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Visual Basic or Fortran? -I need your advice!

  1. Mar 4, 2007 #1
    Hey everyone,

    I have a course requirement for taking one programming class, the choices are Fortran and Visual Basic.

    I am not doing well as i expect in fortran, but not sure if its becuase its my first time in programming or the language difficulty. I am thinking to swap to Visual Basic.

    What is your advice? Concerning the language difficulties.

    On a side note, I would love it if any links to free good material about the languages online that helps beginners like me.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2007 #2


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    Gold Member

    Visual Basics is really easy.

    I never used Fortran, but I'd still imagine Visual Basics is easier.
  4. Mar 6, 2007 #3
    Fortran or Visual Basic? They sure don't give you decent choices. Either way they're easy though.
  5. Mar 6, 2007 #4
    From a career point of view:

    Visual Basic = Transportable Knowledge. Friends of mine have done very well by quitting technical jobs and becoming VB programmers in other disciplines who pay better than engineering, financial institutes etc.

    Fortran = Rare Knowledge. We routinely hire in contract Fortran programmers as nobody really learns it any more. We have to pay them what they ask asd there are not many about and they are not always that good; but then we lay them off after a couple of months once the job is complete.

    From a technical point of view:

    VB is really designed for database manipulation but has reasonable mathematical and graphical capabilities. It is well suited to quickly cobbling together Windows GUIs but is not very efficient for major number crunching.

    Fortran is the industry standard number cruncher. If you need to churn out serious maths fast then fortran makes good efficient code. It is pretty poor when it comes to integrating it into an application.

    The company I work for do some serious programming and in general the maths is written in Fortran, The GUIs are written in VB and programme control is done in ADA and C, we then employ a department dedicated to trying to integrate these separate components.

    I would recommend VB, as transportable knowledge gives you a door to escape through when the mid-life crisis kicks in.
  6. Mar 6, 2007 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    I've taught programming courses using a few different languages. In my experience, concepts are usually a bigger stumbling block than the details of the particular language. That is, students have the most trouble with fundamental concepts such as sequential execution, boolean logic, selection, looping, subprograms, arrays, etc. and seeing how they are used to solve problems. These concepts are pretty much the same from one language to another.

    If that's the sort of thing you're having trouble with, I doubt that switching to VB would help.
  7. Mar 6, 2007 #6


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    Switching can be good because you probably picked up some things in Fortran and can hopefully compare that to VB. Seeing things in more that one language can really help.
  8. Mar 15, 2007 #7
    I would recommend vb for its popularity and its ease of use.Personally i think that no one cares about Fortran anymore because it is very very old. Besides in vb the GUI development is extremely easy and simple.
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