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5. BASIC > The Goals Behind BASIC

The Goals Behind BASIC

What is the best way to learn to program?

Tom Kurtz: Beginning programmers should not have to wade through manuals. Most manuals are far too wordy to retain the attention of new students. Simple coding assignments and easy access to easy-to-use implementations are required, and many examples.

Some educators prefer to teach a language in which programmers need to develop a lot of experience before applying it. You have chosen instead to create a language that any level of programmer can use quickly, where they can improve their knowledge by experience.

Tom: Yes. Once you have learned to program, new computer languages are easy to learn. The first is the hardest. Unless a language is particularly obtuse, the new language will be but a short step from the languages already known. An analogy with spoken languages (which are much more difficult to learn): once you learn your first Romance language, the second is much simpler. First of all, the grammar is similar, there are many words the same, and the syntax is fairly simple (i.e., whether the verb is in the middle, as in English, or at the end).


  

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