The tank is a great choice for inexperienced players, his large health pool and fast projectiles mean the player can focus on dodging. He is also a good candidate for beating the game, as you don't need to rely on health upgrades as much.
The tank is a very viable choice as his starting stats mean you don't have to rely much on upgrades, as long as you make sure to strafe his only key weakness is his speed, so watch out for homing projectiles and pursuit enemies. A good way to counter these weaknesses is by jumping, as you can dodge homing projectiles and avoid spiders and crawlers.
If the primary button of the mouse (fire) is held while pressing the shift key various times, it can rapid fire. (Fixed in 1.8 patch)