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Comment: What to learn first (Score 1) 794

by vlakkies (#28292379) Attached to: Should Undergraduates Be Taught Fortran?

For a scientist, FORTRAN is still a valuable skill since there are so many libraries and applications that represent many years worth of development to draw from. Plus it is efficient, etc.

The question here is what is the best way to introduce students as a first exposure to programming. FORTRAN has many quirks so it is debatable whether it is really the best language to learn first. You can write truly horrible code in FORTRAN, but that is true to some extent of all languages, although Python does make it harder.

On balance, if students are taught a modern dialect of FORTRAN and the instructor stresses good programming practices, it remains a good way to introduce students to solving a problem numerically and of getting the job done for people who may not code for a living.

There is no royal road to geometry. -- Euclid

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