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Programming with Shahan
Programming with Shahan

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Which programming language should you learn first?

So, you've decided to begin the epic journey of programming.

Congratulations! It's like choosing your Hogwarts house, but with more caffeine and fewer wizard robes.

Now, the real question is: which programming language should you cozy up to first in this vast digital wilderness?

Image of wizard robes by shahan

You could take the conventional route and Google “Learn _____.”

Fill in the blank with your favorite tech buzzword, like “Blockchain” or “Neural Networks,” and let the cyber-adventure begin! But wait, let's not be hasty.

Before you dive into the abyss of code, let me guide you through the hilariously treacherous path of choosing your inaugural programming language. After all, this decision is more crucial than deciding whether pineapple belongs on pizza. Spoiler alert: it doesn't.

Which programming language should I learn first?

Firstly, let's address the elephant in the server room – the job market.

Imagine a programming language as a contestant on a dating show, vying for your attention. Java walks in with confidence, but JavaScript has that quirky charm that makes you want to swipe right. The market is buzzing about both, but JavaScript is like the cool kid who only recently emerged from its nerdy cocoon. It’s now the go-to language for Netflix, Walmart, and PayPal. The gopher from Go might be cute, but JavaScript is the real MVP, evolving from a front-end darling to a back-end powerhouse.

Image of giant javascript

Now, let's talk long-term prospects. Picture your programming language as a pet rock. Python, Ruby, and Java are there, sitting pretty, but JavaScript is the rock that gets twice as many pull requests. It’s the cool kid at the party, growing faster than a rumor in high school. With tech giants like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Netflix pouring love (and money) into their ecosystems, JavaScript is the rockstar you want on your team.

Image of javascript performing as best

But how easy is it to tame this coding beast? It's like choosing between learning to ride a bike with training wheels or attempting a unicycle.

JavaScript, Python, and Ruby are your training wheels – user-friendly, forgiving, and less likely to result in scraped knees. Meanwhile, languages like Java and C++ are the unicycles of the programming world.

Sure, mastering them makes you look cool, but the learning curve is steeper than Mount Everest on roller skates.


Now, let's dive into the projects you can build. Picture yourself as a digital Picasso, creating masterpieces with your chosen language. Java and C++ may have their niche, but JavaScript is the versatile paintbrush that works on any canvas with a browser. It's the Leonardo da Vinci of the coding world, and with tools like Angular Cordova and React Native, you can even turn your digital art into a mobile app masterpiece.

The possibilities are endless – from recreating Star Wars-themed Wikipedia searches to building a rogue-like dungeon crawler game. JavaScript lets you unleash your inner coding maestro.

Why JavaScript?

"But why JavaScript?" you ask. Well, dear reader, because it's the gateway drug to programming success. It's the first love that makes the second, third, and fourth languages easier to embrace. Think of it like dating.

You don’t marry the first person you meet, but the experience teaches you what you want in a partner. Likewise, JavaScript is the language that teaches you the fundamentals and makes the more complex languages feel like a cozy sweater on a winter day.

Some objections

Anticipating objections? Of course, the comments section is always buzzing with dissenting voices.

Objection #1: "JavaScript is slow!" False. It's as fast as high-performance languages. Check the JavaScript (Node.js) benchmarks online; it's like the Usain Bolt of the programming world.

Image of usain bolt running towards growth chart

Objection #2: "JavaScript isn’t statically typed!" True, but fear not. Learn JavaScript first, then dance with TypeScript. It's like upgrading from a bicycle to a motorcycle – a smooth transition with a touch of adrenaline.

Objection #3: "I want to make a mobile app!" No worries! JavaScript has tools like Angular Cordova and React Native. Accept the versatility, and who knows, maybe your app will be the next big thing since sliced bread.

Objection #4: "JavaScript was written in 10 days. Isn't it a toy language?" Well, so was C++. Remember the wise words of Bjarne Stroustrup – every language has its critics, but successful languages are the ones everyone complains about while secretly using.

Image of turtle using javascript power by shahan

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In conclusion, the programming language you choose is like your digital spirit animal. Let JavaScript be your playful first companion, guiding you through the enchanted forest of code. And remember, in the grand tapestry of programming languages, there are only two kinds: those people always complain about and those nobody uses. Choose wisely.

Comment below if you have any suggestions regarding this article. It might help others think from a different perspective.

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Top comments (8)

devshreeom profile image
OM JADHAV • Edited

Nice article, keep going 😄

codewithshahan profile image
Programming with Shahan

Thank you.

zt4ff_1 profile image

An interesting read. The pictures look nice too. ❤️
It seems this article assumes the reader is aiming to go into or start with web development.

codewithshahan profile image
Programming with Shahan

Thanks for your feedback. I found that JavaScript is the most popular language to learn first in 2024. JavaScript can be used in different areas (e.g., web, mobile, desktop, and AI).

But I would not suggest someone who wants to go into game development. But starting out with a cross-platform language like JavaScript would be a great choice to find out which platform works best for you and what excites you most.

wraith profile image
Jake Lundberg • Edited

Came to say this!

The first thing we should always answer with when someone asks the "What programming language should I use|learn" question is "What is it you want to do?"

Triple A game developers aren't (usually) using Javascript. Neither are OS devs, major banking mainframe maintainers, or the majority of AI peeps. Javascript is absolutely a popular choice that shouldn't be ignored. But telling someone who wants to make the next Call of Duty to learn Javascript first would be a massive disservice to them, and would not set them up for success.

As with all things, we must first understand, then provide information.

codewithshahan profile image
Programming with Shahan

Yeah.. I would not suggest someone who wants to choose game development. But starting out with a cross-platform language like JavaScript would be a great choice to find out which platform works best for you and what excites you most. Hope this helps.

valeriahhdez profile image
Valeria writes docs

Nice article. Can you think of possible scenarios where starting with JS wouldn't be recommended?

codewithshahan profile image
Programming with Shahan

Thanks. JavaScript is not for Game Development. Other than this, its fine.