For beginners interested in software

1) For web development , get  into http://www.wordpress.org and its a pretty easy software to start making websites on.

You can maybe spend say 10 $ a month so that you can buy some server space on http://www.bluehost.com and tinker with his own website /blog in the meantime.

For learning language CSS ,PhP and HTML are the way to go.

2) If you knows some languages already, try  to make a Facebook application , and then play with Google’s open social API,or game, as that will get his interest besides giving him a skill thats useful. Ipod developer’s kit is another hot area to experiment.

3)For designing software solutions I would recommend the Microsoft Certification program. Try  to learn 1 language like Visual Basic or into .Net programming.These platforms will still be useful in coming years.

4) For statistical/business software try  to learn a language called R, which is good for data mining (www.r-project.org) . its quite easy to learn and has a good graphical user interface too.

5)For software careers it is best to learn multiple types of softwares to hedge your bets.

For sustaining interest, you  can join and network with fellow programmers using bulletin boards especially boards on http://www.google.com for google code and microsoft developers area..

6) You can also download Ubuntu linux (www.ubuntu.com) , which is a free Linux based Operation System (like Windows) and  be more familiar in it. Also add openoffice from http://www.openoffice.org This gives you perspectives on open source software.

7)I recommend him getting summer internship in a software startup (especially any software company in Silicon valley or Bangalore) ,and with established companies (like http://www.google.com , http://www.facebook.com,www.infosys.com

Software developers are the un-sung heroes of today’s modern world!!!

All the best !

Learning R Easily :Two GUI's

Both Rattle and R Commander are very good GUI’s (graphical user interface) for R, and considerably easier for a beginner than the command line console ( but I am more partial to RCmdr for normal statistical analysis while Rattle seemed to have better Data Mining Interfaces and functionality).

Here is a snapshot for both of them.

Installing them both is a breeze as you set a CRAN Mirror from Normal R Console and install package from list of package names . R has hundreds of packages (All free!!) and you can thus install specific packages to your need and usage.The software R automatically downloads and installs them.

rcommdr.GIF..

Installling both these GUI will ensure you cut down the time to learn commands as you can first click and try and learn the syntax that is auto generated side by side.

rattle.GIF

Learning R Easily :Two GUI’s

Both Rattle and R Commander are very good GUI’s (graphical user interface) for R, and considerably easier for a beginner than the command line console ( but I am more partial to RCmdr for normal statistical analysis while Rattle seemed to have better Data Mining Interfaces and functionality).

Here is a snapshot for both of them.

Installing them both is a breeze as you set a CRAN Mirror from Normal R Console and install package from list of package names . R has hundreds of packages (All free!!) and you can thus install specific packages to your need and usage.The software R automatically downloads and installs them.

rcommdr.GIF..

Installling both these GUI will ensure you cut down the time to learn commands as you can first click and try and learn the syntax that is auto generated side by side.

rattle.GIF

Choosing GUI for R :Simplify

While trolling through R literature, came across some good GUI ‘s for R. I am currently experimenting with two of them .

Out of these I can recommend R Commander http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/jfox/Misc/Rcmdr/ 

Not only is the GUI quite neat and clean, the interface actually prints out R code for you. so its a great help if you are learning R and want to learn and do projects at the same time. I imported a dataset of 200,000 rows and while it did take 3-5 secs longer than SAS or SPSS would have taken —Its very very good for a free STATS package. The graphics are also quite good , and I currently evaluating the modeling and scoring capabilities as well .

The second GUI is Rattle. http://rattle.togaware.com/radownload.html 

It is slightly less easy to install than R Commander which automatically downloads the dependencies in terms of packages and its also bigger (nearly 15 mb) for a dependency named RGtk2.

Coming up , a side by side comparison of these two GUI’s in terms of modeling and a search for additional GUIs.

Speaking of search, there  is a FireFox Add on for searching R specific material.