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smart1979's avatar

Do you recommend Python as a first language?

Asked by smart1979 (442points) April 18th, 2008

The title pretty much sums it up – I want to learn some code, and I’ve been recommended Python by a few people. I thought I’d tap the collective to see what others have to say.

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16 Answers

tompouk's avatar

If you want to code on Linux yes it’s good. but on Windows you’ll need to run the whole thing and it’s a mess to run app etc.

As a first language I would tell you learn some web language like PHP it’ll introduce you to coding and you will be able to code web apps in less time.

If you want to code for real then learn the big thing, c, c++, c# etc.

smart1979's avatar

I was going to start with C, because eventually i would like to get into DSP and audio stuffs, but I think it’s too intimidating for me at this point – I don’t have a lot of free time on my hands, and I’m looking for something to just play around with for starters. BTW I also have access to some Python books for free so that is another reason I’m leaning towards it.

jrpowell's avatar

Python is a great language to learn. I would also take a look at Ruby. I love Ruby.

And is a great tool for getting a feel for Ruby.

robhaya's avatar

I would recommend Ruby too and checkout Why’s Poignant Guide to Ruby its a fun way to learn the basics of Ruby.

Good Luck!

jrpowell's avatar

And, as an example of how what can be done in Python. Bittorrent was written in Python and so is this website. So you can do some cool things with it.

andrew's avatar

Python python python! It was designed as a teaching language, so it’s perfect for beginners. I strongly recommend against PHP; it’s way to easy to write crap code with it.

Vincentt's avatar

PHP is excellent to learn what you should not be doing, and then how to restrain yourself :P
But yeah, I guess Python’s a good one to start with.

smart1979's avatar

I am a total, absolute beginner – can someone explain what object oriented means, and how that seperates Ruby and Python?

Vincentt's avatar

OOP basically means that you have “objects” that interact with eachother, as opposed to several actions following up on eachother. It’s too broad a subject to quickly explain, though.
AFAIK, Ruby and Python are both OOP.

Zaku's avatar

What Andrew said. Python is very good for learning programming. There are good tutorials. It’s very flexible and forgiving and offers lots of possibilities to explore. And you can do things pretty easily. PHP, no.

stephen's avatar

coding for b/s apps and c/s apps are different, if u wanna coding for web applications then php is recommanded just as some others to say, jsp is also good but not as easy to study as php,and if you wanna work on desktop apps then at least one of c,c#,c++,java that you need to study,

xmen24's avatar

Agree with stephen. Boils down to Desktop apps development vs Web development.
I would suggest learning java and Python together. One can learn a lot from both these great languages ;)

timothykinney's avatar

Python is a good introduction to learning how a computer thinks, without getting stuck on syntax. I started out teaching myself C++, but I spent so much time forgetting semi-colons and trouble-shooting syntax, that I didn’t have time to think about my programming goals. I learned a little bit of python and was able to code in a couple of weeks what I had already done in C++ for 6 months, and there was no performance loss. It really depends on what you are programming, but in general, most beginners can use Python more easily than C. But you need the performance of C if you are writing hardware drivers or doing long/many mathematical calculations. Python is amazing for file manipulation, simple user-interface, text parsing, and grabbing stuff from the web.

breanne's avatar

Well I started with VB, then went to C++, Java, Perl, PHP, and then Python. I wish I had started with Python, because when I saw how easy it was, it made me groan at how complex simple tasks were using the previous languages I studied. Plus, I really, really hate Java. Therefore, I recommend starting with Python and then go on to PHP.

Dprkgang's avatar

yes that’s good ithink…

dibau_naum_h's avatar

Python is the best language I know to learn programming with: it’s simple & powerful, & doesn’t sacrifice any design principle or best practice. It’s probably also a language that would stay with us for some time, as a community bottom-up language.

You can do pretty amazing things with Python, e.g., when using web frameworks such as Django, which BTW is what fluther is written in…

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