Choosing the Right Programming Language for your Career
IT industry is always growing. More and more jobs for programmers are being created everyday. Artificial Intelligence and industry automation are replacing human employees with machines, but they cannot replace programmers as they need them to create automation and constantly make them better and smarter. So, if you are planning to pursue your career in programming or software engineering then you should choose wisely and choose now.
When it comes to the choice of programming languages, beginners make mistakes most of the time by being manipulated by the opinions of the people around them, information circulating through social medias and the lack of research and knowledge. Let's start with this example, most of the mediocre programmers will tell you to learn the C programming language first and will also ask you to not to stick with it with an emphasis in their voices. They will tell you to learn the basics with C and move to another language like PHP, Java, Python, C#, etc for making real life applications. But their suggestions are flawed on both sides if not wrong. Life is short and you need to get the best out of it. Let's go step by step in choosing a language.
First of all, you almost never need not learn a programming language before learning another one. C is not a prerequisite of any programming language. The phrase "learn basics with C before learning X language" has become so widespread that beginners take it as an absolute truth. C is a prerequisite only when the way you are learning or your instructor mandates it. The next false conception is that you cannot create real life applications with C. They say that it is very hard and time consuming to develop a real life applications with C. Every programming language was created for solving some special set of problems. Solving the wrong problem with the wrong language is never wise. Every time you buy a new accessory for your computer, you need a driver to install if it is not already built-in with the operating system. All these drives are developed mostly with C and sometimes with Assembly and C++. Usually you cannot use any other language on this purpose. If these drivers are what you are intending to develop then all the other languages are impractical for your problem. Web applications can be developed with C, but with PHP it is easier than anything else.
Step 1: Define the Problems you Want to Solve
Step 2: Sorting the Languages According to Your Goal of Life
Being a programmer or a software engineer is not the same as being a computer scientist. Developing a library or a framework is not the same as creating an application. Becoming a popular programmer and writing applications, without which application programmers are crippled, are two whole different stories. With Java, C#, Python, PHP, etc. modern programming languages you cannot directly talk to machines without an intermediary, you need languages like Assembly, C or at least C++ for that purpose. If you want to develop the next big thing like Facebook then you will first need to focus on languages that have better support for web technologies. Take the decision yourself first before you take the next step. In this step of your goal of life none can help you except the very yourself.
Step 3: Decide whether you Want Money, Fame or Excellence
Remember one thing that when you are dealing with a programming language, you are not only dealing with art and science, but also you are dealing with a money machine. Financial possibility of every language is not the same and does not stay same all the time. Many famous programmers who developed useful libraries, frameworks and algorithms are less wealthy than many other web application developers. All the languages do not provide the same financial benefits and the salary range is not the same all over the world. When you can get a good job for PHP in Dhaka, you will need Python or C# when you are in New York. Do your research depending on where you live and what you want.
Step 4: Research about the Popularity of Languages
The popularity of languages goes up and down all the time. When you are staring your career in programming you should do some research on programming language popularity and carefully scrutinize the demographics. You can take help of yearly developers survey from stackoverflow.com where you will get all the information to take the right decision. You can also use the programming language popularity index on tiobe.com. Another good way of researching is Google Trends.
Step 5: Take Action
When you have filtered out all the languages with your proper research it is time to start learning it. Programming language is not about reading books, knowing rules, memorizing lines of codes - it is about doing everything by hand, working day after day on the same problem to make it perfect and keep practicing every day. The best time for starting to learn programming languages is not when you go to university or when you complete your graduation. The best time is when you are younger, when you are in high school or college. Start today, not tomorrow.
In the history of programming languages no language survived its popularity over several decades. You need to be prepared to learn and switch to a new language when your primary language gets obsolete. Also, keep yourself updated with your current primary programming language so that you do not lag behind other fellow programmers. Remember that in a small article like this it is not possible to discuss everything in detail. If you need more suggestion on any specific point, you can email me and I will write another article for you.
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