When I was in library school, the programming classes there were in C (this was quite a while ago!).  I've found it actually quite useful to have that background when learning things like JavaScript, PHP, and even VB. They all build on the concepts I originally learned from C. [Note:  this does not work at all as a basis for learning Perl.  Nothing does.]

C++ might be a better choice if you want to start off with a grounding in object-oriented programming.  Or maybe Java.  I'm about to start the C++ course at the local junior college.  Which reminds me to mention, it probably doesn't matter which programming course you take right now -- if you then go through life taking more programming classes like I do!

Genny Engel
Sonoma County Library
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707 545-0831 x581

-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Mayo
Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 12:12 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Advice on a class

If you're looking to do web programming, C is probably not going to directly
benefit you - it's not that it's a bad language to learn, or that it doesn't
have uses, but you'd probably be better off trying to improve your PHP or
RoR skills.

That being said, if you need to get lower-level knowledge of how memory
management and other close-to-the-metal concerns work, a decent C course
wouldn't be a bad thing at all.

If you're an autodidact, there are some good resources available on the web
- I can work up a list, and I'm sure other people have suggestions.  I also
have a fondness for O'Reilly's *Programming PHP*, if you want to pick up a
book.  I've heard really good things about The Pragmatic Programmer's Ruby
book, but Ruby isn't (thus far) something I've worked with, so that's
secondhand advice.

- Dave

On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 2:54 PM, Lepczyk, Timothy <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Hi All,
> I work in a digital library and am transitioning to something more like a
> programmer and less like a librarian.  My strengths are in xslt and unix,
> but I've been working some with php and ruby on rails.  I'm trying to learn
> as much as I can, and am considering enrolling in an intro to C programming
> class (free through my university's night school).
> Is this worthwhile, or should I focus my attention elsewhere?
> Thanks,
> Tim Lepczyk