Is Java a Good language to start learning Programming?

I often receive questions like what is a good programming language to learn first, Is Java a good programming language to start with,  how good is Java as a first programming language or shall I start with Java or Python. Well, the answer to all these questions is, Java is one of the most popular programming languages and there are the lot of reasons to learn Java, starting from Job opportunity to leverage community support. In the context of starting programming or choosing Java as the first language, my biggest reason is that it's simpler to learn. The last generation of programmers grew up learning C and C++ with Java as their second or third programming language. One reason of  this could be that C and C++ were more popular in those days than Java, other was most curriculum was designed to teach C and C++. This is true, often we don't make the choice and we learn as part of our programming curriculum at school and colleges.

In my time, C was the first language to start with, and then I learned C++, VB, VC++ and finally Java. Now I am saying Java simpler, but I still remember saying it was more complex than C++ because I had to type System.out.println() instead of simpler cout to print something on screen. 

By the way, I learn professional programming or you say real coding only on my first job, and that was when I seriously started learning Java.




Why Java is Good First language to start Programming

Here are my couple of reasons on Why Java is a good language to start learning programming?

1) Java is Simpler, syntax are much more readable than C, C++ or any other language.

2) Java is good to learn Object Oriented programming, but not so good for procedural one, prefer C there.

3) Java has rich API and you can do lot more with Java including graphics, sound and most likely writing small games like Tic Tac Toe, Tetris etc. Not that you cannot do that with other language, you often need to download and install different modules and library, which is tough job for a starter. When you install Java, most of these feature comes as part of installation only.

4) Java has strong community support, not matter what kind of questions, doubt or issue you have, Google can find answers for you. If not Google, than stackoverflow, Java forums and lot of other communities are there to help you out. This is really big reason when you are starting to learn programming with Java, where you will face many different kind of issue to understand fundamentals.

5) Java is a strong typed language, which catches many newbie mistakes. Also true, to a lesser extent, for static typing.

6) Java comes with inbuilt Garbage collection, which is a big plus for a complete beginner. Dealing with memory management is a big thing at start of learning programming.

If you still can't make your mind then you may like to see my post 10 reasons to learn Java programming for some more reasons to choose Java over other programming language.


Is Java Sufficient for a successful Programming Career

Now the question is difference, It's not. As a programmer, you must know lot of things e.g. data structures, algorithms, memory management, object oriented programming, scripting etc. and different language teaches you different thing. Once you comfortable with Java, you can move to more lower and harder languages like C, C++ or also go towards scripting langue’s e.g. Python, Perl etch, which doesn't needs to be compiled. In order to be successful in programming career, you need to keep learning and evolving, that's the biggest challenge of this field. If you happen to love programming and learn new technologies and languages then this is the right field for you. Another important think for a successful programmer is to develop debugging skill, which is a reasoning based skill. If you are good with reasoning and can make conclusion based upon limited available information, then it will be easy for you to troubleshoot issues and find problems. Having good knowledge of IDE like Eclipse, Netbeans or IntelliJ Idea will also help you on your coding and debugging journey, Java is blessed with really wonderful tool.


That's all on this folks. In my opinion, Java is definitely a good language to start programming with, because it's simpler than many others and focuses truly on programming rather than managing systems e.g. memory management. You can definitely choose Java as your first programming language and once you are comfortable, try to learn couple of more e.g. C or Python. If you are convinced than pick up a copy of Head First Java and start your journey of programming with one of the best programming language, Java.


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