Quote from MDC on August 1, 2011, 08:28
Anyone can learn from a book. I just wanted to hear some peoples opinions of people who have an interest / work in that field, just to get started, whatever.
I think one of the reasons why it's so difficult to give general advice is that there are so many choices today. There are dozens of legitimate starting points, and what is best for you depends on your interests/inclinations.
The best overall is probably Python. It's a nice, clean language and high quality documentation is available.
The only (minor) problem I have with Python is that it's quite a rich language and so it takes a while to master. A lot of people like myself who started in the 80s with BASIC remember the sense of accomplishment that comes from mastering a simple language. I would say that the modern equivalent of BASIC is LUA (http://www.lua.org/
Here are two niche alternatives.
A) If you like maths and abstract reasoning, Scheme is good; not so much for the language itself (nice and clean, but quite inconvenient), but because you can learn from this book:
and these video lectures:
B) The other one is very cheeky of me, since it's my own pet project, but I guess it's also a way to introduce myself. If you spend a lot of time commuting, don't carry a laptop around and have a cheap Java phone with tradition keypad, you can try this:
The documentation is not very good, but if you fall in the category above, it might be a convenient way to make some practice.