There's 5 languages that have very high mainstream usage and focus these days. They are Java, C#, PHP, Ruby, and Python. Obviously there are more languages in use, but the five I listed are what you will encounter with highest probability.
I normally recommend Python and Ruby. I favor Python and C# as languages, so I would tell you to use Python. But both Python and Ruby have lowest barriers of entry with, what is, I think the greatest bang for time investment. PHP also has a low barrier of entry, but I dislike the language ecosystem.
It's not enough to have a good language. You must have good frameworks and libraries to make use of. These provide pre built design and code for you to build off of. Well tested, well designed, mature frameworks are important. All the 5 languages I mentioned have mature frameworks you can use. One reason I suggest Ruby and Python is that frameworks for these languages are very easy to get into. Look at Django (Python framework) and Rails (Ruby framework). They are mature, well designed, have good documentation, and have ecosystems that are beginner friendly.
This was a great help. Thank you for taking the time to respond in such depth.
NeoTifa, on 23 October 2010 - 09:53 PM, said:
Your Restrain, on 23 October 2010 - 05:13 PM, said:
go to www.TheNewBoston.com. This guy introduces java and a ton of other programming languages in 90 tutorials in a comedic fashion.
I have no technical background but am very interested in learning web programming. Is java a good language to begin with?
That greatly depends on your knowledge level. If you know absolutely nothing about programming such as data typing, What an Identifier is, etc. Then I would say no.
Java to me is what I call a "C type" language. What I mean by that is that the structure and syntax closely resembles languages such as C, C++, etc. the layman typically finds the implicit nature of these languages difficult to understand and follow. They are great languages, even for a beginer, if you understand some basics.
A book that I liked that we used at the university is called "Programming Logic and Design" by Joyce Farrel. This is a good book to explain programming basic concepts and even algorithms (a way to solve a specific problem).
If you already know these things, then jump right in and start learning java. Otherwise, try something like ASP.NET (sorry, I was going to say VB until you said web development).
Just my .02.
This post has been edited by AlbuquerqueApache: 24 October 2010 - 02:11 PM