By Dennis Muturia,
Developer newbies have a really hard time in deciding what languages they would start learning. Trial and error methodology becomes a part of their new developer lives. Only to end up giving up on the early coding journey. The major contributor of this dilemma is the lack of guidance. I believe that this article will provide the needed guidance for your early developer coding journey.
What program are you building?
Know what you want to build. By this, I mean what kind of program would you want to build? Is it an e-commerce application or a graphical application? Before undertaking any language, keep in mind every programming language has its own speciality. Let’s take Python for example, Python is the most recommended language for machine learning because of its many supported libraries. Yet, it is an object oriented language recommended to coding newbies. Due to its simple nature it quite easy to understand.
What platform would you want to build for?
Know what platform you would want to build for. Do you want to build a mobile app or a web app? Each platform has its own specific language. Most languages can run on both Mobile and Web but it all depends on what you would want to build. Let’s take Java as an example, Java is the most recommended Android mobile platform language despite the threat from the newest kid on the block (Kotlin) by JetBrains. When it comes to web applications, still, Java dominates this area.
What operating system will your application be used in?
Know what operating system you are building your application for. Is it a Mac system, windows operating system? Some languages are operating system dependent. Take Swift as an example. It is the highly recommended language for both the Mac OS X and the IOS 11. Swift only runs on Mac systems. There is no way you can develop an Apple application without a Macbook. That’s being selfish but alright. Apple commitment to swift language is great. Since its production in 2014, Apple has released only 4 versions of Swift and the fifth is underway. There is also a ton of free resources to learn Swift online.
Lastly, you must look at the credibility of the language. Credibility of the language essentially means, is that language of choice still widely used or is it dying or already dead. You would not want to code in a language that our grandfathers used like IPL or FORTRAN (I don’t them either, just did a quick Google search). Most of these old languages were low level, this essentially means that they were so hard to understand. But some of those languages are still in use today.
All in all understand the product you are interested in building. Language-hopping for code starters is not recommended. You will end up confused. The best programmers are those who only concentrate on one language at a time until they are confident to take on another.