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Best dev environment for a novice?
3 points by jmelloy on Aug 4, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 5 comments
My wife would like to make a fairly straightforward address book app & learn more sql. She's been using SQL Server at work, knows a little HTML, but no programming.

My day job is C# and .net mvc, which is probably a pretty good choice & easy to pick up, but I'm wondering if there are easier options compatible with windows.

I'd love to start her with django, but visual studio might be less different concepts at once.

Any thoughts?

Django is Python-based. Python is a great place for her to start. Python comes with IDLE and there are any number of other tools she can get. LOTS of resources for Python too. docs.python.org has a tutorial learnpythonthehardway.org is revered, as well.

I would recommend looking at the Real Python courses as well, although after learning the basics from Dive into Python or LPTHW. After the introduction, it starts teaching you how to start doing practical things with Python.

I also enjoyed taking Udacity's CS 101 course which is great as an intro programming course overall.

http://www.realpython.com/ https://www.udacity.com/course/cs101

My girlfriend was in a similar position: She used Postgresql and R for her university stuff, and she'd dabbled a bit with HTML/CSS. She signed up for the interactive programming with python course on Coursera and really, really enjoyed it: https://www.coursera.org/course/interactivepython

Granted, it explains the language through games, so after that one can't just go and write a web application since these work a bit different, but it explains programming in a really good way. From there to understanding of client/server is pretty easy.

Django really is very nice, but at first she might mostly be learning from you. If you're much better with $FOO, for almost all values of $FOO including C#, consider using $FOO instead of Django.

(Also, a good IDE really helps if you're not sure what you're doing.)

For crud apps, Ms lightswitch seems like a good tool for non programmers.

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