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Choosing a Programming Language to Learn

What programming language do you want to learn? In theory, this seems like the simplest of questions you could pose to a computing student or programming enthusiast. In practice, however, this is a hard question that requires careful considerations before an answer can be arrived at!

With hundreds of programming languages available out there, every computer science major ought to think about the implication of the choices they make as far as learning programming is concerned. Even after learning a programming language in class as part of study work, how good (proficient) one becomes actually depends on the practice one does outside the lecture hall! A lot of practical experience is required before any one can start working online or elsewhere as a programming guru.

When choosing a programming language, one should always consider what they aim to achieve by learning the language. For instance, one may realize that they need to learn programming so that they can make a great computer game! The same way, one may also need to learn programming so that they can be able to make a commercial business application for sale on the internet.

Among the ten most popular languages, Java has emerged the uncontested pick for multiplatform, mobile software programming. Windows alternatives such as C sharp (C#) and Visual Basic (VB) can also be used to achieve the same results as Java but only for computers running the windows operating system. When it comes to games programming, Python has earned a lot of popularity. This can be attributed to its dynamic nature and the fact that it has a smooth learning curve. PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor), ASP (Active Server Pages), Django Python framework and JavaServer Pages are languages you may need to learn in order to become an effective server-side web programmer. On the other hand, hardware programming requires a low level language that is able to abstract communication between the programmer and hardware devices. Today, C is the best modern programming language that can be used effectively to program not only microchips but also physical communication devices.

Although each language has its strong points and weaknesses, it is important to understand that more than one language can be used to make a specific application. For instance, one can make the same commercial software using object oriented C++ as can be made using procedure oriented C. The difference here would just be the amount of programming work involved in either case. Compared to C++, C is a low level language and would thus require a massive amount of programming work in order to achieve the same results. To make the best choice of the programming language to learn, one should pre-decide what they plan to achieve and then select the language that would most easily achieve their goal!

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