On 8/8/06, manowarrior <luchezar.petkov / gmail.com> 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 I am new enough to Ruby, but not programming.
I would say so. The elegance of its scripting/OO hybrid,
principle of least surprise (tm) and helpful community
will mean that you can get results and feedback early
and quickly, which will contribute to the learning process.

Also the inherent discipline in its language syntax, will not
ruin you as a developer (via bad habits) in a way that other
scripting languages will.

Ruby puts less crap in the way of your learning curve. The only
downside is that you will not be exposed to gritty programming
issues like threading, memory management etc. which are
important to understand in certain programming domains and issues.

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

No, but you can't rule out the importance of a mathematical
mindset. For instance, the only maths I really use in my
work is discreet maths (logical operations) and set theory.

Being a good programmer comes from core software engineering
skills like:
- good problem solving
- having an appopriate design wrt the problem you are solving
- structuring your application elegantly wrt readability & flexibility
that will make you a good programmer.
- being effective - delivering appropriate solutions to problems in a
timely fashion

After a reasonably short period of time you will become competent
with any decent programming language. So coding competence
is only a part of what makes you a good programmer.

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

Can't say. Most of the books I read are aimed at a higher level. However
there is a 'Learn Programming with Ruby' book that I hear recommended.