Which language for beginners?

By dryflies ·
When I started programming, there wasn't much in the way of a learners language. Later there was BASIC, then Pascal. What is the best language for teaching a wannabe programmer lately?

My friend has a very smart 10 year old that is chomping at the bit to learn how to proram computers. He already knows the lego language XT which uses graphical objects with links to form procedures for legoland objects. Now he has gone to the library and wiped out their stock of game programming books.

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I'd say VB6 / VBA

by Slayer_ In reply to Which language for beginn ...

They are very simple languages that are very forgiving and easy to learn. They can do pretty much everything modern languages can, without the crazy learning curve of object oriented programming.

You can easily use it to practice complex control structures and functions. You can also make very function apps with it. VB6 app dependencies are installed automatically in XP, they have been installed automatically since Win98, and for 95 you can still download the VB runtime files for MS's website.

Just remember to specify
Option Explicit
at the start of all your modules and forms, many tutorials don't cover that, but it will essentially force you to declare all variables and functions. Otherwise VB will just implicitly let you use a variable or function without it existing.
Not a big issue until you do something like this

dim sTemp as string
stmep = "hello world"
call msgbox(stemp)

And you sit around trying to figure out why this didn't work. Picture that mistake in a program with a 1000 lines of code :)

And yes, you can code games in VB6 just fine.
Both DirectX and OpenGL work just fine. Though you gotta be careful and the variables are kind of funky. To any nay sayers, this was coded in VB6

Not even that much code to do it (obviously lol)

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Try something he'd enjoy

by mjd420nova In reply to Which language for beginn ...

Try teaching him or get him books on HTML. These younger generations have really jumped up in their skills and it would be easy to learn and really provide him a constructive way to learn. I find that providing an example of a meaningful result from the learning process.

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Game propgramming is big industry now

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Which language for beginn ...

If the poor fella's expecting to be knocking out a new best seller of the quality you see in the shops...

Personally I'd want to start with fun, and quick intro, see where his interests lie.

MS XNA environment might a good start, or perhaps some of the game studio software you can by to make RPGs and turn based stuff.

Wire frame graphics, non AI games minefield or just the board for two - n players.

Endless fun, endless learning, if he's hooked, he'll learn whatever you give him, I started in 8 bit machine code.

Expoectaions are probably making the little guy ambitious at the moment, I'd go for a game development type thing, let him pick up more programming before he gets bogged down in a language.

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