Language, Language, Language. Which programming language to choose?

Trying to choose a coding language is a difficult decision to make. But you are in the right place to get a solid answer to the question, "What coding language should I learn first?"

What coding language should I learn first?

There are more than a few languages out in the world today, most vary on not just their complexity but also they vary on popularity as well. It is important to ask yourself three questions in choosing the first language you are going to learn as realizing three months later that it was not the ideal language to start with will be troubling. So to save time, ask yourself these three questions:

1. What am I trying to accomplish?

Its important to consider whether you are searching for work, starting a business or just trying to launch an app on "cats and all the wonderful things they do". You have to define your starting goal, doesn't need to end there but at least the one major thing you hope to accomplish with coding.

2. How long do I have to learn it?

Some languages are extremely complex, while others are more natural and thus easier to absorb. Learning syntax is important, but syntax by itself won't help you to create something custom or relevant to you even if the language is easier. Establish a timeline by which you need to not only learn the language but in a way that you have something to show - because in the end you will want to finish something and not simply get bogged down in the 'satisfactions' of learning to use a language so you don't need to use a calculator.

3. What resources do I have? Or need?

Some newer languages will definitely get you into the workplace sooner, but may be more difficult to learn as there aren't many resources to help with the learning process. Or in particular, examples of completed projects to glean from as a large part of coding as you'll learn is retro-engineering from other similar projects and ideas. So in choosing your language make sure it has a robust amount of resources to reference.

Our Recommendations

Based on the three questions above, you should be able to pin down the right language to learn to get started.

Here are a few recommendations and why:

  1. Javascript - it is still very popular and it's easy to see why - you can create web development projects as well as native apps on Android and iOS using Ionic and/or Angular frameworks. You can use it to create everything from games to dating apps. It has huge resources to draw from and isn't going away anytime soon.

  2. Python - also very popular, it's been relegated more to simple games, but can still be used to make awesome web development projects. However, the new craze surrounding Python is data science and machine learning so if you are interested in data science that is the way to go as some of the highest paying careers in coding are linked to data science. Python also has huge resource pools supporting project development.

That's it - if I had to start coding all over again, I would choose one of these two languages. Period. They are both easier to learn than the others, have wide use, huge resource pools to draw from and once you grasp the syntax and finer points there is no project you can't do with either language.

There isn't at least a few jobs in your nearest major city that is hiring for jobs with at least one of these languages or a framework that depends on a solid knowledge of these languages. You want to be as much of an expert as possible, stick to one of these at first and then after you've mastered the finer points - add a new language every year focusing on getting from syntax to development as soon as possible.

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