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Edwin Torres
Edwin Torres

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Five Basic Programming Concepts To Learn First

I often hear new programmers ask, "Should I learn Python?" or "Should I learn Java or JavaScript?" This is the wrong approach. New programmers should focus on fundamental programming concepts. Having a solid foundation of these concepts makes it easy to learn any programming language, because the concepts are common among the different languages.

Here are five basic programming concepts that new programmers should learn first:

  1. Data types - Programming languages represent data in the real world. Data come in different forms such as integers, floating-point numbers, characters, strings, and Boolean. Since programs need data to process, understanding data types is crucial.
  2. Operators - Operators operate on data to create new data. There are mathematical operators for numeric data, logical operators for Boolean data, and more. Programs use operators to process data and create information. For example, in many programming languages the + operator can either add two numeric values or combine two strings.
  3. Selection structures - Selection structures provide multiple paths of execution in programs. The path depends on a condition or value. For example, the if-then-else statement provides two paths of execution, depending on a true/false condition. Programs would be somewhat useless without selection structures.
  4. Repetition structures - Repetition structures repeat a statement or block of statements. This is useful for implementing repetitive behaviors in programs. Repetition structures, also known as loops, make programs dynamic by executing statements a number of times.
  5. Input/output - Programs accept input and produce output. Input provides data that programs need. Output communicates data and information to the users.

Learn these five basic programming concepts well. Practice them in your programming language of choice. When it is time to learn a new programming language, you will already know the concepts. You will just need to learn how to use them in the new language.

Thanks for reading. 😃

Follow me on Twitter @realEdwinTorres for more programming tips and help.
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