Needs advice
on
Python
JavaScript
and
Java

I am new to programming and am a university student. While Computer Science is not my area of study, I am majoring in a subject that branches off computer science and health informatics, which deals with databases. I am currently in a programming fundamentals course at my university. My instructor mentioned that he develops in Java, but I have heard many good things about Python and JavaScript before taking his course; while we are only doing the fundamentals, I believe he is teaching us some in Java.

Since I am new to this, I'm not sure what I like more. I have also been self-teaching before this course but have not gotten deep into a particular language's fundamentals. I want to decide on a language and stick to it before I move to a new one after the first language is learned, but it is difficult deciding which language to start with. I want to develop medical software and medical mobile apps.

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16 upvotes·94K views
Replies (10)
Associate Software Engineer at Intech Process Automation·
Recommends
Python
Java

Since you're already taking a CS course which involves Java, I would recommend you to keep learning it. Java's statically typed & OO nature forces you to learn a lot of important yet common programming fundamentles. C++, C# and Java type languages also force you write code more carefully (you have to think about the data types on your own and even allocate/de-allocate memories [C++ pointers]). That's why colleges prefer it as go to language for teaching CS concepts.

On the other hand, JS, Python and other such languages are dynamic in nature and hence, easy to learn. But you can't learn certain concepts (polymorphism, abstract classes, diamond problem etc) using these languages. So it makes sense to stick with Java in your case.

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4 upvotes·67.6K views
Recommends
Java

There's a reason many universities start with Java- it has strict rules and lays out code in a straightforward (if excessively-boiler-plate-heavy) way. For a beginner, Java is an excellent way to learn the fundamentals of programming before taking off the training wheels and continuing in more flexible, less-syntactically-rigorous direction like Python or JavaScript.

Sticking to a language before moving on is a common goal. However, in reality you are going to transition as you find languages that better suit you or your organization's requirements. Start with Java, not because it is optimal for your end goals, but because it will teach you what you like and dislike about programming and because your instructor is more familiar with it. That will give you a valuable perspective and allow you to make a more informed decision later.

There are many ways to solve problems in different languages, but the "best" language pragmatically is the one that you feel most comfortable using. In that respect, programming is like woodworking- you want to let the tool do the work. If there is another language that is "better" objectively but more difficult or confusing to you, you will counteract the anticipated benefits by having to struggle to write code.

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19 upvotes·94K views
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Taimoor Mirza

Associate Software Engineer at Intech Process Automation