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The Best Programming Languages to Learn First

There is no such a thing as instant learning. Learning to code for the first time is kind of like learning a foreign language. You will need time to understand the context of why something is done the way it is. To do this, you have to choose one language, dig deeper into it, and see if it’s interesting for you. Learning one language will make it easier to learn any other programming language or framework.

Once you decide to become a developer, you have to choose if you want to become a front-end or back-end developer. A front-end programmer needs to have some artistic vision to present the data on the client side. As a back-end developer you gotta love working with data, and focusing on the logic behind programming. Learning one language won’t cut it if you want to become a full-stack developer one day. If that is your goal, you should be familiar with the front-end and back-end technologies, and dig a little into testing. Quality assurance is a daily task of any successful programmer. 

Companies usually require more programming languages, but it’s important to focus on the one at the beginning.

requirements job ad

Next, ask yourself what kind of company you want to work in. Python and JavaScript are good choices if you want to work in startups. However, if you want to work in the corporate world, Java and C# are better choices.

How long does it take to learn programming language?

The most popular question how long does it take to learn programming is a difficult one. It depends on you, but the fact is that a programmer with 10 years of experience is still learning. Some would say that after 10 weeks of learning you can have some sense of the language. Let’s get real – you can’t expect to become a programmer in few weeks. 

  • The difference between junior, medior and senior developers is the time it takes to solve difficult problems. A junior might take a few days to solve a problem, while a senior would need a few hours. Focus on the learning process before trying to build something big.

Which programming language should you learn first?

These criteria might work for you when choosing programming language:

  • How popular is the language on the job market?
  • How easy is to learn it?
  • What kind of project can you bring to life while learning

In this article, you can find answers to these questions. Keep in mind that these are all useful languages that will bring you closer to your goal if you’re committed.

Python

Python tutorials are the first on the list of Google search in 2019. among the number of programming languages. Since it’s trending, there will be a lot of job opportunities once you master it. Many IT professionals would recommend Python as the best programming language for beginners. Why? The syntax of the Python code is considered simple. Python is fast, easy-to-use, easy-to-deploy, and it’s being widely used to develop scalable web applications. It can be used for both back-end and front-end. One of the most popular Python-based web development frameworks are Django, Pyramid, and Turbo Gear. FYI: YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and SurveyMonkey are all built in Python.

popularity of programming languages
The PYPL PopularitY of Programming Language Index is created by analyzing how often language tutorials are searched on Google

Python courses:

Learn Python – On this website, you can find all the necessary information – from basics to advanced tips. It’s well organised, so you won’t have to worry if you skipped some steps. They also have a Facebook group where developers are discussing their problems, so they are open to your questions. 

Hackr.io – Here you can find trending courses for any language. Choose the course that is recommended by other programmers and start your Python journey. From Python Bible, to complete Python Masterclass, free or paid courses, you can find everything here. 

JavaScript

According to Stack OverFlow survey, for the sixth year in a row, this front-end programming language is the most commonly used. Moreover, JavaScript is rapidly expanding into areas like game development and the (IOT) Internet of things. JavaScript is everywhere – it allows you to build a desktop app, a mobile app, a web app, and even VR apps. Whether you start from this language or some other, you will probably have to learn JavaScript eventually. It’s widely used and job opportunities are great for those who are skilled at programming in JavaScript. However, the market is highly competitive so it might be hard for you to find a job as a junior developer. While Java and C++ as are usually recommended first languages on universities, they’re considerably harder to learn than JavaScript.

popular technologies for developers
Most popular technologies used by professional developers

JavaScript courses:

JavaScript – You may get curious about learning JavaScript upon visiting this website. It’s an interesting and interactive way to learn this programming language because they ask you to try coding in JavaScript right away. You can measure your skills or learn to code from scratches. Whether you want to know more about strings, numbers, Boolean, or objects, you can just click on the category and learn.

LearnJS  – This website is organized in chapters, so you can just skip chapters that you think that you have already mastered. You can execute code right away and check a solution. 

Java

It’s a bit harder to learn Java than Python and JavaScript. It’s one of the most stable and reliable ways to build large systems. If you want to work at large tech companies, Java will be useful for your future job search. Java is an object oriented language. It is widely used for building enterprise-scale web applications and in Android App Development. llows you to create interactive websites. JavaScript is on the top of the list of the most popular technologies among professional developers, but Java is in 5th place. Since this is a language with a credible background, it has one of the biggest global communities. This makes it easy to find answers if you get stuck. 

The most used programming languages in 2019
The most used programming languages in 2019; Source: TIOBE

Java courses:

CodeGym

Because they claim that you won’t become a programmer by reading books, CodeGym chose to base 80% of their Java programming course on practice. There are 1200 practical tasks of increasing complexity and solutions can be checked within seconds. After 500+ hours of practical experience, you will definitely understand the concept of Java. 

CodeAcademy

This is one of the most popular platforms where you can find almost every programming language, and it’s highly recommended by developers. It’s simple: once you read a task, write code and run it to see what happens. Then you can move to the next step. Continue like that until you become a pro!

How to Prepare for Java Developer Interview: 25 Commonly Used Questions

PHP

Python or PHP – this is a trending question in 2019. They both offer many learning opportunities in the form of easy-to-use syntax validation tools. PHP is good for better job prospects and technical resources, while Python is easiest among two to acquire for the project. Nevertheless, learning PHP is a good way to start your programming journey as a back-end developer. It’s easy to conceptualize what the PHP code will do.This language is used as the foundation of Content Management Systems for WordPress and other websites like Facebook and Wikipedia. It allows you to create templates and graphics, command line scripting, develop desktop operations, and more.

PHP programming language
PHP might not be on the top of these lists, but market still needs a large number of PHP developers.

PHP courses:

W3schools – At W3Schools you will find complete references of all PHP functions, but you can also exercise and see examples of the code. When you’re finished with basics, you can learn more about advanced topics – multidimensional arrays, sessions, filters, and more. 

SoloLearn – PHP tutorial allows a user to develop websites and create dynamic web pages with dynamic content. Unlock new achievements every day, and open new and more interactive levels.

HTML & CSS

HTML and CSS are inevitable, which makes them a good start. Once you master CSS, you will be able to create simple, yet functional web pages. CSS is a style sheet language, and HTML is a markup language. With HTML you add elements to your page and CSS is used to style those elements. HTML and CSS are not programming languages, but you should learn them because they are known as front end languages. The famous front end programming trio is HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

HTML & CSS Courses:

Conclusion: Set your goal

There are many things that you should learn and it might be confusing for you. In the beginning, you might feel like your head is gonna explode. That will pass if you set your goal, organize yourself, and stick to the plan.

  • Decide which language you want to learn
  • Set daily goals 
  • Use multiple platforms for learning – search for answers everywhere
  • Don’t try to learn two technologies simultaneously 

Don’t limit yourself to one platform. Many people faced the same challenges as you, google it or ask people on Quora or Reddit. Next, learning two languages at once can be confusing for a beginner because it can demotivate you and lead to burnout. Remember, you need time to process the information and see how everything works in practice.