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Re: Learning a programming language - what to pick [chriskal] [ In reply to ]
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chriskal wrote:
Right. Similar to Latin in that it’s difficult to learn and doesn’t have a lot of direct and immediate modern uses. People still take Latin classes though. Learning esoteric things has value even if they lack practicality.

My original post was about half pink. I no more expect him to pick up COBOL than I expect him to source an Apple IIe off eBay and start programming BASIC. However, I do think it would be cool if he did.

Latin at least has the advantage of being the root of most modern Western languages. COBOL was effectively the end of that linage in terms of language design. Turned out that global mutable state and GOTOs were pretty unmaintainable programming practices. Later versions attempted to correct that, but legacy.

We're in agreement that an Apple IIe with BASIC sounds a lot more fun (and pretty batteries included, since that was still pretty strongly in the hobbyist era of personal computers).
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Re: Learning a programming language - what to pick [kostya416] [ In reply to ]
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kostya416 wrote:
jkca1 wrote:

Every once in a while you get a real life changing possibility and this is yours. I believe that traditional programming as we have known it for the last 50+ years is going the way of the dodo, to be replaced by Artificial Programming Languages. AI is going to create brand new skill sets that we have not even considered yet. Every company developing AI is using a custom set of tools with some of the older programming languages/DB's. Which company do you want to work for? What do you really want to do there? Find out what languages/skills their best programmers have, read articles by the CIO. Run some Google searches. Or be bolder still and ask the questions in person. It's your life. Grab it by the balls. You don't want to be in a dead end job maintaining C++ code do you? It's a safe job, but the boredom will kill you. Ask any mainframe guy ;)


What a bunch of unsubstantiated propaganda. AI definitely has its uses and can show some amazing results but it does not come anywhere close to covering all the problems software industry is generally working on. Someone's having wet dreams

Unsubstantiated? You need to do some reading. Innovators like Elon Musk and Bill Gates haven spoken and written on the AI issue for years. You remind me of a blacksmith when he first saw a car, pure denial. True AI will change every way we live. We're in the embryonic stages of development. Just like we were when the first PC's hit the market, not too long ago. Show me an industry that has not changed due to computers and it will probably require a minimum education and a pool of cheap labor.

"The object of teaching a child is to enable the child to get along without the teacher. We need to educate our children for their future, not our past." Arthur C. Clarke.

"The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do."
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Re: Learning a programming language - what to pick [jkca1] [ In reply to ]
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jkca1 wrote:
...You remind me of a blacksmith when he first saw a car, pure denial...

I develop software for living and familiar with AI. If it helps you I coded my first perceptron (hope you know what that is) some 30 years ago. I just do not run around like a headless chicken repeating someone else's sales pitch,

http://veloreality.com
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Re: Learning a programming language - what to pick [kostya416] [ In reply to ]
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kostya416 wrote:
jkca1 wrote:
...You remind me of a blacksmith when he first saw a car, pure denial...


I develop software for living and familiar with AI. If it helps you I coded my first perceptron (hope you know what that is) some 30 years ago. I just do not run around like a headless chicken repeating someone else's sales pitch,

I am not sure why you feel AI is a sales pitch, but I believe that eventually you will be proven wrong. You have to remember that the initial idea for the Internet "is credited to Leonard Kleinrock after he published his first paper entitled "Information Flow in Large Communication Nets" on May 31, 1961."

I am sure there were many people back then and later still, that felt the way you do about AI.

"The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do."
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Re: Learning a programming language - what to pick [347CX] [ In reply to ]
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Another vote for python, but I would also add to not just jump in and start trying things. You can do that, and make a lot of progress, but your projects will be disorganized and poorly conceived and you’ll spend a lot of time doing things you don’t need to do. I’d definitely recommend running through a basic text like “learn python the hard way”. If you have any coding experience you can do it very quickly and it will set you up with a solid foundation to work with more complex packages and use them efficiently. Wish I’d done that through grad school - so much unnecessary pain!
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Re: Learning a programming language - what to pick [jkca1] [ In reply to ]
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jkca1 wrote:
..I am not sure why you feel AI is a sales pitch...
AI is not. You are

http://veloreality.com
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Re: Learning a programming language - what to pick [kostya416] [ In reply to ]
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kostya416 wrote:
jkca1 wrote:
..I am not sure why you feel AI is a sales pitch...

AI is not. You are

Sigh.

"The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do."
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Re: Learning a programming language - what to pick [jkca1] [ In reply to ]
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jkca1 wrote:

Unsubstantiated? You need to do some reading. Innovators like Elon Musk and Bill Gates haven spoken and written on the AI issue for years. You remind me of a blacksmith when he first saw a car, pure denial. True AI will change every way we live. We're in the embryonic stages of development. Just like we were when the first PC's hit the market, not too long ago. Show me an industry that has not changed due to computers and it will probably require a minimum education and a pool of cheap labor.

"The object of teaching a child is to enable the child to get along without the teacher. We need to educate our children for their future, not our past." Arthur C. Clarke.

I think you may be misinterpreting the hype. As I interpret Musk's statements on AI, true AI is something to be fearful of because it is largely unpredictable. Once it is established there is absolutely no basis to believe that it can be controllable by humans. The premise of Terminator is AI run amuck, which although fictional in the movie is completely plausible. I predict within the next 10 years (well before we can achieve AI), there will be a major cyber attack or disruption based on the internet of things and interconnection that will cause a huge paradigm shift in thinking about the benefit of networking everything together as compared to the possible bad outcomes. Up until now we have seem a predominant benefit, however because of the overall power of such systems, huge catastrophe is possible, it is only a matter of time. Once we see the consequences of this event, and put that together with AI being an even greater power I think we logically determine the AI singularity must be prevented because it is too dangerous. This goes way beyond the threshold into the nuclear era we have been living in for the past 70 years. Think about how Hiroshima and Nagasaki changed the world, we have not had the equivalent event for networks/computers. Black Friday and the flash crash are just minor glitches that hint at what could happen.

I think an entirely plausible scenario is for practical ethical reasons we decide AI cannot be allowed because it is too much of a Pandora's box. So it is hype in the sense that there is a strong possibility that even if it is possible we never use it.

AI is basically the equivalent of a god-like intelligence. Even though it would be based on human technology, at some level following it would be no different than a religion from a philosophical point of view. In this respect it's a weird paradox.
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Re: Learning a programming language - what to pick [347CX] [ In reply to ]
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One more vote for python from another math/computer science nerd (turned biomedical informaticist). My initial training was C/C++ which is only doable if you understand computer architecture and some OS, which is why the old school CS folks would typically do Architecture (Usually the brick written by Tanenbaum) followed by Unix and C/C++. It’s painful somewhat but fun.

With python you can do stuff fast and ignore how things are run in the background, ignore compiler stuff, don’t have to worry about memory management etc.

I’d suggest Golang as an alternative if you want to move to C/C++ later.
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Re: Learning a programming language - what to pick [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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The funny thing is that when people say AI these days, they’re really referring to a very small subset of AI (typically machine learning which encompasses both reinforcement learning and deep learning).

I do this for a living. Applied to biomedical questions. And we are still pretty far from terminator. But we are doing some pretty cool stuff. Google health published in nature on Wednesday a study where their DL tool has better detection of breast cancer than radiologists (in reality, the bar was somewhat low, but still). It has fewer false positives and negatives too.

But all in all we are far from passing the Turing test. And despite Peter Norvig being at google all the efforts are on deep learning and not really broad AI anymore.

There is definitely some hype though.
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Re: Learning a programming language - what to pick [chriskal] [ In reply to ]
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chriskal wrote:
andrewjshults wrote:
chriskal wrote:
If it’s not necessary for immediate employment learn COBOL or FORTRAN. Go old school.

My dad was an early developer of FORTRAN for the gov. And a little later cobol. It’s all essentially Swahili to me, but it always seems like it would be cool to know and understand if you had the time, aptitude and inclination.


This is a good way to get frustrated and stop learning about programming probably before you even get started. The setup processes for working in these languages isn't for beginners (e.g., we have one third party legacy app we have the COBOL source code for to do some maintenance/understand how bits of it work and we pay an annual license fee for the compiler that can actually compile the damn thing because there's not really one COBOL).

The Wikipedia page on COBOL gives a good summary of why the language itself isn't great to learn.
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COBOL has been criticized throughout its life, for its verbosity, design process, and poor support for structured programming. These weaknesses result in monolithic and, though intended to be English-like, not easily comprehensible and verbose programs.


Right. Similar to Latin in that it’s difficult to learn and doesn’t have a lot of direct and immediate modern uses. People still take Latin classes though. Learning esoteric things has value even if they lack practicality.

My original post was about half pink. I no more expect him to pick up COBOL than I expect him to source an Apple IIe off eBay and start programming BASIC. However, I do think it would be cool if he did.

The other problem with some of the older languages is that they were designed in an era when computers were not interconnected and under attack all the time. So there are many safety issues that are avoided by more modern practices.

Also as we've started to hit the ceiling with Moore's law, modern computers are going to more cores. In a broad sense, newer languages take better advantage of that - at least with much less effort from the programmer.

It's interesting to learn a little about the history of computer language development. But even as someone who does this for a living, the oldest language I've used professionally is C, and the oldest one at all (in school), was Lisp.

http://www.digibarn.com/.../tongues/tongues.jpg
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Re: Learning a programming language - what to pick [ In reply to ]
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Just a quick update on this. I've been messing around with Python as recommended by many. With the long weekend and my wife out of town and my son being sick I got to messing around with Strava API and Python, because who cares about the basics when you can just dive in and start messing stuff up, right?? lol

Fortunately there's stravalib which made the work "easy" and over the course of a couple of days I figured out how to get an access token to get my data through API and pull multiple streams of data into individual files. My next challenge is fixing the json files with the ride data (time, watts, and heartrate) to properly format so I can graph data. If anyone has any tips I'll take them!
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Re: Learning a programming language - what to pick [347CX] [ In reply to ]
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347CX wrote:
Just a quick update on this. I've been messing around with Python as recommended by many. With the long weekend and my wife out of town and my son being sick I got to messing around with Strava API and Python, because who cares about the basics when you can just dive in and start messing stuff up, right?? lol

Fortunately there's stravalib which made the work "easy" and over the course of a couple of days I figured out how to get an access token to get my data through API and pull multiple streams of data into individual files. My next challenge is fixing the json files with the ride data (time, watts, and heartrate) to properly format so I can graph data. If anyone has any tips I'll take them!

I'd love to see your code on that. I hadn't thought about playing with Strava, but that could be a fun project. Did you put it up in Github or another repo that is available to the public?
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Re: Learning a programming language - what to pick [347CX] [ In reply to ]
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347CX wrote:
Just a quick update on this. I've been messing around with Python as recommended by many. With the long weekend and my wife out of town and my son being sick I got to messing around with Strava API and Python, because who cares about the basics when you can just dive in and start messing stuff up, right?? lol

Fortunately there's stravalib which made the work "easy" and over the course of a couple of days I figured out how to get an access token to get my data through API and pull multiple streams of data into individual files. My next challenge is fixing the json files with the ride data (time, watts, and heartrate) to properly format so I can graph data. If anyone has any tips I'll take them!

I'd suggest using pandas for getting the data into a dataframe and then using your preferred plotting library. Pandas is well worth learning if you ever want to get into the data science side of things. For plotting, I personally prefer plotly because I can make interactive javascript plots with it while only needing to program in python. That said, matplotlib (I'd suggest also getting seaborn), bokeh, and pyqtgraph are also good.
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Re: Learning a programming language - what to pick [riotgear] [ In reply to ]
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Yeah, I've got pandas and put the data stream into a dataframe. The snag I'm encountering is that the stream is being pulled as a dictionary first, so brief example {"time":{"0"[0, 1, 2]}, "watts":{"0"[164, 156, 157]} }, and the issue is that all the time, watts, and heartrate data are being put into individual cells in excel/csv. So columns time, watts, heartrate, and one row 0 (hope that makes sense). If the structure could be {"time":[0,1,2], "watts":[164, 156, 157]} it would deliver the output in a way that can be used for plotting. So that's my newbie hurdle at the moment lol

I haven't gotten my stuff on github, but stravalib is located here https://github.com/hozn/stravalib and has a lot of documentation to it
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Re: Learning a programming language - what to pick [347CX] [ In reply to ]
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347CX wrote:
Yeah, I've got pandas and put the data stream into a dataframe. The snag I'm encountering is that the stream is being pulled as a dictionary first, so brief example {"time":{"0"[0, 1, 2]}, "watts":{"0"[164, 156, 157]} }, and the issue is that all the time, watts, and heartrate data are being put into individual cells in excel/csv. So columns time, watts, heartrate, and one row 0 (hope that makes sense). If the structure could be {"time":[0,1,2], "watts":[164, 156, 157]} it would deliver the output in a way that can be used for plotting. So that's my newbie hurdle at the moment lol

I haven't gotten my stuff on github, but stravalib is located here https://github.com/hozn/stravalib and has a lot of documentation to it


It's hard to tell what the dictionary looks like. Based on what you wrote, my first impression would be to read the dictionary as a string and strip out a few things like the '{"0"' so that would be something like a str.replace('{"0"',""). You'd have to strip up out the trailing brace as well. str.replace("]}","]"). That would leave the data as a list which ought to be easier to deal with.

That said, there's probably a cleaner way to do this rather than dealing with replacing characters in a string.
Last edited by: riotgear: Jan 21, 20 8:42
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Re: Learning a programming language - what to pick [riotgear] [ In reply to ]
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I think I figured something out, I'm sure it's inelegant though lol Basically I had the individual data stream dictionaries sent to different dataframes, renamed keys and columns and merged the dataframes into a merged dataframe then send to csv.

Gonna try some plotting and see how it goes!
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Re: Learning a programming language - what to pick [riotgear] [ In reply to ]
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riotgear wrote:

That said, there's probably a cleaner way to do this rather than dealing with replacing characters in a string.

Straying dangerously close to https://blog.codinghorror.com/...u-have-two-problems/ ☺️
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