Apprenticeship Patterns Blog Post #1

Throughout this semester, I will be reviewing several different apprenticeship patterns from the first six chapters of our in class textbook. For my very first post, I decided to review the first pattern covered which was “Your First Language.” For many of my friends and classmates (including myself), Java was the first language learned. When we are first starting out learning programming, the book tells us that it is incredibly valuable to master our first language or two rather than try to learn a bunch of different languages at once. I am a firm believer in this notion as well simply because, with my knowledge in Java, I am able to translate to other languages fairly easily. The book explains that trying to learn all the languages instead of one for when a programmer is just starting out is not ideal mainly because it will end up causing more confusion than learning. If I am great at my first language, it is generally not too difficult to solve a problem in that language and then translate it to a new language after the fact. A great quote the book uses to describe this is by Alfred North Whitehead, and it reads, “by relieving the brain of all unnecessary work, a good notation sets it free to concentrate on more advanced problems, and in effect increases the mental power of the race.” It definitely is a bit concerning to me when I see job applications stating I need to know certain languages or programs that use specific languages, but my original background in Java has proven to be extremely helpful in learning how to use those other languages. All the work I put into learning Java has helped me with my understanding of all languages, and for the most part, I just end up needing to teach myself the slight syntax differences between them all. This portion of the textbook spoke to me strongly because I have often thought about what would have happened if I had learned a different language for my first language. I see now that it most likely would not have changed anything, and that makes me happy!

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