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C#Microsofts attempt to compete with Java was the creation of C#. This language is growing more and more everyday, and is becoming a favorite for server side computing.
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Learning to program is a very intimidating thing to do. I never thought I would be capable of learning to write code, but after doing enough YouTube tutorials I can proudly call myself a programmer. Below are my favorite tutorials that I used to learn to program. There are many others out there, but these tutorials specifically helped me the most. Perhaps I can help you find the language that is right for you? You can watch them here, or follow the link to YouTube below the video.
This is the language that is probably the most popular. With C++ you can easily build applications for a PC (and almost any operating system if done right). Most languages derive from c++ (which came from C, also below). C++ is very powerful, and has very few limitations. However, even though the sky is the limit, be prepared to program that sky yourself! Many do feel that it is an outdated language, but it still seems to be the leader.
Applications written in C++: All Adobe Products (photoshop, premiere, fireworks, flash, etc), FireFox, World of Warcraft, most operating systems are largely written in C++.
PHP is the backbone of an interactive website. While lacking in processing power, PHP is an extremely useful language to build webpages for your users on the fly. If you want to build a website that takes in user input, and communicates with a database, then PHP is the language for you (also see MySQL tutorial below). If you want to build a video game, then this language is most likely not what you are looking for.
MySQL goes hand and hand with any program that reaches beyond your own computer (not to say that databases don't run locally). The term database is synonymous with MySQL. These tutorials will teach you an extremely valuable skill, which can be integrated into almost any profession or project. I strongly recommend that you watch this.
Visual Basic is where I got started. Initially as the backbone of the Microsoft office products, now VB.NET is an equally powerful programming language to C++. Where this language lacks is that it only runs on Windows Computers. Sadly, it does not get much love in the programming world as it came out just a little to late. I would recommend this language to you if you need create rapid prototypes of anything. Great at number crunching, and easy to learn.
Java! Java is the Mr. Compatible when it comes to programming. Built to work on nearly any operating system, java has become a favorite amongst most companies. While the power of this language is nothing to sneeze at, it is NOT the MOST Powerful language, but perhaps the most valuable. This is the language to learn if you want to advance your career.
I hesitated to add C to this list, because it is so old. However, it is the backbone of almost everything. While programmers may not write in this language as much as they used too, it still provides all the capabilities one would need to write a complex application. This is the language of the experts and the OCD. It is essentially limitless, but will take an eternity to create anything useful.
There are many other powerful and useful languages to learn out there, but these are simply the videos that taught me. Good luck and enjoy!