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Which Programming Language Should You Learn First?

Posted by Donna Recchione on May 31, 2019 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights, Job Search Tips, IT, Candidate

With more and more people becoming dependent on technology in their everyday lives, it is no wonder that the need for software developers is increasing. Whether you are already studying computer science in school or interested in making a career change, it is vital to have a solid understanding of the various programming languages.

The language you choose to begin with will give you a foundation of the basic concepts of programming and set the tone for your learning path. So, which one should you learn first? 

Don't Go Big, You'll Only Go Home

You definitely should not start with a complex language that only a select few can master. In a study by Codementor, Elm, Erland, Lua, and CoffeeScript were called out as languages to avoid learning this year. The study based these findings on growth and job market potential. 

Don't Bother with Has-Beens

Another programming language that a newbie should steer clear from is Perl, also known as the “Swiss Army Chainsaw.” It is an older language that was utilized in building websites, like Slashdot. Many tech professionals would not recommend Perl, even though it used to be quite popular amongst developers.

Another indicator that Perl may not be the best programming language to start to learn first is that its growth has been declining. Searches for the language had been stagnant for about five years and then began to decrease over the last year. The same is true for C#, which also saw a decline in search volume.

Don't Get Stuck in a Niche

In all actuality, if you are new to software development, you will probably not go for a language that is used by a smaller population of programmers. You would most likely be attracted to a more popular language that is widely used by many in the programming world. These include languages like JavaScript, Java, or Python. Even if you are not entrenched in the tech world, these names will probably sound familiar to you.

Computer science instructors prefer to have students begin with commonly used languages since they have been used to develop most websites and power enterprise infrastructure and popular devices.

Crawl Before You Run a Program

The thought behind this way of introducing students to programming is that once they have mastered the common languages, they can move on to a more specialized language. It is similar to choosing a specialty in medicine: begin with the basics and then choose your focus. Concerning the job market, you will be happy that you started with a fundamental language in order to be more appealing to a wider range of software development companies. From there, you can learn the smaller languages and really begin to hone your craft.

Once you've found your language, contact ICS to find the perfect job for you. Click below to browse our open roles!

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