Learn to code. It’s the advice of career experts everywhere, from high school guidance counselors to mid-career job coaches. But with literally hundreds of languages to choose from, you might find yourself a bit lost as to which language to focus on first — especially if the goal isn’t to become a computer programmer, but rather to boost your career in your current (non-programming) field.
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Recently, WhoIsHostingThis.com compiled an infographic evaluating 10 of the most popular programming languages, and explaining what each is used for, and by whom, and how much money expert users can expect to command in cities with the highest demand for the skill.
So how do you decide which one to pick? It depends on what you want to do. As the infographic points out, Python is probably the easiest, and Java is the most likely to be valuable in 10 years. If you want to build web pages, you might want to try HTML or CSS, but if you want to build Android apps, Java or C++ might be the way to go. (Apple enthusiast? To build iPhone apps, you’ll need to learn Objective-C.)
But even the “safest” choices, in terms of occupational outlook, aren’t necessarily easy ones. Take Java, for example:
“The flip-side to Java is that for all of its portability and applicability, it can be quite difficult to grasp, and quite difficult to program effectively and efficiently,” writes Alan Henry at Lifehacker. “Java isn’t a perfect programming language though — many schools and classes start with C or C++ because Java gets a lot of its syntax from those earlier languages.”
Henry notes, however, that Java forces students to learn to think like a programmer, and really understand how computers process information.
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