John Mann

John Mann

Learning a new programming language

I'm often asked about learning a new language. I have coded in Ada, C++, C#, Java, Python, JavaScript, and a few others. Some I learned in school, some on my own, and some on the job. Here is what I have learned.

The fastest way to learn a language is to start programming a project. As you start the project, you will Google techniques, syntax, and stuff you need to do. The other thing I do when I'm learning is create a project that has simple methods that use every method in the language. Yes, every. I go alphabetically and learn every method that is available in the language. I may not ever use some of them again but I generally know that they exist which helps me when I'm solving a problem.

Generally you will need a project that has some basics.

  • A login
  • A user profile page
  • A list of some sort
  • A logout page
  • The list should be some kind of CRUD on a database

What does that sound like? A typical to-do list project. Do that. Create the typical to-do list application.

You will learn how to connect to a database, user management, and of course debugging.

There is no magic, it takes practice. And do it frequently.

I hope this helps get you started on your next language, or your first.