Whenever I am asked what advice I would give my younger self, I say: learn to code.
We are surrounded by tech. Someone had to program each and every component of that app, that device, that phone, that website. Coding means opportunity.
If you’re thinking of making a shift in your career or considering the option of working from home or even traveling in a van around the country – coding makes this possible. Whether you want to start developing apps for the Google Play Store or start web-based coding, there are a few core high-level languages you should be familiar with before you start.
Not to be confused with Java, JS is mainly used to make webpages interactive. As a browser only high-level language, it is designed specifically as an object-oriented programming scripting language. Because JS is open source anyone can learn it. Apart from being used to design webpages, it is now also used widely in game development and mobile applications. Stack OverFlow called it the most popular coding language, playing a key role in front-end development and increasingly important to back-end development.
Growing at a rate in the past several years, this high-level programming language is found mainly in web applications, desktop apps, network servers, AI and machine learning. If you’re looking to advance your career, Python is the third-most sought after by employers. Much of its growth and popularity has been fueled by its use in data science, and in 2018 it became the leader use of Python across all industries.
If you’re looking to move into cybersecurity or ethical hacking, on the other hand, Python is a very useful tool for security professionals as it’s easy to learn and lets you create functional programs without much coding. It will give you a deeper understanding of how computer systems work, how to model problems, design an algorithm to solve problems and implement solutions using Python.
Java is the most popular programming language, and it was originally created in 1991 by Canadian computer scientist James Gosling. It’s also the most sought after by employers, with over 66,000 job postings looking for Java programmers in 2019. Java is an absolute must for those working in software development or looking to become software engineers.
One of Java’s biggest strengths is that it’s designed to be platform-independent. Unlike many other programming languages, including C and C++, Java is considered more dynamic, as it’s designed to adapt to an evolving environment. Java code is also compiled into platform-independent byte code, distributed on the web and interpreted by the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). This means that once Java code is compiled it can run on any platform, be it PC, Mac or any other architecture, without having to be recompiled. This is why the saying write once, run everywhere has become very popular in the Java community.
Chat with people in the industry, reach out on developers on social media, make connections on LinkedIn and attend your local programmer Meetup. Chat about your ability and what you would like to achieve and fellow coders will help set you on your way!