Imagination is more important than knowledge.

28th February 2018

Programming Languages and What You Can Do with Them

If you’re thinking about getting into programming in any way and you want to learn how to code, you might have been overwhelmed by all the different options available when you searched for programming languages to get started with. There are more than many and it’s a common fallacy that the best programmers in this world are those who know the widest range of these programming languages.

It shouldn’t be so overwhelming for you, quite simply because there is a core base of Computer Science fundamentals which basically apply to all programming languages. I swear…

Learn one programming language and then just check out the syntax of another one you might also want to learn, and what you’ll realise is that pretty much all programming languages are the same. In some cases the syntax is similar, but it is indeed the syntax which is mostly different. The Computer Science principles largely remain the same, for example you have one of the most powerful constructs of every programming language in loops along with the likes of variables and other data types.

Pretty much every programming language has something like arrays for example, so if you learn how to use arrays while learning how to code in PHP you’ll be able to use arrays if you’re learning how to code in JavaScript, etc.

All of that said, the question perhaps turns back to which programming language you should go with if you want to learn how to code? That just depends on what you want to do – what do you want to achieve with the power of computing and the integrated microprocessor?

Do you want to build a mobile app which will run on smartphones and tablets? In that case then you would probably best be served starting out learning Java as a core programming base, after which time you’d then go a little bit more specific with regards to the development environment for Android and Apple iOS devices.

If you want to develop desktop applications for example then the options are aplenty, including the likes of Java, C++, C, C# (if you want to use Microsoft’s enterprise development environment, Visual Studio) and quite a few others. Java and C++ are probably the most popular with the best free support from developer communities online, but every programmer tends to gravitate towards a selection of programming languages and development environments they like.

If you want to build solutions for the web, like membership sites, social networks, notice boards, etc, then you would be looking at programming languages such as PHP (which is actually more of a scripting language) or Microsoft’s, with some more languages that are classed a little further away from being pure programming languages. HTML for example is more of a mark-up language, as so astutely suggested by what the acronym stands for (Hypertext Mark-up Language), while the likes of JavaScript is a pure scripting language which functions in the browser as opposed to containing the power a server-side scripting language like PHP has.

So it’s all about what you want to do with the programming language you want to learn.

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