How to choose a programming language to learn

If you wish to start learning a programming language then the first question you will ask yourself is – which programming language to learn. There are so many programming languages that it might become difficult for you to choose one programming language that can help you become a good programmer. But before you choose your favorite programming language and start learning it let’s discuss some important points which will help you in making a decision.

Types of programming languages

There are two major categories into which you can divide all modern day programming languages

  1. Procedural languages
    Procedural languages revolve around the concept of “work”. A procedural programming language consists of set of instructions which tell the computer what to do. These instructions are divided into procedures or functions and each function has a specific job to perform. In procedural languages the main focus is on problem solving and not on organization of logic and data. C programming language is the most popular procedural language you will come across.
  2. Object oriented languages
    Object oriented languages revolve around the concept of “objects”. Just like in the real world different objects perform different operations, in object oriented programming logic and data are grouped together to create different objects. Object oriented programming languages are more close to the real world. You can apply the real world concepts while writing object oriented programs. C++, Java, C# are some examples of popular object oriented languages you will come across.

We can define the relation between procedural and object oriented languages using this simple equation

Object oriented languages = Procedural languages + Better organization

All the concepts which you might learn in a procedural language will remain the same when start working with an object oriented language. In addition the object oriented languages will teach you how to better organize the code you write. This will not only help you write larger, more complex programs, it will also help you work in big teams and manage your source code. If you are learning C programming then keep in mind that the same knowledge can be applied to Java and C# also.

Should I start with procedural or object oriented languages

Every computer program has 3 main components

  1. Data
  2. Logic
  3. Organization

When writing a computer program you will have to perform some logical operations on some data. For example you might have to write a computer program to calculate the average marks of all the students in a class and find out who scored the highest in the class. In this program the data will be the marks of all the students and the logic to perform will be calculation of average marks.

Both procedural and object oriented languages teach you how to write computer programs to perform logical operations on data. If you start your programming journey from a procedural language you will be able to learn how to write computer programs and then when you start with an object oriented language you can learn how organize your code better in order to write bigger programs.

So we recommend that you should start your programming journey from a procedural language and then at the second step start with an object oriented language. As a newcomer to programming we recommend that you start with C programming language. One of the advantages of this is that the C programming syntax resembles a lot with C++, Java, C# and PHP. It will become easy for you to learn all modern day object oriented languages easily once you have a good command on C language.

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