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On Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 07:51 steve donovan <> wrote:
On Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 2:41 PM, Andrew Starks <> wrote:
> First C, then Lua. Those that drop out didn't want to be programmers. That's
> a difficult message to receive when you're 8, but it's a harsh world. ;)

You jest sir ;)  There is a useful distinction between 'people who
need to do a little programming' and 'programmers'.

Might as well say - why not Rust? ;)

I do jest, but only partly.

I community college, we learned Karel the Robot, which I found fascinating. I learned how to compose functions, control structures, etc. then I learned the basics of C, and then an advanced class in C (which was just pointers and using libraries and not very advanced). 

Years later, when I picked up programming again, I started with VB and I was struck with how redundant and complicated it was. 

If you need to get some work done and want to make a little machine that produces results and can be easily extended, my hands down choice is a spreadsheet. 

If you want to learn the craft of programming on modern computers, my limited experience suggest starting with C (Head First C, probably). 

But, upon reflection, learning computer science is different than learning languages and C is not the simplest environment to learn about control structures, etc. I like Lua as a first language because it has few surprises. However, I suspect that learning how to program from Lua would require a disciplined curriculum. 

Beginning Lua Programming is an excellent book and is still worth the read, even though it's stuck way back in Lua 5.1.