Choosing programming language

  • Ivan Žarković

Hello reader,

today I will write about my decision to start learning a new programming language. When I first started programming I read about the importance of pseudo-code.
Pseudo-code is used for concepting solutions to a problem. Like sketching before painting, pseudo-code is used for the "sketching" algorithm.
I am lucky that I decided to learn programming through the pseudo-code. It gave me space not to think about classes, syntax, compilers but to focus on the logic.

Why I choose Java for the first language?

Java is one of the best languages ever. It has been around for almost three decades which is very long for programming language. Main reasons I've decided to start with Java are:

  • Easy to understand the syntax
    Java has one of the simplest syntaxes. It uses fluent English-like syntax with minimum special characters which makes it easy to read and understand.
  • Java is an OOP language
    As Object-Oriented Programming Language, Java brings easier developing robust applications, keeping code modular and flexible.
  • A lot of Open Source Libraries and API's
    One of the main reasons I've decided to go for Java is a huge API collection. There are API's for almost everything including networking, utilities, XML parsing, database connection, etc. Here is a link to the article with a list of 20 Must Use Libraries for Java Programmers
  • One of the best IDE's
    Java is supported by a very powerful tool, NetBeans. If you want to develop Android apps, there is a great tool by Google, Android Studio.
  • It is free (still)
    Oracle announced that the free license of Java 8 will be terminated in Dec 2020.
  • It's platform-independent
    Every regular computer user knows that you can run a Java program on any platform. You can run it on Windows, Linux or iOS. But also Java is used on mobile phones, TVs, air conditioners, fridges, cards, etc.

Which programming language next?

I was tempted to find a new challenge and in those days one client occurred with an interesting and challenging project.
It was a very tough decision for me, altho I haven't learned everything about Java I've been challenged to start learning another language. After I've done short research I found that whatever language I choose my core knowledge of coding and OOP will make it easy.
So I have put my decision on two, mostly web, languages; PHP and JavaScript.
I must say that JS is nothing like Java. It was much harder for me to understand (maybe it's an individual thing), unlike PHP and Java. But after a while, I was impressed with the capabilities of powerful JavaScript frameworks like NodeJS and React.

I will list several advantages of JavaScript, in my humble opinion:
- it's widely used with large community
- tons of learning sources
- used for both front-end and back-end (I have used PHP for back-end, but with Node.js it's possible to develop it with JavaScript)
- even if I have struggled to get into JS, global opinion is that it's easy to learn.

Conclusion

No matter which programming language you choose to learn, you need to focus on "programming" logic and OOP concepts, rest will be a piece of cake.

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