Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Learning a new language

I am usually faced with a problem while trying to learn something new, specially if it is a new computer language. The problem is that some basic language concepts and constructs are very obvious. What I am usually interested in is -- to become productive in the new language as quickly as possible and avoid learning things I already know. I have been trying to put together a language learning template. Here's the first draft of it

Phase 1

  1. Learn simplest form of I/O (learn how to accept user input and display output)
  2. Learn how to write comments
  3. Learn about numeric types and numeric operators
  4. Learn about strings and arrays
  5. Learn the basic constructs of the language like if, while, for
  6. Learn about strings and arrays
  7. Learn about functions, classes, error handling
  8. Learn about simple File operations (open, read and close)
Keep Phase I as simple as possible. Try the simplest of examples to learn the jist of the language.

I am still working on what one could learn in Phase 2. I would appreciate comments, suggestions to make the list complete. Phase 2 is very language specific and its hard to come up with a good list of things to learn. I'll probably pick a language and see if I can follow Phase 1 and come up with a template for Phase 2.

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