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Still surprised at how many developers don't know how to effectively debug code. During my career, I've run across more than one "experienced [in years] developer who didn't know how to run a debugger and so used a form of console output and/or logs.
Debugging and reading the damn errors you get are essential skills beginners often don't see.
It does tick me off immensely when a developers ignores every error message / log and starts speculating on what went wrong instead.
It usually end up with me yelling at them to:
A) become literate
B) investigate "what the words mean"
C) do their damn job
Examples of what you want to do goes a long way to help with suggestions.
see creations come to life
You could write the game of life John Conway's Game of Life[^] in language. Some you might spend more time on getting the visuals to work, and others may be the reverse where visuals take a short time, but the code behind is more tricky.
If you like things like this Draggable | jQuery UI[^] and want to make a picture puzzle
- you can skip the "hardcore" css for inline styling on first pass.
- 2-3 days (10 hours) on the middle amount of time to do something.
- then 2+ years of adding features to cloud save, different sized pieces, cross platform support, fixing that weird bug your number one user keeps getting but you cant replicate. Customizable colour schemes, individual user styles, performance inprovements, ai helper, machine learning auto solver, color bind support, other alternative usability support, rewritting it from scratch.
I currently have a high school sophomore/Junior interning for me who had no idea about programming to start with. I thought PHP/html/js would be a good start, following a book. Boy was I ever wrong.
We switched this intern to VB.net and the immediate feedback and seeing results made all the difference. And I think the language is far easier to pick up than C#, while allowing you to do everything you need to.
This is not necessarily what I would have a true CS student learn. There is a value to continually hitting your head against a wall and feeling the relief of breaking through only to do it again, that you experience with other languages. This is how I describe development to new engineers. Learning this fortitude is a useful skill.
But for a self taught newbie, I would go with VB.net. Once you know one language, the rest are all about understanding various types of syntax.
One more thing about C++ or C#; being able to step through your code in a debugger is invaluable for learning and the Visual Studio debugger[s] beat all others by a very wide margin. (JetBrains makes excellent IDEs, but I haven't tried PyCharm, so perhaps it may qualify, though I still don't like python as a beginner language.)
1) You visually see changes on a website that you're building, as opposed to just printing "hello world" messages to a shell.
2) Your work is publicly available via the web (assuming you put it on a real website), so it's easy to ask for help/feedback from friends even if they're far away.
3) It's easy/cheap to get started. You can buy your own web domain for $20/year, and a basic hosted website for $6/month or so.
4) You only need a text editor like Notepad to start writing code; you don't need to worry about compiling it.
5) It gives you a good sense of how the web stuff works, how the browser talks to the server.
6) The skills are in high demand right now.
I want to do something related solving, building, not just dealing with data
That's kind of vague.
There's lots of really interesting and cool things you can work on with any of those languages. Since those things are obviously not what you're interested in doing, and you haven't been specific, then I suggest you look at job postings for the kind of work you want to do. Learn the language that seems to come up the most in them. That won't get you the job you want, but it's a step in that direction.
My two youngest took a class at Utah Valley University called "CS 1030 Foundations of Computer Science". It starts with the real basics--what is a hard disk, what is memory and so on. By about the halfway mark, they started rudimentary C# programming. I don't know your age, but my daughter took this class in high school through an extension program (where she could get both high school and college credit.)
Check with your local university or community college to see if they have a similar course. They may also have an online version.
What is your goal? Do you plan to make a career as a software developer? Are you just wanting to learn what programming is like? How much experience do you currently have, and what level of understanding do you have of how computers function?
Many people on this forum are recommending C# (primarily because this is a Visual Studio/C# heavy forum). If you are just wanting to learn the basics of simple programming, learning C# to create simple programs is a little like using a sledgehammer to drive in a thumbtack. While I don't have much experience with Python, I understand it to be a nice interpretive language that will provide you with immediate feedback. The various facets of C#, and the added complication of a compiler make simple introduction daunting.
On the other hand, before you would enter any plans for a profession, obviously, you would need to learn MUCH more than Python.
Anything that is unrelated to elephants is irrelephant Anonymous - The problem with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they're genuine Winston Churchill, 1944 - Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference. Mark Twain
If you need optimization help, you could post a question in Q/A...
".45 ACP - because shooting twice is just silly" - JSOP, 2010 ----- You can never have too much ammo - unless you're swimming, or on fire. - JSOP, 2010 ----- When you pry the gun from my cold dead hands, be careful - the barrel will be very hot. - JSOP, 2013