What programming language should I learn?

If you ask this question, there will be an avalanche of responses.  The responses will probably be of the type, learn this language because its new/it’s in demand/it pays well. 

At the end of the day to learn a language is not that difficult.  Once you have learnt a language it’s easier to learn another language as they all share parts that are similar.  As an example, integer, double, char are all types of variable that you can find in most languages.

Of course, what I am saying is very general and there will always be exceptions, but my point is, if you learn a language and then decide it’s not right for you it is not the end of the world, you can change, but if you never learn because you can’t decide then you will never start.

Boy on sledge – Photo by Cooper Le on Unsplash

Now, if that is not helpful to you because it’s very general and vague, try this.

Pick something you have access to.  It should be something where there are lots of examples out there, so you are more likely to get help.  Therefore, do not pick the newest hottest thing to hit the scene otherwise you will be trail blazing which as a beginner is not going to help you.

If you have a preference for a particular type of application, then pick a language that suits.  So, if you want to do iPhone apps then pick Objective-C, if you want to do WordPress sites then Javascript may be a better choice.  Also bear in mind that rich applications these days make use of several technologies so except that you need to learn a core language and then supplement that later.

I started with Basic, followed by Pascal and then C.  Finally, I settled on Java because of its similarity to C++ without the memory management challenges.  At the time Java was freely available and contained lots of tools and libraries to do the sort of things I was interested in.  I was also involved in some Enterprise Java Bean work which helped sway me.

The main point is, pick something that works for you now, you can always change later.

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