• Tim Buchalka

Is It Better To Learn a Programming Language Before a Technology or Framework?

When you’re wanting to learn a new technology like Android app development or iOS development, is it better to learn both the technology and the programming language that you need to program in at the same time or should you become an expert first in the programming language? Let’s talk more about that today.


In general, you’ll find that a lot of courses are actually trying to teach both. What they try and do is they’ll teach the relevant framework, the relevant technology, Android app development, IOS development, Spring development, whatever it is, and they’ll bundle a portion of the course. It’s sort of a bit like a crash course in that programming language. So in Java, Swift or whatever underlying language.


So, keep in mind. that if you are starting out for the first time and you’ve never programmed before, it can often be a good idea to either start with a tutorial and go through and finish that section of the course that’s got the tutorial. If you find that you’re still not really familiar with the concepts and everything’s still a little bit unclear, you might then wanna move over and pick a dedicated programming course in that language before you continue. That’s because it’s really a prerequisite to know programming and know that particular language fairly well if you hope to actually create apps in that relevant platform. I’m saying apps because I use the example of Android and IOS, but of course, this applies to any technology that you’re looking to get into.


Another example would be Unity. If you’re looking to get into that to create games, C# is the programming language that most people use these days so it’s a good idea to learn that. So, to give you a quick example, my second course on Udemy was Android app development. What I decided to do was bundle. I think off memory, it was something about seven hours of Java tutorial, which the idea of that was just to teach the absolute basics of Java, so that someone who was learning it for the first time had enough knowledge and so that the app development part of the course made sense.


Now, there wasn’t enough time in that course to do justice to the Java programming language. And actually, based on student feedback, I created a masterclass, which has now ballooned into a 77 hour dedicated course on Java. But the thing was that I still recommended for students to go through the tutorial section first, do that seven hours and after that, if they still felt they could use some more training, to then decide to transition over and find a dedicated course on that programming language, Java in this case.


So that’s what I would generally. What I advise you to do is to start with a course because a lot of courses these days you’ll find in these technologies and these frameworks, will give you a bit of an overview. They’ll actually sort of bundle that section of training, as I mentioned for the programming language. Go through that training first and see how you feel after it. Make a decision then whether you wanna learn more about the programming language, before you move on. Also, realize that it’s a decision you can make in the future and you don’t need to make that now.


You might decide to do that tutorial and then do more of the course. You might get half way through the course and get a bit stuck. That time, you can go back then and consider investing in another course, perhaps a dedicated course on that programming language. But the other quick thing I wanna point out here is that it can be a bit of a got-you, because if the person teaching the course doesn’t know the programming language really well, and that can actually be the case, in more times than you probably can imagine. Probably more times than I care to admit that I’ve said this in the past.


Be careful that you’re not learning bad practices from that particular course, because often, you’ll find that the technology is the main part of the course and the programming tutorial is just added on. It’s almost something they think they need to have and they haven’t put necessarily the dedicated care and training into that. So make sure that the skills of the instructor, you know, you research that to make sure they are actually qualified to teach you that programming language and they’ve got the skills to be able to pull that off. Because you wanna learn programming, you wanna learn programming the right way.


Alright, so I’ll end the discussion here, but basically, keep that in mind. Start out and you can consider using the tutorials that are built into the course, but then consider whether you need a dedicated programming course, or to go through that course, in that given programming language in the future. I hope that helped. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

© 2019 Tim Buchalka