What Programming Language Should I Learn First?

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Favour Amadi Hacker Noon profile picture

Favour Amadi

I’m an Agile Project Manager and Scrum Master who loves to develop and maintain technical documentation (API).

It really depends.

There is no right or wrong answer to this question because it all depends on what you intend to achieve after you have learned the language.

Do you want to learn for fun? Are you curious about what coding feels/is like? Or are you like me and are trying to build something specific or get a new job?

The Tech industry is an ever-evolving space with over 500 programming languages for beginners and programming enthusiasts to choose from.

500+ … That’s right…Woah!

It can be an overwhelming process. But not to worry! I asked a few programmers and programming enthusiasts who have been exactly where you are and here’s what they had to say.

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Although I believe that learning a programming language should depend on what you hope to achieve afterward with the knowledge, I still think there are languages that every programmer should know and understand its basics.

Please share your opinions about programming languages with which beginners should start and why you think those languages should be their first.

Feel free to share the programming language(s) you started learning with! Was it the right choice, do you think? With the knowledge and industry experience you now have, what would you have preferred you started with and why?

Hey Favour Amadi. I’m not a programmer, but I did learn HTML and CSS, and it is handy whenever I’m designing a website. I’ve heard that JAVA programming is also a great skill to have as it does open a lot of doors job-wise. Of course, it depends on how deep you want to get into programming and what sort of things you’d like to program: games, websites, robots.

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Mónica Freitas Arghh yes, the OG HTML and CSS. These were the first programming languages I learned and added a bit of JavaScript. I learned them because I was so sure I wanted to build a Tech Startup and I thought I could do it on my own, lol.

Although, there’s a never-ending argument that HTML and CSS are not considered programming languages.

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I think everyone should start with Python.

Why do you think so? Gideon Onyewuenyi? What is it about Python that makes it beginner-friendly?

  • Python is easy to read, write, and learn.
  • Python has an incredibly supportive community.

I agree with Gideon Onyewuenyi. Python is an ideal choice for a first programming language.

Personally, Ruby was the language that taught me how to actually program because I was focused more on solving problems rather than writing syntax.

Unfortunately, Ruby doesn’t have much mainstream usage outside of Ruby on Rails.

Python, on the other hand, is used in many different industries. It has a similarly easy-to-learn syntax like Ruby while being widely applicable from backend development to data science to general scripting.

Yes, Python has such good PR, and rightly so. I like that, unlike HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, it can be used for other types of programming and software development besides web development.
What do you think of SQL as beginner-friendly Gideon Onyewuenyi Abeer?

SQL is very important for anyone working full time with Data in terms of interacting with databases, but it shouldn’t be the first thing a total novice should jump into, you can use available data from platforms like Kaggle and practice with python.

You can even decide to do a no-code pattern where tools like Excel/Power BI/Tableau can be useful.

Favour Amadi doesn’t it depend on what you want to build? I’ve been told that it’s best to start with a goal rather than a language. If the learner never wants to do anything with data science or machine learning, perhaps python isn’t the best option, right?

Limarc Ambalina, Yes it does and while I’m absolutely all for beginners choosing programming languages to learn based on what they intend to do with the knowledge, I think there are some necessary programming language basic knowledge that doesn’t hurt to have.

@Favour Amadia, Haha never knew that! I learned it still at uni when we had to develop websites! So what kind of startup were you aspiring to create? That’s a fantastic dream, by the way. And how did you find JAVA? Too hard or an accessible coding language?

@Mónica Freitas, JavaScript was a bit of a tough one for me but I tried to grab what I could about the basics. I was trying to build an online inventory where people could check for current real-time prices of items before going into the market. Very Ambitious now that I think about it, grateful for growth. Now I’m hoping to build an all-in-one operations management tool and these days I’m not as ambitious, just taking the days as they come by with whatever progress.

@Favour Amadi, Your idea was terrific, but I understand how challenging it could be. It’s a large-scale operation tool. I’m sure you’ll bring your dream to life 💛

Focus on one thing! Focus on JavaScript, and later add blockchain into your stack and you’ll have a job of the future. Another tip: Start to contribute to simple open-source projects from the beginning– even a small code addition is progress.

by Favour Amadi @faesalterego.I’m an Agile Project Manager and Scrum Master who loves to develop and maintain technical documentation (API).

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