Which programming languages should you learn?
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Published on January 30, 2014
If you want to become a Web developer, you'll need a strong command of both HTML and CSS, the two fundamental languages of the Web. Taking HTML classes at the American Graphics Institute is an excellent way to master the basics of HTML, and will enable you to write your own webpages for personal or corporate projects. However, even a solid grasp on HTML and CSS will only get you so far, particularly if you want to code Web and mobile apps and other data-driven software. Choosing a complementary programming language can be daunting, as there are dozens of them out there, so how should you choose which language to tackle when you finish your HTML classes?
Many sites and apps utilize code written in object-oriented programming languages, often abbreviated to OOP. There are many powerful OOP languages in use today, but beginners may want to get their hands dirty with Python before tackling other, more complex, languages. Python is a beautifully simple language, as it uses a syntax - the grammar of a programming language - that is relatively straightforward. As such, Python is ideally suited to programming beginners, and is used by many top science and technology organizations including Google and NASA, to name just two.
One of the main benefits of learning Python first is that you do not need a compiler to run your code. A compiler is an intermediary program that interprets the code you write and converts it into a language that your computer can understand, known as a machine language. You can simply open the Python integrated development environment, or IDE, and start writing and running your own programs. Python is completely open source, meaning that no one organization owns the rights to the code, and the developer community is very active and welcoming to newcomers.
About the author
Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the creator and editor of the Digital Classroom book series. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, and Microsoft. He delivers workshops relating to digital marketing, web analytics, SEO, and SEM. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.