The apprenticeship pattern “Your First Language” is a pattern that specifically focuses on people who are just starting out and only have a shallow understanding of one of two programming languages. For people in this situation who don’t feel like they have very in-depth knowledge in any particular language, the solution is simply to pick a language and become fluent in it. However, what language should you choose?
I think that this pattern pretty interesting and still somewhat relevant even to people who are comfortable in a specific language. For me, even though I feel that I’m pretty comfortable with writing in Java, I can say without a doubt that I’m still very inexperienced and will run into problems that I’ve never encountered before. According the the pattern, one of the most fundamental ways of improving your experience with a language is the solve an actual problem with it. Being able to encounter roadblocks naturally and discovering a solution to it is something that you won’t be able to effectively recreate through learning from small, self-contained examples in learning resources.
One thing that stood out to me in this pattern was what was considered the most important factor in choosing your first language. It states that you should choose a language that someone around you is an expert in. By having someone with that expertise within reach, you are able to learn at a much faster rate than if you were trying to learn it by yourself. Preferably, you would be able to work on a project with them using the language regularly, but as long as you can get feedback from them, it will still be immensely helpful. While I think that this should definitely be the major factor in your decision, I’m sure many people may not know an expert of a language that they would feel comfortable enough working with or seeking feedback from. For those people, it’s important to seek out those opportunities and expand your network, but I suppose that’s easier said than done.
Overall, I feel that for those in that situation, this pattern is something that should definitely be followed if you want to learn as quickly and effectively as you can.