Pick a language and do something

James Perkins

Posted on September 17, 2019

I’ve heard and seen a lot of “What language should I pick first?” Questions in my time as a developer. It’s an interesting question that I seem to have the opposite response to most. Usually you here, learn Python as it’s syntax is simple to learn, or JavaScript because it is in demand and everyone wants to hire you. The answer is simple pick a language out of a hat and jump in.

Personally I started with Java and spent about 2-3 years crafting my skills, I was working at a company in technical support and they offered me as a Junior developer during the first 6-8 months of those 2-3 years. I would say I was an expert at that point but I certainly knew plenty to support senior engineers and teach some of it to my peers.

If I was to tell you to learn Java today, people would cry and moan about how Java is much harder to learn then Python! Why would tell someone to learn that first! Who gives a shit, honestly I could tell you to learn COBOL which is huge in the financial industry but you will probably question why I told you that.

My point is this, programming is about passion, and finding something that you love to work at for months without thinking about when am I going to get paid! My love of Java still flows today, I spent almost 9 years writing lines of Java and recently started a new job where I don’t write Java anymore. I still keep up with the latest versions of Java, the latest bugs, features etc. I wrote Python for about 3 months for a job, I had no experience but once you have learnt the basics of programming, its more about learning the syntax differences. Once I finished the consultation and job, I never ever learnt another thing about it because it didn’t excite me.

Programming is like sports, there are plenty of different options but at the end of the day the one that interests you the most is the one you will stick with. So if you ask me what language to start with, the answer is simple “ Go read a few docs and blog posts about a language, read another language compare them. Choose one and stick it out for a minimum of a year, Go slow be patient and try everyday!”

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