[SOLVED] Calling all Comp Sci graduates: Advice needed!

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[SOLVED] Calling all Comp Sci graduates: Advice needed!

Postby delro on Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:55 pm

Hey folks, I'm a high school graduate starting college in November. I'm taking Computer Science as my major and currently studying for the LPI (Linux Professional Institute) 101-level exam. We had a semester each of QBasic and MS-DOS BASIC in Grade School and a trimester of MS Visual Basic in high school (yeah I know, my HS loves MS, even our Macs run Vista, FFS :lol: ). I've basically forgotten these languages since I haven't had the opportunity to utilize them (I exclusively did tech support in my HS days aside from digital media creation, so no app-making experience there.)

I'm starting school a semester late so I'd like to have an edge, hopefully with help from Linux vets like you people. :D

What I want to ask you guys and gals is, what programming language should I learn? I'd also like to know what your experiences were with your freshman year in Comp Sci. What languages/computer theory did your school teach?

Preferably, I want a language with an environment that is friendly with Linux (unlike my HS, the university I'm going to is fervently pushing Linux and F/OSS), isn't on the verge of obsolescence or obscurity and, of course, are free. It'll be cool too to mention the applications and resources needed.

A thank you very much in advance!
Last edited by delro on Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Calling all Computer Science graduates: Advice needed!

Postby lagagnon on Sat Jul 25, 2009 3:49 pm

Well I studied Comp. Sci many years ago so at that time they were teaching APL as a starter language and then Fortran. Depending on what Uni you go to they tend to start you now in Java, Python and/or C. If I were you I would start with Python - it is easy to learn and use and very relevant to Linux. It is already installed in Mint. Just install the "idle" simple IDE (which is available in the repository), get yourself a Learning Python book (O'Reilly) and go for it. After you learn Python learn C. It is more difficult. Then Java will come easy to you....IMHO....
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Re: Calling all Computer Science graduates: Advice needed!

Postby Kaye on Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:21 pm

Most current CS programs are starting with Java for a similar (but opposite) reason of what lagagnon just posted. After learning Java, which is not difficult to learn for a beginner, a lower level language like C is easier to wrap your head around. Similarly, languages like Python or Ruby come quite easily once one is proficient in Java. I would definitely recommend starting with Python or Java though, either of them will help you gain a footing in programming.
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Re: Calling all Computer Science graduates: Advice needed!

Postby DrHu on Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:22 pm

delro wrote:I'm starting school a semester late so I'd like to have an edge, hopefully with help from Linux vets like you people

Specific to getting an edge on the competition, I would suggest C++
--which will fit in well with java

I also would echo the other comments about Python, Ruby as good scripting (dynamic) languages to learn
--one might also start paying attention to the normal Linux scripting of the bash shell.

And finally, it might depend on the particular course and its direction
--there are some schools that emphasize FOSS
http://press.redhat.com/2008/09/08/nc-s ... urriculum/
http://research.csc.ncsu.edu/cose/
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/FOSS_Educa ... _with_FOSS
--the stats for languages are probably a bit out of date..
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Re: Calling all Computer Science graduates: Advice needed!

Postby delro on Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:34 am

Thanks for all the fantastic replies!

I got an O'Reilly: Learning Python, Third Edition (it's the copy without the plastic cover. The bookstore even has this part where you can read the books before buying) from a clearance sale. It looks like a well put together book and Python looks like a very nifty language. Will post updates when things unravel!
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Re: Calling all Computer Science graduates: Advice needed!

Postby delro on Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:46 pm

Found out from a CS Freshie that it's C they're learning... except that their prof is wacko and, by whim, switches between C and Java.

Oh well, I got another book, this time it's about Game Development on Python. Here's hoping I go past theory and get some proper experience. I've two months left before school starts.
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Re: [SOLVED] Calling all Comp Sci graduates: Advice needed!

Postby emorrp1 on Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:16 pm

Well If your uni is teaching C, then definitely learn C. I recommend python for personal projects. Our course started us on scheme for our first programming language, followed by Java (was ada for previous years). This year we're moving on to C
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