I was surprised to see my name here. I assume this question is addressed to me. If you are asking for a book recommendation, no I do not. My only adise is to not just read. Have the book open to one side of your computer and a simple text editor open on the computer. Every single thing you learn turn to the text editor, write the simplest program you possibly can that demonstrates the point, compile and execute it. The moment you see the expected results on you terminal display, you can count that as one thing you have learned for sure. Study in Java. It is the future. And PLEASE invest the time it takes to learn a few basic DOS commands so that you can compile and execute using a command-line interface. Believe me, this is done by a great many highly talented programmers. IDE's introduce a learning curve that is to be avoided at all cost in my opinion, and they come inbetween you and the code in the worst kind of way. Untold thousands of hours have been spent writing the Java Tutorial. It is free, too. If you make the investment to learn how to compile and execute in DOS (and belive me I know very little DOS but learned how to do this with not too many problems), then sit down with the Java Tutorial and follow the advice above, nothing will get you there faster. Another thing, avoid all this excessive commenting of code. Why people do this amazes me. Code must be simple both in structure and appearance and comments like }//end of main or }//end of class XYZ create a visual complexity that does more harm than good. Look I was a construction worker for five years before ever getting into computer programming. You follow this simple advice and I promise you you will skyrocket past your classmates. You just got to do it yourself. Reading is not enough. In summary (and I always say this when teaching) "Never assume you have learned anything until you have compiled and executed it yourself." Programming is funny like that, you may think you know something, but when you try to do it yourself it turns out differently. You got to get your hands dirty, so to speak. Hope this helps.
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Joined: Aug 16, 2000
Doug, Thanks for your prompt reply. In fact, I will be teaching the first year CS courses and looking for some good textbook. As you know, there are so many available, but I do not have time to read all of them. I wonder if you and other can recommend one of yours or others to me. Thanks.
Joined: Aug 03, 2003
Hi Simon, No I wish I could but I am not up to speed on what textbooks the colleges are using. Ask Tom who moderates this forum. He is a university teacher.