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Set Sails To … This General Direction!

by Bennett Dungan

Every aspiring developer has experienced this conundrum before:

“I sure do want to learn code! Hmm I wonder what language I should learn? My coworker said I should learn PHP, another friend told me just go straight Javasctipt, I think someone else mentioned emerald…or was it ruby? Oh and my great grandpa still swears by CBOL. I’ll just learn them all!”

Then there’s the suffocating realization about 6 Codecademy lessons later that its not going to be as easy as you initially thought. Unless your goal was to log ‘Hello World’.

I’ve gone through this gambit more times than I’d like to admit. Its only a recent phenomena that I’ve actually stuck with coding consistently but there was a lot realizations I had to come to grips with before I got to this point. I’m still kind of stuck in this loop because I initially started out 1 year ago dead set on JavaScript but recently found that PHP is actually going to be the language I personally have the best chance at landing a dev role with (this is purely circumstantial in my case).

While there are definitely some nerds destined to be strict C++ programmers from the day they were weened off their mother’s teet, most of us have to go through the hellish paradox of choice when it comes to languages. As with all the advice you hear, just pick one and stick with it. A lot of the principles of one language are universal to all languages. I’m still trying to imprint that advice in my own head as I’ve flip-flopped between 6 or so languages but its just now sinking in.

Another fear of committing to a language is, “What if this language is outdated by the time I learn it? Will I be able to apply it a year or two from now?”.Do me a favor, go on and just type in ‘FORTRAN’ and look at the results. I rest my case.

Moral of the story is, don’t sweat it. Whatever you choose you will be just fine in the end. Its your persistence and perseverance that matters most so work on those two qualities and you’re set.