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General Questions for Programmers

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Been looking around and reading abit into programming. Python and java more than anything really and just have a few questions for the people who do it as a hobby and a living.

What is the best language to start with?

If you do it as a job are you free lancing or do you work for a company?

Do you have any general tips for someone looking into programming?

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> What is the best language to start with?

Best first language is fairly subjective, and I don't really think there is a "best" first language. I would probably recommend starting with Python, just because the syntax is much simpler than other languages. I personally started with Java, the learning curve is, in my opinion, steeper than Python, but it isn't ridiculously difficult or anything.

> If you do it as a job are you free lancing or do you work for a company?

I'm working for a company, most people do at the start. You need to gain experience in the field before people will trust you as a freelancer. You can gain that experience by working for a company, or by having a significant portfolio of projects that you can show potential clients.

> Do you have any general tips for someone looking into programming?

Just keep putting in time. Programming itself is not particularly difficult, it just takes a long time to get good at, the same with any other skill. I think the general rule is 10,000 hours to master something right?

Pretty much everything you need to know about programming can be found online, either in documentation, on blog posts, tutorial websites or StackOverflow etc. Just learn how to efficiently Google what you want to know, and you can easily answer all your questions.

Once you have the fundamentals down, just start building stuff. The best way to learn is by trying to build something, getting stuck, finding the answer, repeat. Eventually you'll find that you start to get stuck less.

Don't just stick to one thing, explore building web apps, mobile apps, desktop apps etc. etc.

If you enjoy it, then think about taking formal education in Computer Science or Software Engineering. There is more to creating software than just programming, there's a lot to learn, so doing a formal course can be helpful.

Edited by Explv
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6 minutes ago, liverare said:


Do some research and find out which jobs pay the most for which programmer. I wouldn't ask around here, because Java is the language this bot's developed in and scripts are written for. You're going to get a very biased reception.

Or it could just be, as Alek said, Java is an imperative language.


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Well if speaking purely from a general perspective, as Explv said the "best language" is fairly subjective. If your goal is to eventually land a job, good thing to do would be to snoop around recruiting/CV sites see what's the most popular language in your country.

Where I live, .NET (C#) is quite popular and doesn't take too much effort to land a junior position at a company with rather minimal skills. From there on you can gain experience by working in real life projects and from more experienced colleges.  

Edited by Butters
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My university programme uses Java as the main language for teaching, I would definitely recommend it if you're considering getting into programming. From what I know about python it might be more difficult to transition from using python to using Java than the opposite way round, so do with that information what you will 

It's probably best to make a choice with the mindset to pick a language that you understand and enjoy using as opposed to a language with lots of job opportunities (but don't choose prolog). 

Edited by Tommm39
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C# is also a good choice as @mank stated, since a lot of businesses use that and its also your normal imperative language. It also depends on what you want to do. Do you want to work at an insurance/other corporate business? Then you might want to learn MongoDB, SQL, Php, C#, Python. Do you want to work on an operating system or robot? Then you might want to learn C, C++, VHDL, assembly.

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Thank you everyone for the replies. @Apaec I agree with you on that one so I think im going to start with java and trying to learn through making scripts for myself on runescape just so I have something familiar to work with while I learn. But would like to move towards websites as that has also peeked an interest. 

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