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Old 13th February 2012
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Carpetsmoker Carpetsmoker is offline
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The "I want to learn how to program, which language do I choose"-question is common. Many programmers-to-be and new programmers think this actually matters a great deal, in my opinion, it doesn't really matter that much.

My advice: Just pick something well supported and start hacking. I always found it very useful to have some project to work towards, for example, I first started programming with BASIC because I wanted to sort a list of games I had on the MSX. I didn't really want to learn BASIC as such, I just wanted to sort the list. I *still* don't really want to learn any computer language as such, I just want to solve my problems. Programming just happens to be the quickest method.

If you don't like the language you chose, try something else. Picking up the second language should be easier because you're already familiar with many concepts. If you do like the language you chose, get better at it, and then try $something_else. You may prefer $something_else, and even if you don't it should at least give you new ideas and insights in your first language.
Rinse, repeat.

Quote:
will learning python be as beneficial to the BSD community as learning C for instance ? isn't C the gateway to porting ? ..
By "porting" you mean the ports collection?

There are many Python ports, there are also many C ports. Personally, I wouldn't care about this, do what *you* like, not what you think may be better for *someone else* Especially as hobby programmer, having fun is very important because it'll keep you motivated to keep going.

Personally, I feel that C is somewhat overrated. It certainly has a place in today's & tomorrow's world, but the reason for much of its current usage is historical, not technical.
Even for experienced programmers, C will take longer to write, and will have more bugs than Python/Ruby/Perl/etc.

I would also recommend you don't start with PHP, for the simple reason that many tutorials and books range from less-than-optimal to really bad. The language also misses some key concept present in almost every other language (most notably like threads or a sane standard library).
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