Deciding on which programming languages you need to learn to be a successful web developer can be overwhelming. And while coding bootcamps are an efficient way to gain the programming skills you’ll need to get a job as a developer, different schools have different beliefs on which programming languages represent the best way to build those skills. I wanted to take a moment to share what languages we teach here at Flatiron School, and why they’re important.
There are three main goals for our full-stack Web Developer Program at Flatiron School which have influenced our curriculum and the languages we teach:
- Discover what type of programming you’re most passionate about
- Learn enough so that you can get a job as developer
- Learn how to learn, so that you can progress in your career after your first job
Let’s take a closer look at each.
Discovering what you’re passionate about
We love how excited our students are to learn how to code and our best ones do a ton of research about which languages to learn for getting a job. But the reality is that if you’re new to programming, you probably don’t even know what kind of developer you’re aiming to become or where you excel—and that should start to become more obvious as you dive deeper into programming.
Learning enough to get a job
As you progress through our program, you’ll begin to get a sense of what type of developer you want to become and start to explore your career possibilities. After finishing our program, the best way to learn is to get paid to do so on the job.
Ultimately, our goal is to prepare every student with the skills necessary to start a career as a full stack developer.
Companies can choose to build their back-ends in several different languages and frameworks—Google is built on Python, Airbnb on Ruby, Amazon on Java—so there’s isn’t one all-purpose language that will prepare you for every single back-end job. Starting your coding education by learning multiple languages, like you do at Flatiron School, is the best preparation possible.
Learning how to learn
Without a doubt, you’ll leave Flatiron School with the skills to get a job as a developer. But skills alone aren’t enough to thrive as a developer in the long-term. It’s also crucial that you love learning. We give you the foundation at Flatiron School, but learning to code and evolving as a programmer is a lifelong endeavor. No matter what language you learn first, you will have to learn other languages throughout your career in order to keep pace with changing technology.
We begin our course with Ruby and that’s a deliberate choice. Ruby is a great language for beginners. It’s clean and colloquial, so you can focus on learning how to think rather than getting bogged down in complicated syntax. Ruby also has a very active and welcoming open-source community—so you’ll immediately feel connected to other programmers, which is critical for effective learning.
Then, once you’ve mastered the basic concepts in Ruby, we introduce other languages which further prepare you for a job as a junior developer. We’ve seen many of our grads, who have a solid foundation in a language like Ruby, go on to secure full-stack jobs that require other languages like Python and Objective-C. They’re extremely adaptable.
As an educator, I feel my biggest responsibility is to inspire students to fall in love with code. Loving what you’re doing, being excited by the learning process, is your biggest asset in being prepared for not just your first job, but a lifelong career as a developer.
If you’re interested in learning more about our Web Developer Program, take a look at our syllabus here.
For more information, take a look at a recent online lecture I gave on this subject:
This article originally appeared on Quora.
Co-Founder & Dean, Flatiron School