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18 posts

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# 132289 15-Oct-2013 22:38
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Hey guys!

So as some of you may know, i am going to do a computer science major next year. While I am good at computers, i have never actually done any real programming. I know this question gets asked a million times on the web but I just can't find a descent source.

Firstly, what would you suggest for a first programming language? I will be learning JAVA next year so should i just start learning that or do you think there is another programming language that is easier to learn and help me understand JAVA next year?

What ever your suggestion, it would be GREAT if you could suggest a book, or a website, or youtube videos that are great for a beginner.

Anyways, hopefully that is enough info.

Thanks GUYS!!

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1819 posts

Uber Geek


  # 915800 15-Oct-2013 23:13
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That's a hard question, since you will be learning Java you might as well start there. is a good place to start, .

I would also look at getting the new Android IDE, because it is a very very nice IDE and learning to build apps is fun way to learn.


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Master Geek


  # 915802 15-Oct-2013 23:17
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A good place to start is following the the Stanford CS course online. All the lectures, assignments are online. Good luck.


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Uber Geek

  # 915831 16-Oct-2013 01:01
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Is this at Auckland Uni by any chance?

I have a friend who is doing a programming paper at auckland in a course sounding like that, he's never had a background in anything other than basic computing/gaming. He was able to learn it pretty easily (java) and enjoyed it from what I know.

I did programming last semester (Bachelor of Computer Systems @ Unitec) in Java as well, it wasn't too bad. Requires a bit of after class practice though, if your lecturer/tutors supply materials to do so it makes it a tonne easier. I didn't even buy books last semester, and I done pretty well based on practice outside of classes.

If you're doing Java next semester, practice java if you're going to practice something over summer. Haha, get a head start.

The only thing I can remember referencing to if I needed help, was our lecture slides, and this site which was in my bookmarks:
Very very helpful.

Good luck with your studies anyway! :D
I'm sure you'll enjoy learning the basics of Java.

Bachelor of Computing Systems (2015)




Late 2013 MacBook Pro with Retina Display (4GB/2.4GHz i5/128GB SSD) - HP DV6 (8GB/2.8GHz i7/120GB SSD + 750GB HDD)
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Sam, Auckland 

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Inactive user

  # 915833 16-Oct-2013 01:20
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I'd recommend Python as a great language to learn with. In fact, Coursera has just had an intro course start.

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  # 915834 16-Oct-2013 01:38
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1080p: I'd recommend Python as a great language to learn with. In fact, Coursera has just had an intro course start.

+1 for Python.

The University of Otago has a course COMP150: Practical Programming (in Python) which is provided under a GNU free documentation license. They use Apple's but there's only minor differences on Windows and Linux.

You can also read a departmental analysis of the course which concludes:

Overall, the introduction of Python as a first programming language has been
successful, and preliminary quantitative results indicate that learning Python
is a good pre-cursor for learning other languages such as Java. Unlike Java,
Python is a joy to teach because it is simple, has few magical incantations,
provides immediate feedback, and is also practically useful. The two most
successful aspects of the course were the ability to tailor an open source text-
book to be very closely aligned with the course, and the use of mastery tests to
force students to learn important programming concepts.

I got my 10 and 12 year-old boys to do it a few years ago when they expressed interest in programming as a job but had nothing useful planned for the summer holidays.

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Uber Geek


  # 915851 16-Oct-2013 03:05
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Master Geek

  # 915879 16-Oct-2013 09:00
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It does not matter which language you start with, if you get the basics right, you can get through any language. I have known excellent programmers who have done it all themselves. There are many resources available now to try your hands on. Try or


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  # 915917 16-Oct-2013 10:40
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Start with Java if that's what you'll be working in, IMHO. As languages go it's not difficult, but you'll have to learn about OO and the JVM. Tutorials will take you through it.

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