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I want to learn a new programming language. What should I learn?

muhammadwasif profile image Muhammad Wasif ・1 min read

I'm a front end developer. Now, moving to cloud native and nodejs but I want to learn a new programming language. Which one should I learn?
I would like to explore field of Robotics and AI. So, please suggest!

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tetri profile image
Tetri Mesquita

python 🐍

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nestedsoftware profile image
Nested Software

Yup. I think for things like AI and machine learning, Python is the way to go. I don't know much about robotics. I would expect that you can probably use Python libraries for that too, thought you may wind up having to learn some C at some point as well for lower-level stuff.

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Travis Sturzl

I work at a robotics company. All the control systems are written in C++, and then the robotics code is a mix of python and C++. Used to work at an ML company and all the data scientists used python.

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isaacfink profile image
isaacfink

You could definitely use python to control a microcontroller like Arduino and as far as low level stuff python allows for c extensions to be included so it's definitely a good choice

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budprager profile image
BudPrager

MicroPython might be the answer here, it has support for ESP8266 Aarduino) and ESP32 (Arduino with built in WiFi) chipsets.

So having learnt python OP would be able to leverage the ai and machine learning libraries or use off the shelf microcontrollers.

Edit: docs : docs.micropython.org/en/latest/

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jamesthomson profile image
James Thomson

This is next on my list to learn as well. From the little bits that I've read it has a lot of similar concepts as JS which helps with the learning curve.

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manan30 profile image
Manan Joshi

I would suggest Haskell. It is a functional programming language and will completely change the way you think about programming.

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mateiadrielrafael profile image
Matei Adriel

Finally a nice suggestion

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dough654 profile image
douggerhardt

Agreed. Try it. You'll never be the same.

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kajoseph profile image
kajoseph

As a Node dev myself, my choice would be Rust, but in your shoes I'd stick with Node with Typescript a little while longer. I'm already familiar with C#, C/C++, Go, and Python, though. Rust tries to be a safe C, where C is the king of speed and flexibility at the expense of safety. Basically, C# = Java but with Microsoft backing. I like .NET Core and think it would be a good framework choice to learn with. However, if I were in your shoes (coming from the FE), I'd stick with Node for a while longer and start using Typescript. Get used to classes with public, private, protected, abstract, etc. permission properties. Use buffers, streams, cryptography, process, asserts, and fs which will help you get more familiar with back end function, organization, and optimization. Node and Typescript offers a lot of capability and flexibility where you can still build cool things without getting bogged down by new syntax, idiosyncrasies, and strict typing. Node is highly supported and you can find libraries and docs for nearly everything. You can use Johnny-Five for IOT and robotics, plus I think most popular ML libraries are available for Node. Once you feel comfortable with all that, I'd introduce a whole new language.

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muhammadwasif profile image
Muhammad Wasif Author

Thank you. That was helpful

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arshadnadeem9 profile image
ArshadNadeem9

For front end
HTML 5
Css3
JavaScript es6 es7 es8
React.js
Angular js
Vue.js
And
Back end
PHP
Php oop
Mvc framework
Sql for data base with xampp server
Node.js
Express.js framework of node. Js
Nosql with mongo db

Php is for business apps and WordPress developer

Node.js is for mean && mern developer
If you want be full stack web developer then you needed follow these skills

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tracker1 profile image
Michael J. Ryan

You can go well beyond mean and mern with node. I use it for most of my scripting needs as it's easier to deal cross platform much if the time. There's also iot and ai (Tensorflow) options.

I think Python is probably a better long term option if going iot or ai though as there's more support there.

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arshadnadeem9 profile image
ArshadNadeem9

For ai developer
Python
Python with machine learning && deep learning
Tensor flow
Pytorch
Apache spark
Neural network

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mateiadrielrafael profile image
Matei Adriel

Any functional language (haskell, f#, elm etc)

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shrpereira profile image
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mateiadrielrafael profile image
Matei Adriel

The deal breaker for me was the dynamic typing, I just can't live without the safety type systems give me...

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jeanepaul

Erlang, scala, or elixir

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nozil profile image
Nicolas Zilli

Cloud Native => Go.
Otherwise I had a great time discovering Elixir.
You should try exercism.io/ for finding some exercises and mentors there is a lot of languages supported ;)

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euler2718 profile image
John Corley

I see a lot of suggestion for python for obvious reasons. But why not Julia? Syntactically this language is pretty beautiful with native data structures python doesn't have without libraries. Plus it's fast, and easily works across your cores.

Haskell is also a great choice in theory...

I think if your goal is to learn a new lang and think differently, these are probably great choices.

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theraggon profile image
Theraggon

You may want to check ML.NET and F#. Also .NET core is getting more and more awesome for a lot of things like web, iot, and probably robotics too (therobotreport.com/misty-robotics-...)

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daniel13rady profile image
Daniel Brady

If you want to tie your decision to a language that a lot of people use for similar purposes, I find StackOverflow's annual developer survey to be a useful resource when considering this question.

For AI, machine learning, and data science, Python is the reigning monarch of programming languages at the moment, and has been for awhile.

For robotics, I don't have much experience to draw from. But I was told while at university to start by looking at languages often used in embedded systems and rule-based systems; to me, that means some variant of C, Rust, and Lisp (my personal favorite Lisps are Racket, Clojure, and Scala).

If you're mainly interested in personal growth, rather than how applicable a tool might be to your programming practice, I recommend designing/choosing a project and then doing that project in a language vastly different from the one(s) you're comfortable with in some way. (For me, this would probably be something with strict typing and/or DIY memory management.)

I see this a bit like traveling to a place with a vastly different culture from your own: the things you take for granted will start slapping you in the face, your world views about "the way something is done and why" will be turned upside down more than once, and you'll come back home with a valuably different point of view.

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juancarlospaco profile image
Juan Carlos

Nim lang πŸ‘‘ Python like syntax, C like speed, Rust like safety.

Compile and interoperate with C, C++, JavaScript, NodeJS, Python, ObjetiveC, NimScript, Assembly, WebAssembly, LLVM IR, Backend and Frontend, and more.

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ghost profile image
Ghost

depends on what you want to do, "Robotics" is somewhat broad; to program microcontrollers nowdays is C, you can do it in Python but is too heavy, limits you too much; Rust in the future, has the power for it but the embedded ecosystem is not very mature yet; you can do robotics with more horsepower tho, farther from Arduinos and closer to Raspberry Pi. As far as I've seen from afar, Python is the way to go for AI and ML.

For general purpose I'm beting for Rust; learning it for a while and loving it. But is very new, and although have very mature libraries, sometimes you find lack of libraries of some specific area.

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Luciano Barreira

It depends on what you want to do. I participated in robot soccer competitions for years and never heard of anyone using python successfully at it, mostly because in my specific use case the game is very dynamic and multi agent so AI has to run very fast.

I suggest you to research on what are people using for what you want to do and don't care too much about the programming languages, the concepts that comes before the code arrives are more important. I suggest to grasp into any little project and learn the language as you go. Since you must have some programming experience, if the language shares paradigms with what you already know, your efforts will be merely to translate your thoughts into that specific language.

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toordog profile image
toordog

Java is great, growing more every day, in fact the market for java programmers to hire just for replacing python code is crazy, kotlin isnt bad too learn also, but its definitely not on a level like java. I know 12 different languages, and for the salary out of the gate if you're into money (I'm not) isn't too bad, top dollar on replacing python code for enterprise design is all over the market now with all the kids from college scripting up a lot of bad python and other languages.

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rfaulhaber profile image
Ryan Faulhaber

Rust. It's just a cool language.

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aelentel profile image
Aelentel

Cobol, Ada and maybe fortran 77.

Haha joking. Maybe Java, Seems counter intuitive but all in all it's a robust language for backend. dotNet for going Microsoft shop. Cpp if you want to do pointer everywhere and memory management. Else if you want to get arcanic Lisp, Logo, Prolog, Forth, Lambda. The rest either lack a bit of stability or is just the Nth attempt at being different.

Else just take the one that is getting you a bit outside the frontend world πŸ¦„

exploring-data.com/vis/programming...

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chillyvanilly77 profile image
Chilly_Vanilly

Well, when I hear robotics, I think of embedded-like programming...and btw AI can be written in any language so... Hh
But I assume C wont really be a favourite, so why not going with Rust?
It is EXTREMELY versatile, powerful, can ve used even for the web with native WASM-compiler target support and the compiler really helps u out a lot when there is something messed up in your code, which should be a great hepl when learning the lingo ^

Cheers!

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Avera360IT

Hello Muhammad,
Before I started my company I was looking for a new job. A lot of the the jobs I was offered were looking for JavaScript and C++ developers.
I also think you’re right to explore AI. It is the fastest growing job market in terms of salary.

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codenutt profile image
Jared

Kotlin is dope.

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mikat

For AI, definitely learn python but C++ is also really good because that helps with the understanding of how a computer does it's work and it's a language that you can use with webassembly and nodejs native modules to get some nice speedup in JavaScript apps

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mixmastoras

Like most people mentioned, Python appears the most used for AI and maybe C/C++ for robotics.

One favorite of mine that is used a lot in science stuff is Julia. I really like the community and the quality packages for Math, machine learning, optimization. But it tries, just like python to work on a higher level.

There are cool new languages under development/growing like Rust (backed by Mozilla) that target C performance.

I've also heard people in many startups adopt Go for microservices.

Erlang was used to build CouchDB, and many cool stuff that we use daily. I know only a few things about this language but you should take a look deeper if you're curious.

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injectedfusion profile image
Gabriel Rodriguez

Golang

Pays the most amount of money right now, is more performant than python. There is such a hot demand for it.

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bretthancox

Arduino is the usual starting point for embedded software and that means a subset of C++.

Python is also possible through circuitPython/microPython, though your board options are different.

If you plan on using something like a raspberry pi, then the world is much more open. Many major languages have libraries for accessing the RPi GPIO pins and the board obviously has enough power for more advanced robotics than Arduino.

Many languages claim to support embedded development, but the boards/chips and the corresponding development tools are more problematic for a person learning. I'd look at the hardware and see what you like, then see what it supports.

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Mindaugas Sharskus

It is my sugestion too. If you want to learn NEW language I dont know what else to recomend. Obviously Rust is not for everyone and it is changing, but:
"Language which doesn't teach you anything new, not worth of learning"
What I like most is friendly comunity, running speed, safety, sintex, error messages are super helpful. Rust is perfect for WebAssembley and I believe in that technology. What I least enjoy is compile times and lack in some libraries (crates in Rust land), but even there Rust making improvement. But I would recommend Rust only as new language, for first language... It depends on your interest, but generally Java 8+. Is not super fun or easy language, but shares many similarities with other languages so it will be easier to learn other one later. Plus it is still very popular in industry.

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nestedsoftware profile image
Nested Software

Arduino and Raspberry Pi are well-known technologies for tinkering with DIY robotics projects. There is a less well-known company, Phidgets, that you might want to look into as well. They have a really dead-simple, standardized programming interface for all of their devices. The interface also works with a wide variety of programming languages, including Python, Java, JavaScript. If you want to build something that works, I think it's faster and easier than Arduino/Raspberry Pi.

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thepeoplesbourgeois profile image
Josh

A bit astonished (but proud that I'm the first 😊) that nobody has suggested picking up a LisP yet. While nothing you pick up from this language superset is inherently tailored to the problems you'd work on within robotics or AI, the skills and patterns you'll acquire are paramount to workflows of the fabled 10x Developer class.

And, while more accessible than Haskell, it has the appearance of being more esoteric and impenetrable. I attribute this to the parentheses. They're great.

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ahferroin7 profile image
Austin S. Hemmelgarn

Immediate thoughts that come to mind include:

  • Python: Easy to learn, lots of tutorials and other resources, plus very good support for both machine learning and robotics. The downsides are that it's pretty seriously limited when it comes to true concurrency, and it puts a huge emphasis on object-oriented programming in many places that don't necessarily need it.
  • Lua: Also easy to learn. Lua is a super-lightweight language designed to be embedded in other programs (a lot of games use it for UI or AI scripting), but it's also insanely portable (you can run Lua on almost anything that has a working ANSI C toolchain, people have even ported it to the old LEGO Mindstorms NXT platform). However, it's not a great option for machine learning, and it's got a pretty limited ecosystem.
  • Elixir/Erlang: If I were actively looking at getting into robotics, I'd probably be looking at working in either Elixir or Erlang whenever I could. The underlying BEAM runtime environment used by both is designed for high-concurrency distributed systems with insane levels of reliability (Erlang was designed by Ericsson for use in telecommunications system). Elixir is a bunch of macros and syntactic sugar on top of Erlang, and both are trivially interoperable. Like Lua, there's limited ecosystem, though both are seriously marketable skills (a lot of big name companies that offer network services with high reliability requirements (for example, Discord or Nintendo) use Elixir or Erlang for their backend systems).
  • C++: Mostly because this is what the Arduino platform uses. C++ itself is a pretty marketable skill, though it's not as popular as it used to be. The language itself is not exactly easy to learn, but you can find lots of good resources online for it.
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th3pwn3r profile image
Th3Pwn3r

Please forgive my English.
Python will greatly expand what you can do, even backend with things like django, also there are amazing frameworks like tensorflow for IA, magenta for IA and music, you can automatize boring stuff ( which by the way, if you use Linux or Mac adds another layer of possibilities to get things done fast and efficiently). If you really want to understand how things work at low level, learn c++ it also will give you the tools to learn any language faster since most of them inherit from c it's sintax.
I had a lot of trouble learning front end coming from c, so it might be hard to learn it first for you, in that case, python should be first.

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th3pwn3r profile image
Th3Pwn3r

Also, a question for you op, I really love using vanilla js since it seems to me I can do everything I need without things like jquery, is any reason to use it aside from the fact that the lines of code gets massively shorter? Maybe it is kind of a dumb question I'm such a n00b xD

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kumarvarun1987 profile image
kumarvarun1987

Hi
I am working last 2 years in RPA(Robotic process Automation) and AI domain, personally I suggest start learning on RPA and ML.
Below are the new RPA and ML language
Workfusion: if you know Java easy to learn
Uipath :
Blueprism
Pega
Blockchain

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kchawla_pi profile image
Kshitij Chawla

Since you haven't decided your niche yet, Python. It opens doors to the backend and APIs, and all data and automation related stuff.
A lot of companies use Flask to build their backend and APIs and add queuing, then deploying new or pretrained ML models in Docker containers orchestrated by Kubernetes.And this often starts at a company from Python.
JS is primarily a frontend thing and will remain so for several years. The benefits of nodejs are a specific niche,most servers don't get extra benefit from it.

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srinivasav22 profile image
Srinivasa V

Hi
If you're Interested in Robotics then you have to take Raspberry pi along with python programming then start for AI

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arshadnadeem9 profile image
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omicron666 profile image
Omicron

Typescript
+ C# and/or Java

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tracker1 profile image
Michael J. Ryan

Python, Node.JS for server side, Go and/or Rust would be my suggested... Though C/C++ are also a good idea and C# is pretty nice as well. Not a fan of Java myself.

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jhooks profile image
Joel Hooks 🌩

Python is never a bad decision. I’d generally recommend exploring broadly and see what resonates and suits your needs.

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paurakhsharma profile image
Paurakh Sharma Humagain

Python is a no brainier here 😊

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mostajeranmohammad profile image
Mohammad Mostajeran

Just one
Go is awesome

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kingtomi profile image
Ayodabo Oluwatomisin

Python is the right choice for you

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dag72 profile image
Dave Gordon

Python is a good choice that you can leverage for Robotics and AI! Python is used across diverse fields from web development to machine learning and AI and it is easy to learn!

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muhammadwasif profile image
Muhammad Wasif Author

Where?? πŸ˜‚
Just kidding.

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tomaz_on profile image
Tomaz, Osvaldo Neto

ML.NET and F# / Python ...

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kurrekruts profile image
kurre

Cobol

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pascal360 profile image
Pascal360

Python can help you alot

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woodybriggs profile image
woodybriggs

C with some C++ features.

Handmade Hero video series will point you in the write direction.

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marknicoli profile image
Mark Nicoli

Look into python or c++. It can be used with ROS for some interesting robotics projects!

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muhammadwasif profile image
Muhammad Wasif Author

Does it work in iot as well?

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calyce8 profile image
Calyce

Somewhat, search for micropython.

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ehsanyar1991 profile image
Ehsan Yar

I think python can be best choice.

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mrzviad profile image
Zviad Gabroshvili

Python and C/C++

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kchawla_pi profile image
Kshitij Chawla

A lot of suggestions here for Rust β™₯️ and Haskell and they are great. For professional use, first master Python, Docker, Kubernetes for a few years.Then learn Rust or Haskell.