learning to program

Philip Greenspun's Homepage : Philip Greenspun's Homepage Discussion Forums : Ask Philip : One Thread
Notify me of new responses
Hello Phil,

First off, thanks for providing so much info on your site as well as your blog.

I would like to ask you for advise on programming. What would you recommend as far as
books/videos/etc for someone that wants to learn to program? A lot of people point to
SICP but that doesn't look like something I could read over the summer and get a
job/internship over the fall. Any recommendation as far as language? I was thinking PHP
since there seems to be a lot of entry level jobs in that area.


-- jose luis, June 7, 2011


SICP is designed to be used 12 hours/week for 13 weeks or 156 total hours. So you should be able to get through most of the exercises in the book in about a month. Having learned about programming in an imperative language, you would then move on to learning the RDBMS and SQL. I like the Practical SQL Handbook (3rd edition available used for 1 cent on Amazon.com). Then you'd have one more month to build a database-backed Web site (using PHP and MySQL, for example, if you want to say that you have experience with the most popular tools).

-- Philip Greenspun, June 7, 2011

Addition to learning to program

Thanks Phil.

I was looking at some resources for SICP and I found the open course ware site from MIT. I noticed that they also have a Python class. Which one would you recommend? The Python class seems to have more recent video lectures while the SICP one has some old videos.


-- jose luis, June 10, 2011