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How to Select Your First Programming Language
One of the hardest questions you’ll ask when you start tackling programming is ‘what language should I learn first?’ – let’s talk through some of the concerns you might have:
• It Feels Final
• Programming Languages seem very different from each other
What if I pick the wrong language?
Some languages ARE harder to learn than others. Especially if it’s your first. However, every language has been someone’s first and they’ve been through the same issues that you’re experiencing. If you feel like you’ve picked the wrong language, you may have picked one with syntax that is too verbose. But you may also be experiencing a challenge – When you start learning a new language you’re going to learn a lot – and if you’re following a good tutorial, it should even be fun.
But after you learn the basic concepts of something, you may find that the next concepts are more challenging. While you may want to give up – that’s when you’ll want to work even harder. Push through your confusion, take good notes, and learn as much as you can. By pushing yourself you’ll find that you can learn anything. We see this all time.
You’ll find that the ‘What programming language should I learn first?’ questions is incredibly popular and after a few months, you’ll find yourself offering your own advice to others just getting started.
Here are the main modern programming languages you’ll likely be considering:
Objective C / Swift
Java / Kotlin
• Programming Project Examples
Which Do I Choose?
While plenty of people will gladly tell you exactly what language to learn – here are a few considerations:
What do you want to do?
If you are interested in working for a specific company, you’ll want to take a look at their job boards. They’ll list specific requirements. Don’t worry if you don’t meet any of them now. You will. But this’ll give you an idea of the direction you’re heading.
What do you want to build?
This is one of the most challenging questions to answer. “What do you want to build?” If you have an idea for something to build, you might already be building it. Knowing what you want to build solves the ‘what programming language should I learn first’ question quickly – because the language is just a tool to get you where you want to go.
If you don’t know what you want to build, check out a site like this one https://github.com/karan/Projects it has a list of projects that can be completed in any language. Consider them like puzzles or challenges and start with the easiest one.
Once you select a language you’ll discover that there are tons of resources for learning it – there’s podcasts, video tutorials, books, apps, conferences, meetups – just tons of things – and while it’s a challenge to filter out what’s most valuable – as most of these resources are going to be talking about things you won’t understand yet – you want to Immerse Yourself in the Language and take it all in.
But the most important thing is you’ve decided to learn to code.
Congratulations, that’s a huge step, and if you’ve made it this far, I can tell you something, You’re gonna love it. Remember, coding is fun, and therefore learning to code should be fun too, don’t let these early decisions stress you out. You got this! Stick with it!
At 2:01 We list HTML/CSS on a slide in a list of Programming Languages – we didn't mean to imply that HTML/CSS are programming languages. They are markup languages. However, we do recommend learning HTML & CSS before learning a web-focused programming language. We appreciate everyone's concern about correcting this! ;)
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