The Programming Language Doesn’t Matter

I wrote this post a little over two years ago in 2012. It’s still relevant today. If you’re interested in learning to code, don’t get caught up choosing which programming language to learn. It doesn’t matter.

You just need to focus on learning what programming is all about.

Some updates to this:

  • There have now been over 75 billion iOS apps downloaded. That’s an industry that didn’t exist in 2007.
  • Objective C is no longer the language to learn if you want to make iOS apps. It’s Swift. I guess my prediction was right. Things change.

Here’s the post. Let me know what you think:

In High School, when people asked me what sort of work I wanted to do when I grew up, I always replied, “I don’t know. It hasn’t been invented yet.”

I was still in High School only four and a half years ago, and it’s incredible to think how much has been invented since then. You may remember something called the iPhone being released in 2007 and the App Store in 2008.

Now, only 4 years later, iOS developer is one of the most needed jobs in the country. There have now been over 30 billion iOS apps downloaded. Think about that. The idea of an iPhone app didn’t even exist in 2007.

Just think about what jobs will exist in four years that we couldn’t have imagined now.

Technologies change incredibly fast. There was nobody telling me to learn Objective C while I was in High School, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Objective C is no longer needed in four more years.

This is why CodeHS doesn’t focus on the specifics of a programming language. The syntax is not what’s important. What’s important is learning how to think like a programmer.

We happen to use JavaScript, and we have written our own libraries that help make it easier to make awesome graphics, animations, and games. This makes it really fun for students, so they’ll want to learn more.

If you understand the fundamental concepts, have the ability to write high quality code, and want to learn more, you’ll be equipped to learn C+++ or OrangeMochaFrappucinoScript or whatever new language is popular in four years.

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