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Use C or C++ to start?

macrobie
macrobie asked
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Last Modified: 2010-04-01
I would like to start learning a programming language but really do no which one to start with?  I have copies of Pascal, Visual Basic, C, C++ and of course Q Basic.  If you don't think I should start with these ones please tell me what you think I need as a beginner programming language I wish to start with one that is not to difficult but also one that is current and used by industry standards today.
Please advise.
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I would not recomend starting with C, if you have C++.  If you want to go the C/C++ route start with C++.  The basic elements of C++ are C, but with some additional features and protections that male it easier and safer to program.  Thus there really is no point in learning or working in C.  

However I would not recomend starting in C or C++.  These languages have too flexible a syntax and too many features for a beginner.  The number of features can be overwhelming and the syntax causes terible problems.  If you type something wrong there is a good chance it will still compile, but will do something you don't intend.  The other possibliity is that it won't compile and you will get an error message you don't understand.  C++'s syntax error messages tend to be impossible to understand because the syntax is so complex.

I would recomend Pascal as a starting language.  Learn the basic priciples of programming in pascal and get comfortable with the use of a compiler, writing programs, and debugging.  Then switch to C++.
moonlightSenior Technology Consultant
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yes, I agree with nietod, Pascal is made for learning programming, and is the best language for it. If you learn pascal you'll wasily learn the rest. You could start with C, but be prepared for some confusement, because it doesnt detect the errors in your code as well of other languages. For some experienced programmers this may be good, for others just a disadvantage.

C++ has lots of object oriented things, once again, I recommend you to begin with C and then move up to C++. the difference between C and C++ is really not much. For not obj.oriented programming C++ has some simpler commands, but you'll need C if you really plan to work with programming.

When wanting to learn object oriented, C++, is the easiest way up, if you know C. For oo also check out smalltalk and modula-3 (one of the most promising languages ever)

Commented:
I have some comments....:)
  If u want to learn object-oriented language, Java is better to start with than C++ because it is easier to understand ( without all the pointers thing) but if u want to learn structured languages, pascal is not too bad but commercially, it just doesn't reach the demand and acceptability of C or C++. It all depends what ur immediate target is.
To earn $$$, learn C , C++, or Java
To create a application in no time , use VB ( Basic)
To learn the basics and lay the foundation, Pascal is quite all right, if u don't want to learn C first.


Commented:
Understand that language preference questions draws fanatics like light draws moths.  It becomes a holy war.  However...

Certainly learn C++ rather than C.  
Invest money in good books to save time.
Instead of learning Pascal to learn programming knowing that you'll probably never use it again, get a University level textbook on Programming Languages.  It will teach you what the differences are between languages, what the common constructs are, etc.  After all, once you learn one language, you will learn twenty.

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