Posts Tagged 'noobie'

Choosing A Programming Language

As technology becomes more and more mainstream, there is more younger people wanting to learn how to program. The fundamental question that always gets asked: What language do I learn? There is no simple answer to it. However, if you happen to post this question on a forum, you may get some good advice, some bad advice, or scolded by the elite.

Now, this is not a good start for those who want to learn. So, why is it such a hard question in the first place? From my point of view, it is a matter of circumstance. When I learned my first language, I did not have the Internet at my disposal. So, my choices were dependent on the amount of information that I had available at the time. My first language was assembler. But, it was not for the x86. You see, my first computer was an Atari 800XL, which used a MOS 6502 processor. Although BASIC was built-in, I chose an assembler cartridge that was available at the time. Since my access to information was limited, my choices for learning a programming language was also limited.

Today, information is available instantaneously. When you type in ‘programming’ in your favorite search engine, you would get flooded with a sea of programming languages that every person in the world has a comment about. The plain fact is that people are touting their experiences without considering the person who is asking. So, when I get this question asked to me, I normally respond with a series of questions back.

One of the most important questions that I asked is very direct: What do you want to program? This usually catches people off guard from my experience. However, it is a very concise question that will dictate the path on which the wanna-be programmer will take. With many options out there, choosing the best language can be daunting. My best advice is to use any language that accomplishes your goal: to create something important to you. Research all of the options. Some languages are better than others for your task, but don’t worry about choosing the best do-all language first. Pick any modern language to get your feet wet, you will soon discover whether the language you picked is the right one for you.