Tips on choosing a programming language to learn

The problem is choice.


From a plethora of programming language, which one to learn?

The answer: it depends.

First, you need to know your goals. Both short and long-term.

Next, define what are your anti-goals. This seems counter-intuitive but the purpose is to set boundaries.


List down the top programming languages of your choice. As of 2018, the popular languages are Python, Java, Javascript, and Ruby.

Narrow your list.

Decide which fits your goal and try it for a few weeks.

If you like it, proceed. If not go to the next until you find the one language you like.

Of course there will be situations that your choices are limited because of constraints.

For example, at an organization you are working for. They already have a set of languages being used so it makes sense to pick from it and learn that.

But if the choice is up to you. Choose a programming language that you will enjoy and have a future with. It is an investment after all.

If you’re still confused on what programming language to learn, my advice is to learn python. Python is easy to learn the basics of programming and is a general-purpose language. It also has good documentation, books, and tutorials to get you started.

After trying python out you can move on to the language you want.

Personally, I had training in Java but did not use it. I am learning Python now but plan to move on to Javascript and Ruby because I want to focus on web technologies.

If you are an experienced programmer, go with what suits your goals and anti-goals.

Hope this helps.

Special thanks to Carlos Peña and Zak Elep for the inputs.

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