A Lab for Learning Wolfram Language

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Stephen Wolfram, famous among developers and researchers as the creator of the Mathematica software platform, is offering a new way to learn the Wolfram Language, which gives tech pros the ability to program complex functions in a relatively streamlined fashion.

The Wolfram Programming Lab is an opportunity for Wolfram (the man) to not only teach but continue promoting Wolfram (the language), which he recommends for use in algorithmically-oriented programming and rapid-concept deployment.

In keeping with a programming language that relatively few people have used, the Lab starts with a quick video tutorial and some simple problems to solve. From there, things diverge a bit. Those who prefer to learn by tinkering can head over to the Explorations section, which offers the chance to play with preexisting code.

Those who don’t like learning in such a free-form way can proceed along a more logical, systematic path, using lessons drawn from Wolfram’s own book on the language.

Wolfram claims that the Wolfram Language is an evolutionary stage beyond low-level programming languages such as Java or C++, especially for those who are relatively new to coding. “You need to put in significant time—and get deep into the engineering details—to make programs that get beyond a toy level of functionality” in those other languages, he wrote in a blog posting accompanying the Wolfram Programming Lab announcement. “With the Wolfram Language, though, it’s a completely different story. Because now even beginners can write programs that do really interesting things.”

Even if you have no interest in using Wolfram Language as part of your regular toolset, the Programming Lab is potentially a good way to brush up on your computational thinking and programming mindset. Given the Lab’s focus on showing how bits of code work, it could prove especially useful to beginners trying to grasp coding as a concept.