If you’re thinking about being a developer, you might be wondering: what programming language should I learn first? In this article, we will discuss the best programming languages to learn and give you useful tips on how to make this decision.

Let’s get started!

Choosing Which Programming Language You Should Learn First

There are some considerations to look at before deciding which programming language to learn first. It could be your preferences, or the features of the language itself. So, think about the following points first:

  • Your current knowledge: Sometimes you need to fulfil a prerequisite before learning a language. For example, learning JavaScript requires knowledge of HTML and CSS.
  • Job opportunities: What kind of industry are you interested in? What are the requirements of each job opening? Different coding languages lead you to different paths. If you’re excited about game development, take C# or C++. If you want to learn about iOs apps, Swift should be your best friend.
  • Available resources: If you’re just starting, chances are you need a lot of resources to support your learning process, either through online courses or formal education. Some languages are quite popular and have more resources than others.
  • The difficulty of the language: Each programming language has a different difficulty level.

Bear in mind that learning a programming language takes efforts and time. Don’t pick a language just yet if you haven’t thought of those points firmly.

Programming languages

Here are top 5 programming languages we think you should learn first:

1. JavaScript

If you’re interested in interactive web development, you should pick JavaScript as a companion to HTML and CSS. It is easy to learn and is rich in resources.

JavaScript makes asynchronous communication possible.

Think of a YouTube subscribe button. When you click this button, JavaScript tells the server if you want to get automated updates whenever the channel releases new content. The button will then turn into subscribed but the main page remains unaffected.

JavaScript runs on browsers and is used by the majority of websites today. Therefore, if you disable it on your end, many web pages won’t load properly and will turn static.

With JavaScript, you can do programming on browsers, servers, games, and even robots.

2. Java

Java and JavaScript are two different things. The former is mostly used by developers to create stand-alone applications that run on computers and mobile devices.

The latter, as stated before, creates asynchronous communication within web pages and runs mainly in browsers.

Java is a strongly typed language with a lot of variables. In short, it’s is harder to write and learn compared to JavaScript.

However, considering that Java is a general programming language it is more practical.

Java is the most popular programming languages in the world, with 90% of Fortune 500 companies using it actively.

This means that learning Java opens doors to many career options. You can be an android apps developer, game developer, or backend developer.

3. PHP

PHP is another beginner-friendly programming language with an intuitive script – similar to a human language. You can conceptualise the script before running it.

PHP is used for web development. However, it slightly differs from JavaScript.

While JavaScript is used for the front-end development, PHP will do the work behind the curtain. Even more, CMS such as WordPress is also built using PHP framework.

Although some websites don’t use PHP any longer, it still powers 80% websites worldwide, including giant players like Facebook, Wikipedia, and Tumblr.

That being said, learning PHP will still bring you to any great opportunities. Plus, platforms such as WordPress won’t die anytime soon for sure.

4. SQL

Learning SQL won’t make you capable of building websites or apps. However, SQL enables you to communicate with the database – which is vital for both app and web development.

Mastering SQL eases you to manage data using any RDBMS (Relational Database Management System).

It’s not a secret that websites and apps store a tremendous amount of data. Companies need to modify and process the data into something meaningful like business insights and security profiles.

If you can ‘speak’ in SQL, many companies will hire you as a Business Analyst or any role related to database maintenance.

5. Python

Python is another general programming language – significantly rising in popularity too.

The structure is easy to learn. Once you know the basic rules, you can learn the advanced codes intuitively.

You can find Python almost anywhere. It is used in data analysis, desktop apps, web apps, machine learning, and more. You can even use Python to create more realistic animation. Given the popularity, Python resources are also easy to find.

The most interesting thing is, Python is the main language used in Data Science. That said, mastering Python may land you a job as a data scientist – the hottest career field of the 21st century.

Wrap Up

So, what programming language should you learn first?

There is no exact answer to that question. You need to consider some factors before you make your decision. The most important being – your dream career.

Start with one, get your hands dirty with it, and be ready to explore more!

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