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At the Raspberry Pi Foundation, we love Python, but it’s not the only text-based language that you could teach your students.

Once you’ve become confident in a text-based language, you’ll find that learning another one isn’t too difficult. There are challenges with any such change; you might find yourself worrying about the loss of your advanced Python skills, like your students worry about the loss of their Scratch superpowers, but with a little perseverance, you will be OK.

So why would you learn a different language? Well, the answer to that is simply that different languages are better suited to solving different problems. JavaScript is a great language if you want to make interactive websites and web apps. If you want to make iPhone and iPad apps, then you’ll want to be using Swift. If Android is the platform you’re targeting, then Java is the language you are after. If you want to play with operating system code, then you’ll want to look at C, and if you want to create games, then maybe C++ is the way to go.

There are hundreds of programming languages, and each language has its own community that will argue for the language’s superiority. Before diving into the syntax of any specific language, you should always think about what it is you are trying to accomplish, and be sure you’ve chosen the right language for the task.

The important thing to remember is that it’s the way of thinking that’s most important, because this is what will eventually help you succeed as a programmer.

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This article is from the free online course:

Scratch to Python: Moving from Block- to Text-based Programming

Raspberry Pi Foundation

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