Does my first language really matter?

Hi, my name is Garrick. I am 17 and a junior in High School. For the past few months I have been interested in learning how to program, but have not been able to find the time. Now that summer is coming up, I am really wanting to get started.

I have spent more time reading than actually doing, and I have heard from several different sources your first language affects how you learn other new languages, and the way you view programming in general. I have read you should not learn Java as a first language.

So my question is, does this really matter? I am planning on making a career of programming if things go well and learning many langauges, so I figured it would be important to make sure I get started on the right foot so to speak. If this does matter, what is a language you would recommend?


  • Not sure I was specific enough, I am not sure what type of programmer I want to be at this point. So I guess I'm looking for one general enough to be applicable in many different areas
  • Who says you shouldn't learn Java?! On the contrary, I would strongly recommend Java or C# as first language. Simply because these two languages have sane, structured syntax. They are both by far the best languages for object-orientation, which is the completely dominant way to write programs nowadays.

    Another alternative is Object Pascal / Delphi. Pascal has always been known as the "student language". But it is also a dying language.

    C is ok for beginners. It has a rather complicated, messy syntax and there are plenty of pitfalls, but on a hobbyist level it is rather straight-forward language.

    C++ is like C, only much more complex. Like C, it has a messy syntax. It has object orientation support, but it isn't pretty. C++ is likely the most complex programming language of them all. I would suggest picking it as the second language to learn.

    Stay far, far away from Visual Basic. It was written by lunatics, to be used by idiots. I have programmed plenty in VB5/VB6/VB.NET/VBA so I know what I'm talking about. The language stinks.
  • I read this off a programming introduction site. I have no idea how accurate it is. But I should search for C#?

    ""I used to recommend Java as a good language to learn early, but this critique has changed my mind (search for
  • [color=Blue]I recommend to begin with C. Good C programmer writes non-messy code. However, there aren't that many really good C coders now. That's why all C code considered messy.[/color]
  • How is UNIX as a first language?
  • ah my bad i thought it was the language for linux based operating systems
  • you can start with Python. Great language for a beginner with easy to read syntax. Forget about C/C++/Java/C#.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!