23 October 2007

What programming language should I start with?

Over on news.ycombinator.com, someone asked the question:
What programming language should I start with?
This was my response:

Here are the languages that have big communities: Perl, Python, Ruby, PHP, Javascript, C#/VB.NET and Java.

Subscribe to lots of blogs from each community. (Many of them have planet aggregators like "Planet Python" and "Planet Ruby".) Also visit local user groups, wherever your are.

Read/visit them for a while -- say a month or two. Whichever community makes you go, "wow, that's cool" -- join that community and learn the language. You can also interact with those communities via Google Groups.

Lots of people will say -- "that's easy" or "this is elegant" or "that language sucks". Feel free to ignore them.

And the response to my response, which I really liked :-)
Excellent advice. Non-religious, informative, and true.