General Discussion

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Learning a Computer Language:

Learning a Computer Language:

Hey there General Discussion,

I'm looking at learning a programming language, since many of the jobs in the field I'm currently in university for (Chemical Physics, but in this case I'm mostly looking at Physics) are heavy with regards to programming. However, I don't actually have the ability (read, I don't have time) to take a programming course at the university.

So, I'm asking you guys: (we must have some CS majors!) what's the best (or a good) programming language to learn, considering I have no idea what I'll be doing with it? Are there any good sites or online tutorials on it? Is it a difficult language that has lots of applications, or an easier, more narrow language? Is there a list of ones I should be familiar with, or is one enough? Would anyone recommend taking two or more?

Assume that I know nothing with regards to programming theory. Technically, I do know bits and pieces, but I don't really have any formal fundamentals. I can't really think of an example at the moment, but if it comes up I will try to.

Science? Python. It's the bees knees.

It's a pretty broad language, and is pretty popular in the science field. It's also pretty simple in a lot of ways. was and is (I often need refreshers because I use Python so rarely) a wonderful resource for me.

Matlab and Fortran are also extremely popular and have a large legacy of existing code.

I might even recommend R, depending on how much statistical analysis you plan on doing.

I've heard of ocaml and F# being really popular, but don't really know enough about either language to give any sort of opinion.

Originally Posted by Rodrigo View Post
Matlab and Fortran are also extremely popular and have a large legacy of existing code.
Just so you know, Matlab is extremely expensive, but Octave works with the same code and is free. Great because it contains a lot of predefined mathematical functions and tools for plotting and such. Not great in terms of speed.

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