You have just stepped into college. It has not even been a week and is already hearing people talking about hefty paychecks and grand packages in Google, Microsoft, and other giants. They talk about dream offers of crores. You feel intimidated, which is understood. After all, you have just stepped into college; which means you are still a young youth like all others, wishing to taste success in life. But you are confused. These figures mesmerize you but they scare you at the same time.
Here is a secret! Don’t tell this to anyone. People have indeed got such huge packages, and that’s happy news. Why? you might ask. This is because it means you are equally worthy of getting it too. But nothing comes easy in life. You know this. You must be having an unconquerable urge to surmount all obstacles and willingness to not give up at any point in time.
Now let us come to our main point. Every single one of those jobs you heard about was in one way or the other related to computer programming. Here’s the harsh truth. There is a little scope of good placements in the core sector. We are not saying that it does not exist. But you need to be really good at what you do.
Most of the people in the core sector look for jobs in the IT sector since they are so many. Being a great programmer is the need of the hour. If you excel at programming, that naturally places you ahead of your peers by miles.
Probably you know all this. Then what is the point of telling you all this?
It is because you don’t know where to start. There are simply too many languages to choose from and so many resources available online. So many resources do nothing but overwhelm you.
The Boom of Programming Languages
The market is full of languages you won’t be able to count upon your fingers. There is the quintessential C/C++, there is that geeky Java, there is every developer’s apple of the eye Python, and the underrated guns like Ruby and Go.
With so many languages to choose from, how do you ideally begin with your journey into this fascinating world of programming? A nice question indeed. But unfortunately, the answer is not so straightforward.
First of all, let us keep aside all the relatively new languages such as Rust, Swift and Julia. They might seem appealing to you at a first glance keeping in mind their really cool names, but they are not recommended for a beginner.
Why’s that? It is not because these languages are hard or something complex. No. The reason why they are not recommended for a beginner is because of two reasons.
- It is really hard to find the resources to learn these languages. You won’t see an online course teaching you Swift or a heavy book for Julia. No. The resources are simply non-existent or very negligible.
- They are not as prevalent as other languages, which means they are used for a very specific purpose(at least as of now), and you won’t learn a lot since there would not be many avenues you would be able to put your skills at a test. If needed, you can always come back to learning it at a later stage.
The potential and viable options we are left with are C/C++, Java or Python. Sorry, we do not consider HTML to be a programming language. Let us break it down. Maybe you have already learned one of these languages in your high school, but to be honest, it does not matter. For those who haven’t, let me tell you that people who already know a language are not particularly at an advantage as compared to you. Let us be honest here. The way programming is taught in schools is not the most efficient way to learn programming.
So What to Choose?
You might hear people saying that it is a subjective choice. Choose with whatever you feel like. Though this advice is not wrong, it does nothing but confuses an already confused individual. We will layout the scenarios in front of you. Choose the language according to your scenario.
- You already know a language. Maybe you learned it in school or probably learn it out of curiosity. And no, it won’t count if you somehow managed to pass the programming course in your school. We are talking about a decent level of knowledge in programming with a sound understanding of all the basic principles and concepts, not a vague idea. If you fall into this category, We would suggest you continue with the language, whichever it might be.
You already have a firm base. Expand upon that base and reach higher levels. After that, you can pick up a new language but that is something you’ll figure out on your own.
- You do not wish to go hardcore into programming but would like to know at least a language that could help you develop some software in future. This might be the case if you are pursuing engineering in some other branch other than Computer Science. You do not intend to foray into the IT field but knowledge of a language is always beneficiary.
In such scenarios, We would suggest that you learn Python. Python is super easy to learn. It can prove to be great in overcoming the initial phobia of programming, if you have any. The syntax is simple, English like, and neat. You will manage to learn it in half the time as compared to others, and it will serve all your purposes. Moreover, you would be learning the most widely used language in the world today.
- This again is the extension of what we have suggested above. The only difference being you’d like to learn a programming language to make a website of your own or probably want to get into App Development. This is very specific in the case you have already figured out that this is what you wish to do. Java is the language to pick up and go within this case. The reason is simple; Java is a highly object-oriented language that is immensely effective in the case of Web Development and App Development.
- This might be the most important one. This scenario is for the cases wherein you are really interested in what goes inside of being a good programmer. You wish to be well versed with all the theoretical knowledge, not only the application based. In such cases, We will suggest C/C++. It is harder than other languages that we have mentioned here and you will have to spend a significant amount of time learning it. But, here is the thing. Once you manage to learn it, you will be having in-depth knowledge of programming as a skill and why do we do the things we do. There are numerous other benefits as well; such as C/C++ has a much faster processing time and is the best choice if you wish to get into competitive coding.
So, here is the bottom line. Do figure out which category do you belong to and begin your journey to be a great programmer. No matter which language you pick up, just stick to it and don’t abandon it midway. Devote your time and energy to it and see it showering you with success.