What programming language should I learn first?

By Focusoncode August 20, 2018

The most common question that new programmers make is, “Which programming language should I learn first?”

Sometimes it might feel like once you have chosen a programming language it is final. But most developers know several different languages – and many change their focus until they find the right one for them. You should know that as a developer you will never stop learning, so expect to learn many different programming languages through your career.

When you’re new to coding, these are the main modern programming languages you’ll likely be considering:

1.C#

Released in 2000, C# was created by Microsoft. However, just because it was created by Microsoft doesn’t mean that the C# language can only be used for Windows Applications. C# is a general-purpose programming language that is used for video games with the Unity game engine, writing web servers, mobile applications, and ASP.NET.

One of the goals the designers of C# had was to create a programming language that was less prone to errors. That means it’s harder to write software that will crash when it runs. This helps you avoid all sorts of headaches and make coding a lot more fun.

 

2. HTML and CSS

People often begin coding by learning HTML and CSS. Why? These 2 languages are essential for creating static web pages. They’re the foundations of everything on the web to some degree, from simple websites to huge and complex applications.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) structures all the text, links, images and other content on a website. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is the language that makes the web page look the way it does – the color, layout, and other visuals that we call style. If you are interested in making websites, you’ll definitely want to start with HTML & CSS.

 

3.JavaScript

JavaScript is another incredibly popular language. Many websites that you use every day rely on JavaScript including Twitter, Gmail, Spotify, Facebook, and Instagram according to General Assembly.

Additionally, it’s a must-have when adding interactivity to websites because it communicates with HTML and CSS. This makes it essential for front-end development and consumer-facing websites while becoming increasingly important in back-end development and growth in demand all the time. Because of its popularity, JavaScript is also the leading the charge in test automation frameworks, being the backbone of frameworks like Protractor and Nightwatch.JS.

4.Java and Kotlin

Now despite its name, Java is not related to JavaScript. Today Java is used to power web applications like Amazon and Gmail – and in mission-critical enterprise applications, like banks and hospitals – it also powers Android Apps so it’s a good choice if you’re interested in mobile development.

Kotlin is an easier to read and more code efficient version of Java that was created by JetBrains in 2011. But you’ll want to learn Java first before you can truly understand and take advantage of the coding simplicity that Kotlin offers.

 

5.Python

Python is always recommended if you’re looking for an easy and even fun programming language to learn first. Rather than having to jump into strict syntax rules, Python reads like English and is simple to understand for someone who’s new to programming. This allows you to obtain a basic knowledge of coding practices without having to obsess over smaller details that are often important in other languages.

Python also is ideal for web development, graphic user interfaces (GUIs), and software development. In fact, it was used to build Instagram, YouTube, and Spotify, so it’s clearly in demand among employers in addition to having a faster onboarding.
Though it has it’s advantages, Python is often thought of as a slow language that requires more testing and is not as practical for developing mobile apps as other languages.

 

6.Ruby

Ruby is similar to Python in that it’s one of the easiest languages for people with no prior programming experience to read. You don’t need to know a ton of commands or programming vocabulary to learn it, and it has a multitude of libraries and tools that come in handy.

A big reason people like Ruby is because of the awesome full-stack framework. It is becoming increasingly popular among startups and enterprise solutions.

So now you’re familiar with the languages, but which one should you choose? Here are a few helpful considerations for your decision:

  1.  Python if you’re looking for something easy.
  2.  C#   if you want a solid foundation to make you a master developer.
  3. Java if you’re looking for a job or want to make mobile apps.
  4. Javascript if you want to try front-end development.
  5.  Ruby if you’re programming for your startup’s website.

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