With the hype around everyone (even a grandpa) learning how to program or write codes, a common battlefield for starters and old programmers is choosing a programming language to start with.
You may have even wondered why there are so many programming languages that you have to get confused on which to choose and for the easily scared, they turn away from the exciting world of programming because of this reason.
If you’ve read our simple explanation on programming, then you should find this post easier to understand, even though you could still decide not to read that and focus on this, if your only problem is deciding a programming language.
You can skip this session if you’re in a hurry and get to How To Choose A Programming Language Fast
Now you got that, the first way out would be understanding
Why There Are So Many Programming Languages
Isn’t there a way to have one language for writing instructions that computers can execute?
Well, computers only have one true language, a machine language that is basically known for involving 0’s and 1’s.
Since that was a lot stressful, time-consuming and confusing to write, human sort ways to communicate to the computer in an easier language that didn’t involve writing 0’s and 1’s.
The idea was to write these instructions (programs) in an easier to understand human language and then have a program convert it to the machine language understood by a computer.
This goal was achieved and led to the birth of many programming languages, the earliest such as Basic, COBOL, FORTRAN, Pascal etc. These would be easier for humans to write and modify.
Now computers continued to evolve (desktops, laptops, iPad, and your phone) and needed new languages in order to communicate new instructions, suited to their hardware components.
More languages were introduced to help a man achieve more with a modern computer and that is how these new languages came about.
Practically, a new language is designed to solve a specific problem or a deficiency noticed in an existing language. A good example is how the language C evolved to C++ and then C#, also HTML for HTML3, XHTML and now HTML5.
So, as new devices are produced, more languages will be introduced and as new deficiencies are noticed, more languages are born.
Another one may be introduced at the moment you’re reading this post, so instead of fussing about why there are many programming languages, let’s help you choose one so you can get started with your programming journey.
Choosing a Programming Language Fast
Just as learning a new language can help you communicate with someone who speaks the language, so also can learning a programming language help you give instructions to a computer.
The slight difference is that some languages are best suited for writing particular programs. HTML and CSS, for instance, is used to write web programs and would not be used to create stand-alone applications for mobile phones.
So to choose the right programming language, you’ll have to consider the following-
1. The Program To Be Written
What type of application or program would you love to create when you’re done with mastering a programming language?
Run a search for the programming language(s) best suited to writing the application and there you have the right programming language to start with. Also because you have a goal in mind, it is easier to stay focused as you learn the new language.
Because programming can be simple and complex at the same time, it is usually recommended that newbies start with easy to understand programming languages.
This allows you to understand the basic programming concepts before moving unto more sophisticated languages.
If you were going to move to Spain, which language would you have to learn, Spanish or German?
A similar principle applies when choosing a programming language if your ultimate goal is to pursue a tech career or at least be employed as a programmer for an organization.
There are specific languages for different tech fields, so you should know the programming languages that apply to your intended path.
- A mobile app developer would Java, C and C++ to create android applications. To program for iOS Objective –C and Swift are basic languages.
Once, you have your career choice figured out, its easier to pick your first programming language.
4.Programming For Fun
If the reason you want to start learning a programming language is to feel good about yourself and add a new knowledge to your skill set, then you can pick any one of the many languages and start writing codes on your computer screen.
You may realize that you can do so much more with your new knowledge once you’re underway.
The downline – Learning to code or write a program in any language is a skill that will boost your mental performance and improve your problem-solving skills.
There is no single programming language for writing all computer instructions, even though some languages make writing some programs easier.
Your search for the ‘perfect’ language to use for all occasions should be well over. Choose one that aligns with your ultimate goal and get started.