Someone asked me what is the best programming language for a child to learn after starting (and having success) with Scratch.
Scratch is a visual programming language which actually runs on Smalltalk, though its users do not need to know this. Scratch 2.0 seems to be written in Adobe Flash so you can create and program projects in a web browser. As far as I can tell though, there is no obvious and natural progression from Scratch to a code-centric programming language.
I guess the first answer is not to move away from Scratch until you need to. You can do a lot with Scratch, as the many shared projects demonstrate.
Still, I agree that it makes sense to learn text-based programming before too long. What is the best one for a child to learn, not necessarily with computer science or a professional career in mind, but just to take the next step and create some cool games and applications?
Snags with C# are that Visual Studio only runs on Windows, the language is proprietary to Microsoft (though Mono is free and open source) and it is not ideal if you want to run on the Mac, or Google Android or Apple iPad.
I would value suggestions though: what would you recommend to a teenager?
- Visual Programming is back: PopFly, Pipes, Scratch
- Apple’s Swift programming language: easy coding for OS X and iOS at last?
- Programming language trends: Flash up, AJAX down?
- Don Syme on F#, Microsoft’s functional programming language for .NET
- Anders Hejlsberg on functional programming, programming futures