How To Choose A Programming Language

Craig Chamberlin discusses How To Choose A Programming Language

How To Choose A Programming Language

Question:

I’m an engineering student in IT. I have a basic idea of C and C++ but when looking for internships I found that most to the internships available on certain sites are related to Java and also have a long list of skill set requirements. Should I apply if I do not have knowledge in all of those areas?

Answer:

You’re on the same boat I was when I went to college learning how to choose a programming language. I went to college and I was a little frustrated because they did a really bad job keeping up with the times. The fact is C and C++ are procedural languages and they’re very good at what they do. The problem with C and C++ is that even though they are procedural languages and they’re very good at what they do, they require large amounts of overhead to get them to do anything.

This means that with C and C++ you’re really narrowing your market for job opportunities significantly by going into them. In other words you’re going to have to be a nitty gritty deep down in it programmer. As a result, you’ll need to work for a company whose very interested in program security, stability and efficiency… which is becoming less and less common. More and more companies are learning towards leaner and more more flexible turnaround and adaptive programming languages such as Java. This is why you’re seeing all the jobs pop up everywhere.

Remember Java is not operating system specific and right now developers are very nervous about writing software for C++ realizing they may not want too spend all the time and money writing the software if it’s only going to work for a couple operating systems that support that kind of language. Unless of course they came up with the way to virtualize C and C++.

So the best advice I can give you when learning how to choose a programming language is to consider taking the fundamental knowledge you have from C and C++. It was not a waste. Thake those fundamentals and start looking into languages such as Java and Ruby, which is becoming popular. I wouldn’t say it’s mainstream for web development. Look for something very specific to your niche. What do you want to do? Do you want to program apps for phones? Do you want to program software for Windows? Do you want your programs to work on any operating system? Now is a good time consider what you want to do to actually jump in head first to a community that’s doing exactly what you want to do.

I know you want internships. I understand the need for internships but you need to discover exactly where you want to be. It may take some time and some experience and some playing around for you know. But most of the internships, should you apply? If they want a specific set of skills that you have no experience in… Probably don’t apply. If you think that you are capable of proving to them that you have enough fundamental knowledge to learn a new language then I’d say apply.

It depends on the nature of the job because more companies are interested in somebody who will learn than somebody who already knows. It just depends on the company, especially in internship positions. If you can prove to them that you are dedicated and committed to the company and what they do, and if they give somebody to you teach you how to do it, your gonna learn it in. In many cases that’s enough to land the internship for the job… but you have to convince them of that.

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  1. […] of people running toward web development. That’s why when people are asking “Hey Craig what programming language should I learn?” I recommend getting into web development. That’s where everything’s going to be. […]

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