while most would discourage learning 2 at a time, we all are not the same and some may actually have the mental capacity to do it. op, try to avoid that, but if ur brainy enough, why not?
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by lordZOUGA(m): 6:58pm On Feb 06, 2012
delomos:

@*dhtml: Please don't confuse the questioner. NO, NO! the world is not now all OOP, OOP is *just* a pattern that most languages now strongly support it is not a language itself! C'mon, if you speak many languages you should know that.

You can write OOP code in ANY language, yes, even C. Any language that allows you to declare a "function" or at least encapsulate code blocks can use the pattern.

And NO, it's not better to start out OO, understand the basics first!

And yes, PHP v5 natively supports OO.
okay, I still don't understand what u mean by "understanding the basics, " I think every language is a standalone entity or subject that can be learnt with or without any idea of its similar counterpart. If the OP can stomach C or any low-level language that is usually perceived as "hard" then he should go ahead. I will advice him to go with the "hard" languages cos the "easy" ones might make him lazy.
Re: Should A Beginner Learn 2 Programming Languages At Once? by delomos: 7:18pm On Feb 06, 2012
@IbroSaunks: You made an interesting point, but, it's not really about if you have the brain power or not. In anything in life, making small steps is great. When is comes to it (As as already being said repeatedly), when you get the solid grasp of one, the rest is easier to grasp -- under the hood, they're all the same, just approaching things in a different way.

So, It's strongly advisable to do just one. As a side-note, in my college days, the algorithms classes where in Java, which you'd do for a while, then the advanced classes start tacking poo in C (Not a fan of either langauge smiley or maybe I'm just a slacker)

@lordZOUGA: From a bird's eye view, every language is different but poking deep, you'd see they are all the same. The issue is not really if a language is hard or soft, it all comes down to what problem you're trying to solve and how effectively can you solve it.

If you want to write an operating system or design your own programming language, you'd better know your C (ruby, php, c++, c# are all C's descendants) , not that you can't in other languages it's just that your OS will be slllllooooooooowww. If you're trying to design a web blog or a gallery site, your C knowledge will fail you seriously.

Starting "hard" shouldn't be about the language, it should be about doing the hard work of learning the basics. Such as, why should I use a PHP "while" or "for" or "switch", or heck, is this "class" encapsulating a problem, or sets? or should I write this OO or just functional-ize the code -- now learning those basics is hard.

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