Where do i start with learning basic programming?

I’m a first time founder and not a developer, in response to my question “what’s the best way to fill the gaps in my knowledge for a fullstack service?” a VC has suggested i take the startup engineering course at Stanford because its content covers building a startup from the ground up.

Its an online course, the recommended background for students is basic programming which i don’t have and I want to immerse myself in this so that it takes root in my head. I need to get to this level of coding familiarity and quickly as the startup engineering course kicks off mid June.


  • Try Codeacademy.com It’s a free site where you can learn the basics of many programming languages and you can test code in the browser so you get immediate feedback.

  • Nobody programs in Basic anymore, it went away with the old DOS operating system. Most people go with modern languages that support the Web like Java, Javascript, PHP and if you want to be taken seriously by the hip startup crowd – Rails and Python. The Basic interpreter also doesn’t run on any modern operating system.

    However if your VC guy insists, you can download DOSBox and Google around for a pirated copy of GWBasic. There’s also a manual on the Web as well. It can be pretty fun making apps such as pong or emitting nostalgic rudimentary tones but I wouldn’t use that as a starting point for your startup.

    • OP here, thanks and yah i wasn’t intending to specify Basic -my bad, not a techie etc 🙂

      I’ve found a course for tech newbies that focuses on Python

    • you’re probably better off learning BASIC than Ruby.. at least BASIC won’t shrink your testicles and give you gynecomastia

  • I went through the Startup Engineering course last year with about 100k other people. Only 5k of us successfully finished it up. It’s a shame because the course itself is excellent and the teachers were very helpful. I’m expanding my knowledge still, but they definitely have an excellent foundation you can build upon and I loved how demanding it was for an online course. You’ll probably love it as well!

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