Learning a new programming language easy?

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Reinard.C
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If you already know how to handle an existing "easy" programming language? i.e. Python or JavaSript. Will it be difficult to learn other programming languages like C++ or Java?
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by Reinard.C)
If you already know how to handle an existing "easy" programming language? i.e. Python or JavaSript. Will it be difficult to learn other programming languages like C++ or Java?
Learning a programming language is not hard, especially when there's a wealth of documentation out there. You'll be fine.
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Pkstvdy980
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I've always wanted to learn a programming language but I don't really know how to approach it. Is there anyone good in the field that can recommend the right approach into programming.
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winterscoming
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(Original post by Reinard.C)
If you already know how to handle an existing "easy" programming language? i.e. Python or JavaSript. Will it be difficult to learn other programming languages like C++ or Java?
Remember there's a big jump between learning a particular programming language (which is really just a 'programming tool') and learning the deeper mindset of computational thinking, which is a set of problem-solving skills about being able to think algorithmically, and use a programming language to solve problems.

If you're confident enough using Python or JavaScript to solve complex programming problems, then the computational thinking skills you'll have picked up from practicing in Python will also apply to any other general-purpose programming language like Java or C++. Many of the core building-blocks you'll know from Python are common to all the mainstream languaes, like variables, boolean expressions, strings, functions/subroutines, if/else, for, while, arrays/lists, etc. Even if the syntax or teminology is slightly different, the core concepts will be the same, and you can get a long way by searching Google (and especially StackOverflow) for examples of how to do a particular thing with another programming language's syntax.

For the most part, switching to a new language involves a few things:
- Getting used to new/different keywords and syntax differences.
- Using a new editor/tool with its own UI and shortcuts
- Different libraries which may work in different ways to those in the language you're used to - for example, converting between strings and numbers in might feel quite different between Python and Java.
- Also getting used to the fact that some programming language features and libraries you've come to rely on will not exist, but there'll be new/different alternatives for solving the same problem. (e.g. converting between string-to-number, or user input handling)
- Paradigm differences - some languages lean more heavily on certain paradigms than others; for example, Java is very much an "OO" language, and that will shine through compared with Python which doesn't really put "OO" at the heart of its philosophy in the same way.

Lastl, there's learning new "idioms" and the 'preferred' style of doing things for that language -- i.e. forcing yourself to not try writing Python-style-code in Java, or Java-style-code in Python. etc. While core programming concepts are common to all programming languages, every programming language has language features which causes its usage to evolve in slightly different directions, so there'll always be "cool tricks" and "patterns" and "gotchas" which apply to one language but not to others.
Last edited by winterscoming; 3 years ago
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winterscoming
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(Original post by Pkstvdy980)
I've always wanted to learn a programming language but I don't really know how to approach it. Is there anyone good in the field that can recommend the right approach into programming.
Well, schools tend to start most GCSE students out with the Python language because that's pretty well-recognised as one of the most human-friendly and accessible programming languages (but also really widely used in a lot of IT jobs, so it's a useful one too).

To start with, you'll need a solid foundation in the syntax and structure of Python, as well as being able to understand the jargon that you'll see used everywhere, so you could start with these intro lessons on Codecademy https://www.codecademy.com/courses/learn-python

There's some good youtube walkthrough videos for Python basics here too: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...72C720775B213E

You'll need the Python runtime for actually running any code (the software which atually runs Python code on your computer). https://www.python.org/downloads/ (latest version is fine)

Having a good code editor (development environment) will help you learn as well. Have a look at this editor called PyCharm which is a nice app for things like auto-completion, mouse-over help, syntax highlighting, error-highlighting, etc. (PyCharm gives you a lot more feedback and guidance than a plain text editor because it understands the nature of Python code) -- https://www.jetbrains.com/help/pycha...t-pycharm.html

After that, try some of these more in-depth courses and tutorials to get more practice at using Python to solve problems and learn the language at a deeper level, as well as building on your computational thinking skills
https://www.py4e.com/
https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electric...hon-fall-2016/
http://greenteapress.com/wp/think-python-2e/

Couple of other Python reference resources for finding information:
(official Python docs - not so much of a tutorial really): https://docs.python.org/3/tutorial/index.html
(handy Python troubleshooting guide): https://pythonforbiologists.com/29-c...s-on-one-page/


Lastly, computational thinking and programming are all about practice and challenging yourself to solve problems, so when you're feeling more confident, have a look at sites like Hackerrank and Project Euler:
https://www.hackerrank.com/domains/python
https://projecteuler.net/archives
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