June 16, 2024

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How to Choose a ‘Secondary’ Programming Language

How to Choose a ‘Secondary’ Programming Language

Table of Contents:
Option 1: Target on the Most Popular Languages
Option 2: Study a Language with a Unique Emphasis
Option 3: Understand a Secondary Programming Language Thoroughly Distinct from Your Primary Language
Solution 4: Discover Assembly Programming

As a program developer, mastering far more programming languages is 1 way to progress your vocation. The extra languages you know, the much more beautiful you may be to businesses and the better the programming income you can command, typically talking.

But the issue for a lot of programmers is: What is the very best “secondary” language to understand after you’ve mastered a primary language? In other phrases, if you currently excel in one language, which language must you just take up subsequent to enhance your main programming skill established?

You will find no solitary very best respond to to that issue, but there are various approaches you could possibly look at when deciding on a secondary programming language.

Option 1: Target on the Most Common Languages

If you happen to be a coder on the lookout to be equipped to get the job done on as quite a few projects as attainable, it’s very likely that your main language ranks quite shut to the top rated of the listing of most well known programming languages.


To improve your ability to operate with broadly applied languages even a lot more, it can make feeling to go out and find out another major-ranked language as your secondary language.

An apparent case in point would be a programmer who at this time specializes in Python (which is at this time the most preferred language) selecting to study Java (a further extremely common language).

This tactic may not be the most intriguing due to the fact you can be learning what’s preferred, which is not automatically what is most fascinating to you. It also won’t necessarily make you stand out in a particular way, presented that programmers who know best-rated languages are a dime a dozen.

Continue to, the actuality is that there are billions of strains of code written in the most well known languages, and the extra popular languages you know, the greater your potential to work on all that code.

Possibility 2: Understand a Language with a Specific Aim

A different, much more appealing system for picking out a secondary language is to learn a person that caters to a certain type of have to have. This can work effectively if you presently know a well known standard-function language but want to stand out from the group by staying ready to say that you can also cater to certain needs or use conditions utilizing your secondary language.

For instance, if your key language is a leading-rated just one like Python or Java, you might choose to master Rust as a secondary language. Given that Rust is a famously stability-centric language, obtaining Rust chops would permit you to claim a exclusive ability to function on applications with restricted safety requirements although also bringing general-purpose programming techniques to the table.

Choice 3: Learn a Secondary Programming Language Totally Distinctive from Your Main Language

A 3rd strategy is to discover a secondary language that is fully unique from your primary language.

For case in point, you could master COBOL or Fortran — languages that, while they could seem to be obscure and out-of-date, really keep on being in superior demand — to enhance a specialization in far more “mainstream” languages like C, Python, or Java.

The advantage of this strategy is that it allows you to grow to be a specialist in unique domains — and, by extension, to look in particular one of a kind. There may well be somewhat number of initiatives that need know-how of the two COBOL and Java, for case in point, but there are also quite handful of programmers who can manage those kinds of tasks. If you can, you may stand significantly aside from the crowd.

Deciding on a totally distinctive secondary language also assists bolster your believability as a very well-rounded programmer able of mastering multiple programming styles and strategies. It really is not a big leap to go from currently being, say, a Java programmer to a Python and Java programmer, so you would not impress many people by understanding those people two languages. You will impress a lot more folks if you find out, for case in point, Julia along with a more conventional language.

Option 4: Discover Assembly Programming

A remaining route to take into consideration is to understand to method in assembly code on a system of your decision.

Understanding assembly along with a superior-stage language provides you depth that quite a few programmers absence, in the feeling that you can go “down the stack” to do decreased-level coding that many builders are not capable of today. Assembly language also happens to be attaining level of popularity, so studying assembly as a secondary language may well be an in particular valuable alternative suitable now.


Summary: Broadening Your Job with a Secondary Programming Language

There are many ways to go about choosing which secondary programming language to find out after you’ve got mastered a first language. To choose which selection is right for you, contemplate your occupation goals, as nicely as how unique you want to make yourself and how attention-grabbing you want your tasks to be. Chasing the most well-known languages helps make perception beneath some situations, but you might be very likely to land additional interesting types of operate if you pursue a distinctive route.

About the author

Christopher Tozzi headshotChristopher Tozzi is a technology analyst with topic make any difference know-how in cloud computing, software advancement, open up supply computer software, virtualization, containers and more. He also lectures at a key university in the Albany, New York, place. His book, “For Enjoyment and Revenue: A Heritage of the Cost-free and Open Source Software package Revolution,” was released by MIT Push.