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Which language do I choose?

peteronum profile image kotlinPete ・2 min read

You've never read a post this convincing.

June last year I was an undergrad that wanted to learn to code. I didn't know anything about coding other than the whole world is currently run by computers, being able to make computers do whatever you want is a superpower that's borderline omnipotence(If you manipulate computers you manipulate reality as we know it) and I wanted to have a piece of that power.

Let's face it, a lot of successful programmers were at this point once - not power hungry, that was just me - they wanted to code but they didn't know a lot about coding.

I had a hard time picking a language at the time but eventually I chose to learn Python because my friend, a data scientist, gave me a book on Python, its syntax was almost as simple as regular human language and YouTube videos told me python can do anything(one language to rule them all).

Now no offense to Guido Van Rossum but there was a flaw in my decision-making process. This flaw is in the decision making process of many beginners that are in that endless loop of choosing a language and I hope to correct it in the next few paragraphs.

Now wanting to code is awesome but you know what's more awesome? Wanting to go into a certain field in programming!

You see, there are MANY fields in programming, each of these fields has preferred languages and if you decide to go into one field, all you'll have to do is use the languages associated with that field. If you decided to go into a particular field, you immediately narrow your options down from over 500 languages to a handful. For example, deciding to become a native android developer trims your options down to Java or Kotlin(there are a few others too but they aren't the official android development languages as certified by google) and deciding to be a front end web developer means you have to learn HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

As a code newbie, it's important to want more than just to be a coder and have a particular field at the back of your mind to dive into. That way you limit your options to just a few where you either have to learn all or pick one based on something as trivial as the number of views your tutorial video of choice has.

Moral of the story: If you want to get out of that endless loop of wanting to pick a language, pick a field instead and you'll go with the languages required to work in that field.

EXTRA NUGGET:
Choosing a field to specialize in narrows your choice down to a few options but in a field like back end development where Python, PHP, JavaScript and others are equally acceptable, how do you pick a language??

Stay tuned to this blog, like this post, share your thoughts on the comment section and I'll answer that question in my next post

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kotlinPete

@peteronum

I'm a software developer learning android on pluralsight under Google Africa's 2020 scholarship and blogging every step of my journey. Jump along for the ride

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