So, what exactly is programming, what
is it good for? Esentially, programming is just writing a collection of words
(most of the time they're words, not always) that, when rendered with the
right software, produce software. This page you're reading, for example,
would be the software: I typed it all out, along with HTML code, the result
being this page. If in your browser you click and/or right-click and choose
"View Source" you can see the HTML for this page. Anything in the 'source'
of this page with <> around it is HTML. The HTML isn't too helpful as
just text, it's only useful when rendered in a browser. This is the basics of
programming: You write 'source code' that translates into some sort of
HTML is probably the simplest, and least powerful, language out there. It generally only produces wepages. Depending on what you want to do, there are different languages for the task: General purpose language for making any type of software, other wepage-oriented languages, languages for controlling hardware such as microcontrollers, etc.
So, what exactly should YOU learn? That depends. What do you want to do?
If you want to...
- learn HTML. I said before, this is probably
the easiest language in existance. You can learn it quickly and easily, and
be making a webpage in minutes. It starts off easy and never gets very
complicated. if you intend to make a webpage, you don't really have much
else choice; there are other web-oriented languages, but they supplement HTML,
they don't replace it.
Write all other kinds of software - Learn a traditional, general purpose language. Of these I would recommend either BASIC or C. BASIC is good for beginners because it shields you from much of the inner workings of the computer. However, ultimately, you'll probably move on from BASIC as it's not too powerful. And, ultimately, you'll probably migrate to C, so, why not just start there. Certainly, there's no reason not to. C is almost as simple, more powerful, more widely supported, and just makes more sense. Once you master C you can move on to C++, and extension of C with many more features. There are tons of other languages out there, I'm only speaking for ones I've programmed in.
So, what It all comes down to is: read up on the different languages out
there, and be aware of the limitations of each. Some links to helpful
information and tutorials, as well as tutorials I've written, are provided
below. For whatever language you choose, you'll need to obtain proper software
in run your code. Most languages are "compiled" - a compiler is a program
that turns your code into code the computer can use and execute. You'll find
that some languages are slowly dying - BASIC, for example, its most popular
dialects are QBASIC and Visual Basic. QBASIC is DOS-Based, and since DOS is
all but dead, QBASIC is slowly disappearing. Visual Basic, which is considerably
different, is windows based, and is still quite alive.
Browse through the links and find a language that suits your needs