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with all of the different technologies.. which would be the best to learn first...i'm thinking about going back to school in a few years, and i'm interested in Programming. So before I go, I want to familiarize myself with some technologies.. I've been messing around with Front Page for a while and know a little bit about HTML.. but thats it. Any suggestions?

T.A.

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well, that's pretty wide open - where do your interest lie - web publishing? application developement (ie, through a Integrated Development Environment)? application programming (ie code production)? there's ppl here far more knowledgeable in these areas than i that will undoubably answer ur question, but a little more direction would be helpful.

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I'm not sure many would agree with me on this, but if I were thinking of learning how to program from the beginning, I would learn C# and the .NET platform. And the best way to start would be to sign up at a local college or junior college and just take an introductory course.

My reason for C# and the .NET platform is that you can program just as easy for web applications as you can for desktop applications(web forms or window's forms). And MS has spent well over a billion dollars on its development...so it ain't gonna disappear and will most likely become revolutionary for MS.

Personally, I'm learning PHP because I know C and it seems very easy to make the transition. But the reason is my own weakness for programming to a unix prompt or a dos prompt. If you started out with C# you would learn how to program actual windows applications....and .NET makes it much easier to do than it has been in the past.

HTH

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That's a heavy question. Are you interested in web applications? Desktop applications? Network? What is your operating system of choice? Are you looking for an environment where you will have the most fun programming or just there to make money?

That's a tough question to answer. If I do give you an answer, then it would probably be biased from my experience. Care to expand on your question? I take it you want to get more into web development than anything else because you mentioned FrontPage and HTML. But remember that FrontPage and HTML are just tools used mostly for web design, and web design is NOT web development.

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Well.. I'm interested in Computer Programming as well as web desing/development.... hope this clears things up a bit.

T.A.

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You say you want to go back to school in a few years? Possibly for computer science (note: a lot of math/theory).

If you want to get started with a programming language, I highly suggest C++. Java, C#, etc are also nice to learn too, but they're very object oriented. OOP (object oriented programming) is optional in C++. Therefore, you may wish to begin doing some simple stuff, and then once you feel comfortable with OOP, dive into Java, etc. Of course, this is if you wish to develop applications, etc.

If you wish to be more of a web development person, there's always ASP/.NET, PHP, and Coldfusion. Of course, you'll have to learn about relational databases here, as well.

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If you want to become a programmer in web development, I suggest you take up C++ first. Do you remember any programming at all? C++, in my opinion, is the best language to start in. Not as easy as QBASIC, but it definitely has great benefits. One of them is the OOP approach. You could take up Java instead of C++, but you'd have to pick up OOP sooner than C++ because Java forces you to use an OOP mentality. Also, C++ has been around much longer and has a solid foundation. Now, this just covers programming.

If you want to get into web development, after you know the basics of programming, going into another language is a snap. It's just a matter of syntax. Sure the form of thinking might change slightly, but algorithms will pretty much be implemented the same way. You have your choice => ASP/ASP.NET, PHP, ColdFusion, JSP, Perl. Those five are the most popular to date. Again, this is just programming.

Next, comes databases. A web application is nothing if it doesn't handle data in some way or another. You have a few options here: Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Sybase, DB2. Also you'd have to learn SQL (the language) so you can query the databases.

After that, comes technology you use on the front end (on the web page that you see). This includes HTML, JavaScript, CSS.

XML. This is a technology that's become more useful by the minute. With it, you can make two different technologies (e.g. an application developed in Perl and another one developed in Java on a PDA) talk to each other and transfer information. You can also make information be displayed with a CSS or XSL stylesheet.

Web Application Servers is another big one. These are the servers that run PHP, ColdFusion, etc. The big ones are IIS, Apache, Tomcat, JRun, JBoss, Weblogic, and Websphere.

Now this is just the icing. There's other stuff like security. Other stuff you'd have to take into consideration is located in a post I put up a while back. It's the fifth post from the top: [thread]50[/thread]

Now, don't let this intimidate you!! ;) Don't think I know everything about what I just mentioned. However it's good to at least know one or two about each section, and know at least the basics of the rest (or at least know of them). Another good thing is to keep up with the latest news.

If you need any more input, let me know. Glad to help! ;P

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so what your saying is that I should brush up on my math skills then eh?.. Ummm.. I'm thinking Web Development/Designing would be a better place to start.. I've heard alot of ppl say that C is pretty boring. This post was meant for cscgal but it looks like inscissor and i posted at the same time. lol

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If you want to become a programmer in web development, I suggest you take up C++ first. Do you remember any programming at all? C++, in my opinion, is the best language to start in. Not as easy as QBASIC, but it definitely has great benefits. One of them is the OOP approach. You could take up Java instead of C++, but you'd have to pick up OOP sooner than C++ because Java forces you to use an OOP mentality. Also, C++ has been around much longer and has a solid foundation. Now, this just covers programming.

If you want to get into web development, after you know the basics of programming, going into another language is a snap. It's just a matter of syntax. Sure the form of thinking might change slightly, but algorithms will pretty much be implemented the same way. You have your choice => ASP/ASP.NET, PHP, ColdFusion, JSP, Perl. Those five are the most popular to date. Again, this is just programming.

Next, comes databases. A web application is nothing if it doesn't handle data in some way or another. You have a few options here: Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Sybase, DB2. Also you'd have to learn SQL (the language) so you can query the databases.

After that, comes technology you use on the front end (on the web page that you see). This includes HTML, JavaScript, CSS.

XML. This is a technology that's become more useful by the minute. With it, you can make two different technologies (e.g. an application developed in Perl and another one developed in Java on a PDA) talk to each other and transfer information. You can also make information be displayed with a CSS or XSL stylesheet.

Web Application Servers is another big one. These are the servers that run PHP, ColdFusion, etc. The big ones are IIS, Apache, Tomcat, JRun, JBoss, Weblogic, and Websphere.

Now this is just the icing. There's other stuff like security. Other stuff you'd have to take into consideration is located in a post I put up a while back. It's the fifth post from the top: [thread]50[/thread]

Now, don't let this intimidate you!! ;) Don't think I know everything about what I just mentioned. However it's good to at least know one or two about each section, and know at least the basics of the rest (or at least know of them). Another good thing is to keep up with the latest news.

If you need any more input, let me know. Glad to help! ;P

So I'm thinking that taking the Computer Programming course in college should be a good one to try out then.

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Who told you C was boring? You should go to Slashdot and post that. Just wondering how fast you'd get flamed or hacked. :) Like I said before, all languages are boring, it's what you do with it that makes it interesting. A lot of 3D engines were made in C (some I believe are still being made in C). Unix/Linux still uses C. Many toolkits still use C heavily, even over C++. There's still many people out there that prefer it over C++. Like I said, do a post on Slashdot to find out. ;)

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If you're already into web development in some way, you might want to consider learning JavaScript pretty well as your next stage. It's a programming language in its own right, the syntax is very much like the C family of languages and it will become immediately useful to you in your web development work. It's probably as good a language as any other to learn the fundamentals of programming, and it has some object-oriented capabilities.

You would probably find that you could move on to something like C++, Java or PHP with relative ease afterwards.

Google has a whole load of links to tutorials:
http://directory.google.com/Top/Computers/Programming/Languages/JavaScript/Tutorials/

or there are many good books out there, some very reasonably priced. And there's plenty of places to go for support on the internet.

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Honestly, if you're only going to be taking one class, in this case programming, then you're better off with a good book. It's hard finding a good programming teacher (from my experience anyways, and I've taken many). If it was my choice, I'd pickup a good book. I'd learn at my own pace, I would structure my own course my way (actually make it fun and interesting), and would NOT be pressured with exams and homework assignments. Also, a lot cheaper too.

If you ARE considering majoring in a field, and want to do something with web development, I don't recommend computer science. Even though computer science has programming, programming is just one a part of it. (Sometimes I think it's a small part of it.) You'll spent most of the time doing calculus problems and coming up with algorithms. A lot of abstract and theory. If you want to learn hands on stuff like databases, multimedia, networks, and web development/designing (photoshop/dreamweaver/etc), you can forget it. You can either go to an IT school for that or major in information systems (BCIS/CIS). This field has programming, but it's more enclined towards the business world. BCIS also has classes in multimedia, business (marketing, finance, e-commerce), networks (hands on); all the interesting stuff.

I am a major in computer science and a minor in BCIS. Just thought I'd mention it to show some credibility.

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OK... so all of this sounds very interesting to me.. and is something I want to learn.. BUT... I was just at the Tutorials section and I did NOT understand a single thing for the posts on C++.. so my next question would be... if I'm gonna be learning this stuff then I should be able to understand it right?

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I do not care who you are, if you do not understand the basics around the programming language you are going to learn about it will be difficult to get your mind around the concept.

My question is this Tech. Addict. What was it that lost you or a particular point that did not make sense about c++

C++ and all newer languages are heavily into the OOP (Object Oriented Programming). And like a few others have said the syntax will get boring, especialy if you have know idea why you type or do it.

OOP and UML (universal Modelling Language) go hand in hand. Programming and Design in simple terms.

Simply OOP/UML:

C++ Uses classes, and methods in those classes. Well classes are actually blueprints of objects, and those methods (procedures) of a classe are the behaviours of that object the class represents.

In in Classes, just like objects, their are parent and child classes. Those child classes retain some of the methods(behaviours) of the parent class. This is the the basis of inheritence in programming.

In Java/VB/C++ you can build on that to affect objects from several sources. ADO / DAO Object Models, Objects/Classes of the API (Application Programming Interface - where you manipulate Windows for Example), .NET Framework (including ADO.NET) just to name a few.

Not sure this encourages you or scares the sh^t out of you, but believe me any programming book that matters these days will talk about OOP/UML(including 3 Tier Application Design).

Good luck.... If I learned it...anyone can...

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Thanks.. well.. I guess there's only one way to find out.. if this will be interesting or not, and that is to jump right in...

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if I'm gonna be learning this stuff then I should be able to understand it right?

Well, how else are you suppose to learn if you can't understand. If you don't understand, you don't call it learning. You might be able to memorize concepts, but that's it. Memorizing is pretty much useless because you can always look stuff up.

Now, were you being sarcastic? Meaning that you couldn't understand the tutorials because the way they were written? It might not suit you, although I have shown it to other people and they told me they were written well (I can't be the judge of that because I already know how to program). If you have a hard time grasping concepts, why not ask questions? I'm sure the authors would be glad to help you. If you want me to recommend you a book I'll be glad to. Let me know.

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The tutorials themselves may not be the best method of learning a new language from the start. No doubt they will be useful along the way but to be honest you should invest in a good book. Without a good book you'll probably struggle.

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Tech Addict, if you wish to get into a programming language, C++ being your first one, I wouldn't get discouraged if you suddenly jump into a whole bunch of C++ code and get confused or frustrated.

Which C++ tutorials, specifically, were you looking at? The ones written by me (e.g. the "part 1, part 2" ones), or the ones written by Bob (which are a bit more advanced, and more like a reference than a beginning tutorial)?

I tried my best to explain C++ to "non-programmers" in my tutorials ... mbut, then again, as Bob said, they're only tutorials. You wouldn't be able to get as much out of a few paragraphs as you would out of a good book or even a programming course.

As Paladine was saying, OOP is a large part of C++, and it can be very daunting. However, I don't think I got into OOP until about part six of the tutorial. Maybe you wish to take a look at the Overview of Programming tutorials, where I try to explain what algorithms and pseudocode are (the very basics of programming).

No matter which way you go, good luck with your programming endeavor!

If you have any specific questions, feel free to post ...

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it will be good for you to start with some programing fundamentals book, to understand
some base concepts, like functions, variables, values, operators i.t.n
then you can go to php scripting language.
be carefull when you buying books. Good book will be your the best gide.

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