Learning a new programming language, if you already know how to program in a comprehensive language like C, C++, Java etc, is not difficult. That’s because the concepts and principles of pretty much all languages are the same, they are used to instruct the computer to do meaningful things to the programmer. Computer (programming) languages are pretty much like human languages but they are a little bit more explicit. In order for the computer to do something, you should instruct them in detailed instructions. Before trying to lean a new programming language you should consider the 3 following things:
1) Is the language you are going to learn interpreted or compiled? Interpreted languages execute code by first reading one instruction, compiling it and then executing it. On the other side, compiled languages first compile the whole source code into binary code that is readable by the processor and then execute it step by step. Most of the programming languages fall into the compiled category. Knowing whether the language you are going to learn is complied or interpreted will have an impact on the development process.
2) The context the language is used in. There are programming languages for any kind of work. If you are going to program things related to statistics then you are most likely going to use R, if you are going to program for Windows then the most popular language is C#, for networking the language of choice would be C or Java. You should know in advance what you will use the language for. I have seen many students trying to just learn a new language without knowing what the language is used for.
3) The IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for the language. The times when you sat and opened the notepad to program are gone. There much more powerful environments to program than just notepad. I think the IDE has a great impact on the final product you are going to produce. Good IDEs provide color-coding, automatic filling and much much more controls. You should consult professional developers about a great IDE.
The last thing I would want you to know about is that programming is a lucrative job. It takes a lot of effort, experience, and time to become an experienced and professional developer. Some people say that you should have been exposed to programming since you were a “baby” but this is not true. Take the time to learn and practise, practise, practise.
by Robert Malan