On Aug 8, 2006, at 13:10, manowarrior wrote:

> Hello,
> I'm new to programming at all... and I suck at maths. Plus, I'm 16
> years old.
> My questions are:
> 1) Is Ruby a good language to start with?

Well, one language has to be your first, and they all have pluses and  
minuses.  I wouldn't *teach* Ruby as a first language, but for  
learning on one's own it seems like a good choice.

> 2) Do I need lots of math to become a good programmer?

A tricky one.  You can certainly be a programmer of one kind or  
another without knowing a lot of math, but without exception, all the  
really talented programmers I'm acquainted with also know a fair bit  
about math.  I think the catch is that without some math knowledge,  
you'll be very limited in what you can apply your programming skills to.

On the other hand, it's a pretty different sort of math than what I  
did when I was 16; a lot less emphasis on solving this or that  
equation, and a lot more emphasis on knowing which equations or  
techniques should be used in various situations.

> 3) What tutorial or a book will you suggest me, if you think that I  
> can
> start learning?

I would suggest http://tryruby.hobix.com (as I'm sure at least one  
other person has while I've been writing this, but I think it's  
probably the best first introduction).  Its basic tutorial is a good  
introduction.  I'll leave it to others to post the rest of the list.

matthew smillie.