The beginning of any activity on the one hand fills us with enthusiasm, on the other it presents so many ways that we do not know where we shall first begin.
Try to answer these questions to understand which programming language might be best for you and what you could achieve.
Do you want to create a website?
No doubt the evolution of the internet and the huge demand for Web Masters has prompted so many newcomers to answer yes to this question. Compared to any program, the website has the peculiarity of being able to be easily accessible by everyone and the sharing of its results always inspires much interest in the developers.
If you have chosen this road then you have two possibilities:
Do you want to use a CMS ready-made?
In recent years, the CMS — Content Management Systems — have had a significant evolution and improvement. If you have to create a blog like mine, download and install WordPress on your server. You can lead with that to iron out the details according to your style. WordPress also supports Woocommerce, an excellent plugin for those who want to install an e-commerce.
WordPress works with PHP as a server-side language and MariaDB as a database. MariaDB is an evolution of MySQL and, apart from problems of incompatibility between some versions, has the same commands. A good knowledge of both these languages will help you to enter the logic of WordPress, following the official guide. Of course, you can just install plugins from the Control Panel, but the time will come when you want to make a change that requires your input via FTP or phpMyAdmin, the visual interface with the database.
Do you want to create a website from scratch?
Well, it takes some work here. There are several components that come into relation with each other and since you definitely don’t want to do and unpack the job a hundred times, I’m writing an article just about that.
In any case, whether you want to use WordPress, whether you want to write your own site, you need to know how HTML — Hypertext Markup Language — is used to typesetting graphics. It’s kind of like InDesign in web application.
Do you want to write computer software?
Download, install and run. If this is your wish, I suggest you start with Java. It has the merit of working on all operating systems, having good documentation and being simple, like most of the object languages.
Even if the software you write will be running on a client, you can always use Sockets to connect to a server to do some operations such as upgrades.
Do you want to work on data?
It’s a very interesting area to which not everyone thinks at the beginning of their career as a programmer. You can start from Excel which through its functions and Visual Basic offers many tools for organizing and manipulating data.
One step beyond is Access or MySQL with relational databases. With these tools you will be able to cross data in multiple tables according to your needs.
Last but not least, Big Data. Starting here is impossible, but after you have ventured into the background you may want to think big because surely the future is here. Apache provides Hadoop, an infrastructure that provides remote storage tools such as HDFS and tools that allow you to model data to fit the pre-established or machine learning schemes such as MapReduce.
Want to create a video game?
A video game is not a common program and, given the multiplicity of elements to put together and the peculiarities of the individual platforms where the game goes running, you’ll need a specific program like Game Maker. There are many other programs that carry out a similar task and with different levels of professionalism and cost.
Want to create an app?
There are web-apps that work on all devices because they have an HTML engine and they reason the way embedded websites do. There are many online vendors like Miapp which offer ready-to-get platforms that just need to be configured.
The best way, even though a slower way, is to study both programming languages of the two main giants of the mobile, namely SWIFT and Java and thanks to Xcode and Android Studio which are the two programs made available by Apple and Google enter the world of Apps Store.