Which Language?

I began uncertain of where to begin. I tried to jump into things, but had no idea where to start. My first step was to search, “Which programming language should I learn first,” which ended up being unhelpful. Everyone had different opinions and ideas for where to begin. At the time, the buzz was all about Ruby. So, I thought, what the heck, I’ll start with Ruby. This was three years ago. I began by reading http://rubylearning.com/satishtalim/tutorial.html. I quickly became overwhelmed by the tutorial and sought out other help. I eventually found http://mislav.uniqpath.com/poignant-guide/book/, which was being talked about by the Ruby community.

I went through Why’s Poignant Guide to Ruby and read about six chapters, but eventually it became less and less helpful. It got more esoteric and general as the book continued. It wasn’t until I made it through about half of the book that I realized the purpose of the book wasn’t to teach Ruby, but to help people understand the mentality, and viewpoint of a Ruby programmer. I decided to take a break from learning programming as I had to make a website for my father, www.cookiesonupperredlake.com. That break ended up lasting two and a half years.

I finally got going again in November of 2010. I went back to Ruby and tried a different tutorial, http://pine.fm/LearnToProgram/. I made it through most of Learn to Program, but again, didn’t feel like I connected with what I was trying to learn. After two months of reading and re-reading I had to take a break to make another website for an organization I’m involved in. That website is www.seoulplayers.com. I worked on that for three months and finally was ready to start programming again. I wanted to try a different language, so I searched again, “Which programming language should I learn first.” This time I found something helpful. http://lifehacker.com/5401954/programmer-101-teach-yourself-how-to-code. Ahh, so the language doesn’t matter, the understanding is all that matters. Very zen.

So, I jumped into the past and followed my heart into Python. I searched far and wide for tutorials and came up with about a bajillion. I chose one at random, a short tutorial by Richard G. Baldwin at http://www.developer.com/lang/other/article.php/625901/Learn-to-Program-using-Python-Lesson-1-Getting-Started.htm. This was supposed to have a series of tutorials, but I don’t believe the others were ever written. So, I ended lesson 1 no wiser to programming than I began.

Finally I found a tutorial that seemed perfectly suited to me. http://learnpythonthehardway.org/ by Zed A. Shaw. So far it’s been helpful and informative and has a good learning curve. It is recently revised and so I started over to go through the tutorial from the beginning again. Now that I have a good grasp of where I am in my adventures in programming I will discuss what I have learned so far, the troubles I’ve run into in learning programming and where I hope to go. Programming has been a satisfying adventure so far.


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