Bill Karwin's avatar image.

Author of SQL Antipatterns: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Database Programming

My name is Bill Karwin, 20+ years experience, Software Development

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  • What database programming language do you recommend to a beginner?

    What would you suggest for someone who is not so familiar with DBs yet?

    Bill Karwin's avatar image.

    I would recommend Python. It's easy to learn the basics, and there are lots of free tutorials and videos to help. I've heard good reviews of the free Coursera class "Programming for Everybody" which uses Python.

    But Python is a real programming language, not a toy. As you learn to do more things, Python has the capability to grow with your skill level. You can do anything with Python that you can do with any other programming language.

    Good luck!

    Update: I had another thought that I'd like to share.

    It's good to focus on one language when you're just starting to learn programming, but if you get to the stage of being an employable software developer, one fact of life you'll want to know is that you won't use one language for your whole career. You'll learn new languages every few years because you'll work on new types of projects, and some other language is probably better suited to that project. You might even find yourself using multiple languages on one project.

    I see folks ask which language they should learn. Or they ask whether language X is "better than" language Y. To me, this is a bit like asking whether a guitar is better than a piano. They're different, and one is more suited to a certain style of music, but many musicians learn multiple instruments and they learn more about music in general by learning new instruments. Learning a new instrument even makes them better at playing their first instrument.

    So be open to learning multiple languages as you go through your career. Stay curious.