How to Go About Choosing Your First Programming Language

There are many reasons for learning computer programming. Maybe you have a great idea for a program you want to develop. Maybe you feel inspired to elevate your technological understanding at work. Or maybe you just want to develop a new skill. Whatever it is, the first step is to choose your programming language. Here are some ideas that can help you make that all-important decision.

Choose a Language Applicable to Your Needs

There is no one-size-fits-all programming language. Languages have their own strengths and weaknesses that suit them for the many different fields of programming, including web development, development of apps, machine learning, algorithm development, data analysis, and even competitive programming. One great starter language is Python. Python is versatile, popular, and reads naturally with mostly English directives. For websites, JavaScript is the go-to for many developers. JavaScript runs on almost any type of computer, and it doesn’t require any installation. However, JavaScript is less readable than Python. For mobile app development, Swift might be your best choice. Swift is a modern, interactive language that produces safe and fast software that has high readability.

Choose a General-Purpose Language

If you only want to learn one language but want to use it over a variety of domains, consider learning a general-purpose programming language. With general-purpose languages, you aren’t limited to a single use. There are many options, including user-friendly Python, the highly popular C, the lightning-quick D, syntax-concise Nim, the Android compatible Kotlin, the community supported Pharo, and the multi-use Scheme. One widely used general-purpose language is C#. C# was first released in 2002 with .NET by Microsoft. C# is a great option for Windows based programmers in developing applications and video games for consoles and PC’s. In fact, C# is a must-know for video game programmers. C# offers its users simplicity, readability, and high community support.  

Fit Your Language to Your Device

Just as your programming language depends on your application, the platform you want to develop for will also influence the language. Some programming languages work better on certain devices as compared to others. One of the greatest strengths of languages like Java is its ability to be used on a variety of platforms, in addition to being one of the simpler languages to learn for beginners. Most languages do not offer that kind of flexibility; do your homework and learn which languages work best for which platforms.

When it comes to choosing your first programming language, there are a lot of great options. Many first programmers go with an easy-to-learn general-purpose language that will be versatile across a wide range of domains. Figure out what you want your program to do and which device you will be developing for and find something that works for both.

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