No matter the area, everyone must start from somewhere. In Apprenticeship Patterns, the author addresses this concern for learning to program in his patten “Your First Language.” Your first language will determine your career direction, and it is essential to make sure your initial language aligns with your desired career path. For instance, an individual who aspires to be a Game developer should learn C++, whereas someone interested in data science should learn python as their first language. For someone who wants to be a software developer, their first language is flexible and can solve as many problems as possible that their work demands. The author also suggests that tests should be used frequently while learning your first language to check your understanding of the language over time.
Doing this would be challenging at first but prove to be beneficial in the long-term because of how necessary testing is in the software world. I have created software in the past while completely excluding testing from the project, and I did this from lack of knowledge of how to test and not understanding the importance of testing long-term. If I had known this pattern earlier, I would have incorporated testing into my process of learning my first language.
I slightly disagree with the pattern’s suggestion that you choose your first language based on whether you have someone in your network who can act as a teacher to guide you with learning that language. I think it would be beneficial in some situations, but if someone cannot network with a person who knows about the language they want to learn, I do not think this should be a limiting factor. There are many online resources and forms that can act as learning opportunities that can stand in place of a single person who can act as a teacher or a guide.