How to Choose a Programming Language to Learn

Since you are here, you probably want to learn to program. Yet, the number of programming languages is so diverse that it might seem overwhelming to choose one. Start with asking yourself what exactly you expect to get from it. Here are the majoraspects to focus on.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Programming Language

Application

To choose a programming language, you need to have a clear purpose in mind. This is a crucial factor in developing any skill. For example, to understand whether you can use this or that writing technique in an expository essay, you need to determine its purpose and answer the question of what is an expository essay. The same applies to programming. Decide what application you want to build, and then choose a programming language that will provide the tools for your needs. Otherwise, the complexity or size of the application may mismatch the features of a programming language.

Platform

The platform where you want to run your software influences the choice of a programming language as well. For example, you would want to use Java for building Android apps and Swift or Objective-C for apps on iOS.

Read: Future of programming languages is brighter than you think

Security

Your project may have specific security requirements. Some programming languages are more robust than others in terms of security. For instance, Ruby, C++, and Python have a smaller amount of total vulnerabilities reported than C or PHP.

Your Programming Skills

If you are a newbie in programming, start with user-friendly readable languages. They will help you to learn the fundamentals and move on to more complex languages in the future. Besides, it is a good way to gradually build your confidence in programming.

Community

When you are learning a programming language, it is important to have resources and support from the community. Tutorials and forums will help you to overcome challenges and go through situations when you get stuck because something is unclear.

Quick Overview of the Most Popular Programming Languages

Take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the most popular programming languages.

Python

Python is popular among beginners. It is readable, flexible, and easy to learn. Python does not require prior experience in coding, but problem-solving skills will help you out as you learn. Python adds to productivity, allowing a developer to focus on his goal instead of spending a lot of time understanding the syntax of the programming language. Besides, it functions under an open-source license, which makes it free to use and modify in any way you want. Yet, it cannot be your choice if you need a programming language with fast execution or a large amount of memory.

Read: 6 Reasons why you Should Learn Python

Java

Java is a secure and reliable solution, which is used across platforms. Unlike many other programming languages, it is straightforward and simple to learn. Java also permits the reusability of the code because it is object-oriented. It is one of the most popular languages globally, so you can find multiple learning opportunities and support from its vast online community. However, the readability of the Java code may be challenging for beginners. It is also slower than, for example, C and C++ and requires a large amount of memory space.

JavaScript

JavaScript is primarily used to make web pages more interactive and dynamic for a better user experience. Facebook, Reddit, DropBox, and many other websites are written with it. JavaScript combines several important advantages like speed, simplicity, and popularity. It is also associated with reduced demand on the website server and a wide range of applications. Among the disadvantages of JavaScript are security issues due to the client-side and differences in its code interpretations in different browsers.

Read: Comparisons in Javascript

Swift

Swift is another open-source programming language, which is widely used in iOS apps. It is suitable for beginners and does not require prior experience in programming. Among its benefits are clear syntax and speed. Swift is still a young programming language. It was created by Apple in 2014. Thus, its community is not as extensive as that of other programming languages. There are also some compatibility issues that can make your experience with it somewhat unstable.

C and C++

These two are some of the oldest programming languages out there. C++ is an improved version of C. Some people prefer to use C++ after they learn the fundamentals of C when others skip this step. C++ is easier than C and, therefore, more beginner-friendly. Why do developers choose C++? It allows using a program on different platforms and ensures the reusability of the code. Besides, C++ is known for memory management and scalability. Yet, it is not without disadvantages like security issues and the absence of built-in threads.

Read: Linux vs Windows: Which is better for programming

PHP

PHP helped to build over 80% of all websites. It is an open-source and cost-effective language with a lot of supporters. You can find many tutorials that will facilitate your learning process or help you with simple tasks, such as a tutorial on how to geolocate an IP address in PHP. PHP is also characterized by improved loading speed and good combinability with HTML. Yet, in recent years, the popularity of PHP has decreased because there are easier programming languages like Python that are more suitable for modern trends.

Wrapping Up

It might be difficult to choose a programming language, especially if you are a beginner. However, if you do your research and explore the features of different programming languages, you can make an informed choice and select the language that will serve your project best.

 


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