Mac Beginner to Software Engineering


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 29, 2007
Hi everyone,

I'm thinking about going to into software engineering but I have no knowledge on programming.
The introductory courses that my school has to offer deal with Java, but I'm wondering if anyone could advise me on what language to learn over the summer if I'm to go into software engineering and if anyone has any books they'd recommend me.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 26, 2003
Richmond, VA
If your program is based around Java, I would definitely get a head start learning that language now, so you can "hit the ground running" so-to-speak. I'm sure you will get several book recommendations from other users. There's a lot to take in when learning to program, so feeling comfortable with the syntax before starting will be a big benefit as things tend to move quickly.


macrumors 68040
Jan 10, 2005
Dallas, TX
If you want to be a software engineer you need to know how to learn, how to solve problems, communicate clearly, and on a good day write some code. The syntax of a single language is pretty insignificant compared to everything else you'll need. Start reading about algorithms and discrete math. Having a firm basis in complexity, logic proofs, etc. will serve you well in every program you write in any language.

Good luck!


also: data structures


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 29, 2007
Alright, thanks a lot for the input.

Any specific books you guys could recommend for me?
I really prefer books over internet tutorials.
Jun 30, 2009
If you want to learn Java, have a look over Head First Java[url]. This should be more than enough.

If you want to pick C, check out [url=]C Programming: A Modern Approach
. It's (one of) the best introductory books on C I've read so far.

For C++, you may want to go through Thinking in C++. This is a free ebook, but it's where I've learnt C++ from.

If you want to study algorithms, I think Introduction to Algorithms is what you'll be looking at.

I hope this helps.
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