What Programming Language Should You Learn? 

So, where does one start? There are so many programming languages. Which is the best? What programming language should you learn? These are some of the questions people ask the most when it comes to coding. I remember telling my friend to teach me how to code. And he asked me a question along these lines.

Fact is told, there are no best programming languages; at least we don’t look at them that way. Programming languages are tools to enable us to achieve certain objectives. And depending on the task at hand, we’ll pick the tool that we think we are most deft with or that is most efficient for the task at hand. Now that’s the way you should look at coding.

So to answer the question, what tool should you learn first? Well, it all depends on the task that you’ll want to carry out.

Why Do You Want To Learn Coding?

What do you intend to be able to do with your coding skills? Do you fancy being able to hack into NASA’s firewall? (Now this is supposed to be a joke, don’t try it, even if you have the skills, there’ll most likely be hell to pay.) Ok, now, seriously, what do you envisage yourself doing with your coding skills? Do you desire to build websites, or do you want to build games and create mobile apps. Do you desire to work in Crypto or be an AI engineer? Are you interested in building Robots or maybe sending satellites to space? Could it be you are interested in cybersecurity, or you actually want to be a hacker? Not all hackers are bad guys; by the way, there are some who are called ethical hackers. And these guys are actually very, very useful. They ensure web portals and other online stuff are safe. Now, if you don’t know what you’d like to do with your programming knowledge, that’s fine too.

However, knowing what you’d like to do or those things that you’d like to do (who said that it has to be one thing) will make it easier for you to make a decision as to the language to learn or what to specialize in. If you probably had no idea about what you wanted from coding, I have just mentioned a few above, and that can give you an idea of what can be done with coding.

You must also be aware of what you’re ready to commit to learning code. How much time, how much money, and how much energy are you willing to commit to learning code. If you want an intensive class with support, then you’ll have to be willing to pay for it. However, you can also get free classes; there are actually loads of websites and online spaces that offer these. We’ll look at some of them in a subsequent Phase. Next, we’ll be talking about the various categories of things that can be done with coding and the languages you need to learn to do those things.

Web Development

This has got to be the most popular of all the cool stuff code can be made to do. The fact that it is popular doesn’t make it any less important. In fact, did you know that there are over 1.5 billion websites in the world today, this is according to internetlivestats.com. People wrote codes for those sites, and people have to maintain them and upgrade them. In fact, web development is the widest sort after skills for people looking for the service of developers. Website development can be divided into 3; Front-end development, back-end development, and full-stack development.

  1. Front-end Developers: These are those who are involved with coding that part of the websites we can see. So everything you see on a website when you open it, the images, fonts, the layout, everything is done by Front-end developers. The minimum languages need for Front-end development, or web designing is HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. With mastery of these tools, you can build a professional-looking website. Of course, being able to use jQuery, Git, and Github, other libraries and frameworks will be an added advantage for you.

Front-end development also includes UI/UX design, which is a user interface/user experience design. This is like the web page/app layout. What it looks like, the color scheme, font size, and style, how interactive and responsive the website is. In some cases, what the person feels when they get on the site. Front-end development is not just about writing code; a lot of designing also goes into it. Front-end developers would a lot of times have to meet with non-technical persons, and so as to get their ideas and feel about the website they are working on. If you want to learn Front-end development, you also have to build your communication skills, and maybe understand a bit of human psychology. Some of the best UI/UX designers understand or have studied psychology. This will help you read and understand people, or know how people think, which will help you build interfaces and experiences that they’d love. It’s not going to be out of place to learn graphic design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Sketch or other design software.

So if you’re more interested in aesthetics, style, you like colors, and color schemes, interface design, and layout, then this might just be something you might want to try.

  1. Back-end Development: This is like the foundation of a website. That is the behind the scenes structures (such as databases, web servers, and applications) of the web site that makes it work. This kind of development involves the writing of the core website logic. It involves getting the appropriate data from the database, deciding how it is used and displayed to the user, using the Front-end. There are quite a number of languages used for Back-end development. They include PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails, Node.js, and many more. A back-end developer must be able to understand how to extract data from database engines like MySQL, PostgreSQL, and many more. If you are very logical in nature, you like to solve puzzles, you pay attention to detail and are methodological in your approach to doing things, and this might just be a career path for you.
  2. Full-stack Development: Here’s an enviable position and skill too. A full-stack developer basically can do both Front-end and Back-end development. Such fellows are mighty useful in website projects because they can contribute ideas and code all the step of the way. So these fellows know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and also Back-end programming languages.

How Websites Work

We’ve seen the different fields involved in web development; it’s only apt, I think, that you get a rough idea of how a website works. First things first, what is web development. For a developer or someone in tech, this is supposed to be a no brainer. But not all of us work in tech. So in the next few lines, we’ll be exploring this topic, of course, first with some little background.

Just the same way every individual person is unique, but share the basic functions of the human body such as reproductive systems, respiratory systems, this is also a way one can describe websites. Each website could be said to be unique in its own individual way. However, there are basic components every website has. These are:

Client: This is the device in which you are using to access the internet at a particular time. So this could be your desktop, laptop, phone, or tablet.

Server: This is some sort of hard disk, or computer, a remote one though that contains all the files and codes that make a website run.

Database: This is also part of the remote server; it stores dynamic information used or generated on a website. So account information of website users, log in details, and all of that. Here’s a way to explain the working of websites and the internet.

So let’s assume Mike wants to visit Quora.com.

  • Mike types the Quora website into the browser of his phone (the client).
  • His phone generates and sends a request to the remote server.
  • The server acts on the request, takes data from the database, and then sends it back to the server. All these happen at the Back-end.
  • Next, the server uses the data and produces a response with the use of front-end code.
  • Finally, the response is sent to the client (Mike’s phone), where it is then seen as Quora’s home page.