Thursday, May 19, 2005

Programming and Love of Learning

One of the things I really love about programming is that I love learning new things, and programming is a great medium for working in ideas. Once programming becomes simply work, the spark is gone and it's better to go find something else to do.

Almost 20 years ago I taught myself C, which I really liked a lot at first. That programming language has some ideas that were pretty interesting to me coming from BASIC, but it became clear to me after a while that C programming is more about twiddling the drudgery bits and details than it is about expressing ideas. Don't get me wrong, C is great for certain things. If I were an operating systems builder I probably wouldn't use anything else.

I don't program in C anymore, but I wouldn't discourage BASIC programmers from learning C or any other language. I learned a lot of ideas from my experiences with C, Forth, Smalltalk and Java. There's no substitute for trying a new language. Even if you still only use BASIC it will change your programming style when you are exposed to new ideas, and you will also have more fun.

Learning. I heartily recommend it. :-)

1 comment:

Welopez said...

I've been enchanted with Basic, and getting these "magic boxes" to do something useful, for 30 years.

Perhaps I am naive in my thinking, but I consider programming in Basic to be a method of teaching youngsters to approach a problem in a logical and step-by-step method. Solve for the little details first, then the overall solution will become apparent to you.

Perhaps that's why I love Just Basic so much. It's a great introduction for youngsters, it's FREE, and it will do a great many things. When the beginner is ready, they can move on to LB for more programming power. Once they have learned the basics (no one ever learns everything, then they can explore other, more specialized languages.