If you happen to be a huge nerd like me and love to hang answering questions from aspiring developers, you will surely have noticed that most questions are variations on these:
- Which programming language is fastest?
- What programming language pays the best?
- What programming language is the most popular?
- which programming language is the BEST??
You may even have some of these questions yourself.
Let’s take a moment, breathe, step back, and think about a different question.
Why do you want to learn to program?
There are as many different answers as there are stars in the sky.
- Maybe you want a better job
- or to build something you care about
- or to stretch your brain a little
But why should we care about any of them?
WHY does it matter WHY someone wants to learn to program?
Because it’s really easy to lose sight of your goals. If you were to go and google “best programming language to build an app”, you would find millions of think pieces filled with programmer’s opinions on their favorite language.
Does any of that move you closer to your why?
I’m going to guess they don’t.
If you want a better job, don’t you want to get there ASAP? If you want to build something, don’t you want it done ASAP? If you want to be learning, don’t you want to start NOW?
So let’s cut out the noise. How do we get from where we are to where we want to be?
We plan! and in order to plan we have to know what we want. So instead of thinking about the language, let’s think about the finish line. Here are the steps to find your perfect language:
Step 1: Features
For that new job, ask yourself: what kind of things are you building in that perfect job? For that thing you want to build, ask yourself: what can that thing do?
Step 2: Research
Take those features and find out, can programming language X do feature y? not “is it the best at it”, CAN it do it? is it possible?
Step 3: Estimate Difficulty.
look for some samples and try and understand them. the easier you get them, the better a time you’ll have
Step 4: Decision
All that research is different from wading through millions of opinions. Now you have actionable data to make your choice. And you can get going on whatever your why is.