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I am working on software testing for the past 8 years, i have plans to shift career onto programming. Which is the best programming language to learn? I need to start from the basics as i have lost touch after my graduation. Please advice

MIT 6.00 Intro Computer Science (OCW)
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C is going to give you a good foundation that you can build from since C and it's dirivatives seem to dominate the field. But it's really going to depend on where/who you plan on working for. If you are planning on transitioning at the company that you have been testing for, learn whatever language they use.
I've been working for several years in IS for a small company that gets hired out to do specific programming work for other companies. Currently I am working with a distributing company that wants everything in as400 (warehouse) and C (In office). I have found that in California the majority of the companies I go to on the coast, ranging from SF/LA/SD, I deal a lot with Java and VB, while in the valley areas I deal with C. I personally believe that Java will lead the world but who knows :)
Java is a neat language in several ways, but it won't work for some/many things. Java byte compiles. It still needs run-time interpretation, which limits it's speed. C and C++ compile into executable code which runs many times faster, so although they're more difficult to program, there're problems that only they can handle efficiently.

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one benefit with java is that it can run cross-platform, which is very handy (if there exists a JVM, of course)
Thanks everyone for responses. I saw a course which speaks about introduction to computer programming using PYTHON. Should i take up this course, will it help me?
Most languages are pretty easily transferable so you could learn to program with python which is a pretty straight forward language. Then you could, if you wanted, learn a new language, the concepts should basically be the same the largest difference will be the syntax of the language.

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