Even after 25 years, Java is still the best programming language to start coding
I often receive questions like which is a first programming language to learn?, Is Java a good programming language to start with?, how good Java is as a first programming language, which is the best programming language for beginners, 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 a lot of reasons to learn Java, starting with Job opportunities to leveraging community support.
But, in the context of beginning programming or choosing Java as the first language, my most significant reason is that it’s simpler to learn.
People may argue that Python is even simpler and doesn’t even require to compile but I personally found Java much easier to read and understand.
The last generation of programmers started learning to program using languages like BASIC and then grew up learning C and C++ with Java as their second or third programming language.
One reason for this could be that C and C++ were more prevalent in those days than Java, the other most curriculum was designed to teach C and C++, and there was no Python those days, at least not in our college.
Java is simpler, the syntax is much more readable than C, C++ or any other language.
2. Object-Oriented Programming
Java is good to learn Object-Oriented programming, but not so good for procedural one, prefer C there. The OOP or Object Oriented programming is a useful skill because it handles the complexity of a real-world application quite well. It’s easier to think in terms of class and objects.
3. Rich API and third-party libraries
Java has a rich API, and you can do a 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 languages, you often need to download and install different modules and library, which is a tough job for a starter. When you install Java, most of these feature comes as part of the installation only.
4. Community Support
Java has strong community support, no matter what kind of questions, doubt, or issue you have, Google can find answers for you. If not Google, then StackOverflow, Java forums, and a lot of other communities are there to help you out.
This is really the single biggest reason I suggest beginners learn to code using Java because when you are starting to learn to program you will face many different kinds of issues to understand for both programming fundamentals and Java.
Because there are millions of Java developers around and a big community is there to support, most likely you will find answers quickly without getting frustrated and disappointed.
5. Strongly typed language
Java is a strongly typed language, which catches many newbie mistakes. Also valid, to a lesser extent, for static typing. This is another reason I suggest beginners learn Java first then Python because Python is a dynamic typing language, you don’t need to define types which make learning confusing a bit.
6. Built-in Garbage Collector
Java comes with an in-built Garbage collection, which is a big plus for a complete beginner. Dealing with memory management is a big thing at the start of learning programming.
These are some of the reasons why I think beginners should learn Java first than any other language. I may be biased because I am a Java programmer, but I also know Python, and I have also done professional programming in C and C++. From that experience, I can say that Java is undoubtedly one of the best programming languages for beginners.