How to Select Your First Programming Language

How to Select Your First Programming Language



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How to Select Your First Programming Language
One of the hardest questions you’ll ask when you start tackling programming is ‘what language should I learn first?’ – let’s talk through some of the concerns you might have:

• It Feels Final
• Programming Languages seem very different from each other

What if I pick the wrong language?
Some languages ARE harder to learn than others. Especially if it’s your first. However, every language has been someone’s first and they’ve been through the same issues that you’re experiencing. If you feel like you’ve picked the wrong language, you may have picked one with syntax that is too verbose. But you may also be experiencing a challenge – When you start learning a new language you’re going to learn a lot – and if you’re following a good tutorial, it should even be fun.

But after you learn the basic concepts of something, you may find that the next concepts are more challenging. While you may want to give up – that’s when you’ll want to work even harder. Push through your confusion, take good notes, and learn as much as you can. By pushing yourself you’ll find that you can learn anything. We see this all time.

You’ll find that the ‘What programming language should I learn first?’ questions is incredibly popular and after a few months, you’ll find yourself offering your own advice to others just getting started.

Here are the main modern programming languages you’ll likely be considering:

JavaScript
PHP
Python
Ruby
Objective C / Swift
C#
Java / Kotlin

• Programming Project Examples

Which Do I Choose?
While plenty of people will gladly tell you exactly what language to learn – here are a few considerations:

What do you want to do?
If you are interested in working for a specific company, you’ll want to take a look at their job boards. They’ll list specific requirements. Don’t worry if you don’t meet any of them now. You will. But this’ll give you an idea of the direction you’re heading.

What do you want to build?
This is one of the most challenging questions to answer. “What do you want to build?” If you have an idea for something to build, you might already be building it. Knowing what you want to build solves the ‘what programming language should I learn first’ question quickly – because the language is just a tool to get you where you want to go.

If you don’t know what you want to build, check out a site like this one it has a list of projects that can be completed in any language. Consider them like puzzles or challenges and start with the easiest one.

Once you select a language you’ll discover that there are tons of resources for learning it – there’s podcasts, video tutorials, books, apps, conferences, meetups – just tons of things – and while it’s a challenge to filter out what’s most valuable – as most of these resources are going to be talking about things you won’t understand yet – you want to Immerse Yourself in the Language and take it all in.

But the most important thing is you’ve decided to learn to code.

Congratulations, that’s a huge step, and if you’ve made it this far, I can tell you something, You’re gonna love it. Remember, coding is fun, and therefore learning to code should be fun too, don’t let these early decisions stress you out. You got this! Stick with it!

CORRECTION:
At 2:01 We list HTML/CSS on a slide in a list of Programming Languages – we didn’t mean to imply that HTML/CSS are programming languages. They are markup languages. However, we do recommend learning HTML & CSS before learning a web-focused programming language. We appreciate everyone’s concern about correcting this! 😉

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one of the hardest questions you'll ask when you start tackling programming is what language should I learn first let's talk through some of the concerns that you might have it feels final it feels like if you choose a language that you're making a final decision about what you're going to be doing for the rest of your life that's normal well some people have successful careers with one programming language most developers know several different languages and many change their focus until they find the right one for them whatever language you start with it does not have to be the only language you ever learn expect to learn many different programming languages programming languages seem very different from each other while syntax or rules can vary between programming languages each language was developed to solve unique problems all of them share some common concepts like learning one language will make it easier to learn the next programming language and as you pick up your next programming language you'll learn more about that first programming language that you probably miss the first time through what if I pick the wrong language now some languages are harder to learn than others especially if it's your first however every language has been someone's first and they've been through the same issues that you're experiencing if you feel like you've picked the wrong language you may have picked one with syntax that is too verbose but you may also be experiencing a challenge when you start learning a new language you're going to learn a lot and if you're following a good tutorial it should even be fun but after you learn the basic concepts of something you may find that the next concepts are more challenging well you may want to give up that's when you'll want to work even harder push through your confusion take good notes and learn as much as you can by pushing yourself you'll find that you can learn anything we see this all the time you'll find that the what programming language should I learn first question is incredibly popular and after a few months you'll find yourself offering your own advice to others just getting started here the main modern programming languages that you'll likely be considering people often begin by learning HTML and CSS why well these two languages are essential for creating static or unchanging web pages everything on the web uses HTML and CSS to some degree from simple web sites to huge and complex applications HTML or hypertext markup language structures all the text links and other content like images and videos on website CSS or cascading style sheets is the language that makes the web page look the way that it does the color the layout and other visuals that we call style now if you're interested in making websites you'll definitely want to start with HTML and CSS javascript is the first programming language for many people it's the next logical step after learning HTML and CSS javascript started out as a simple web programming language intended to add a few interactive features to web sites however it's grown into a powerful programming language used on nearly every web site in the world you can use javascript to add interesting effects like a lightbox or a cool scrolling effect it's even used in projects outside of web browsers like hardware or desktop applications learning JavaScript will put you in a good place as it's a general-purpose language PHP is one of the most popular web languages it's also one of the first accessible programming languages designed for manipulating information on websites PHP started out in 1994 as personal homepage its tools were built by Rasmus Lew Dorf to add basic interactivity to his personal website then in 1995 PHP tools was released to the world and other developers learned about it and started using it two programmers really liked PHP and collaborate with Rasmus to develop a new independent programming language called PHP hypertext preprocessor but we all call it PHP now if you used Wikipedia or Facebook you've used the site powered by PHP almost 27 percent of the web is built with PHP people love PHP because it allows you to add dynamic information to websites very easily and it's great at manipulating databases so that you can access and store information about your users Python is a general-purpose language that is used for everything from server automation to data science now you might think that Python is named after the snake but it's actually named after the British comedy group Monty Python thanks to this Python has a long history of not taking itself too seriously python is a great language for beginners because it's easy to read and understand anything you want to do you can do it with Python so it's a language that you can stick with for quite a while before needing something else it employs a batteries included approach and there are many great solutions available for you to follow Instagram for example was created with Python the US government uses Python to do statistical analysis and visualizations Disney Pixar and Lucasfilm use Python to add more realistic effects in their movies big websites like YouTube Instagram and reddit use Python Ruby is often associated with the rails framework that helped popularize it it was created in the mid 90s by you Keira mots Matsumoto used widely among web startups Ruby on Rails makes it easy to transform an idea into a prototype and later into a working application now as a result many tech startups and programmers use Ruby to build the early versions of their applications sites like Hulu Basecamp and Airbnb use Ruby on Rails Objective C and Swift are two languages that are used for the same purpose making apps for Apple devices like the iPhone or the iPad Objective C can be a bit verbose and challenging to learn but it is very rewarding because you'll be able to make apps for any Apple device Swift is the most recent app creating language that is recommended for newer Apple developers since it is intentionally easier to read and get you up and running first released in the year 2000 c-sharp was created by Microsoft however just because it was created by Microsoft it doesn't mean that the c-sharp language can only be used for Windows applications c-sharp is a general-purpose programming language that is used for video games with the Unity game engine writing web servers and mobile applications and asp.net one of the goals the designers of c-sharp 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 to avoid all sorts of headaches and makes coding a lot more fun now despite its name Java is not related to JavaScript Java was created in 1995 by Sun Microsystems to embed in physical devices like televisions today Java is used to power web applications like Amazon and Gmail in admission critical enterprise applications like banks and hospitals it also powers Android apps so it's a good choice for those inclined to mobile development Kotlin isn't 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 Collin offers which do I choose well plenty of people will gladly tell you exactly what language to learn here are a few considerations what do you want to do if you're interested in working for a specific company you'll want to take a look at their job boards they'll list specific requirements now don't worry if you don't meet any of them now you will but this will give you an idea of the direction that you're heading what do you want to build this is one of the most challenging questions to answer what do you want to build if you have an idea for a project you might already be creating it knowing what you want to make solves the what programming language should I learn first question quickly because the language is just a tool to get you where you want to go if you don't know what you want to make check out this site it has a list of projects that can be completed in any language treat them like puzzles and start with the easiest ones once you select the language you'll discover that there are tons of resources for learning it there's podcasts video tutorials books apps conferences meetups just tons of things and while it's challenging to filter out what's most valuable as most of these resources are going to be talking about things that you won't understand yet you want to immerse yourself in the language and take it all in but the most important thing is that you've decided to learn to code congratulations that's a huge step and if you've made it this far I can tell you something you're gonna love it remember coding is fun and therefore learning to code should be fun to sit don't let these early decisions stress you out you got this stick with

36 Replies to “How to Select Your First Programming Language”

  1. Tobias Fischer

    Thanks for the interesting overview. I gotta say the sound effects are super annoying though, please consider cutting back on those

  2. Salmane Boukouffalah

    thank u for all information , could u please tell me which app u use to make the infographie of the video

  3. Darkrand

    Why tf dont u just tell us the language for each thing like vid games for this language or android apps for this language?

  4. Lewis T

    JS ftw, So many people think JavaScript is just a basic scripting language but is much more powerful than people think with its huge amount of libraries and nodejs

  5. Dnera

    I don't want to do coding as a job – I just want to learn it for the sake of learning it. Is this video directly for people looking to get into the coding industry? Or can a man that has a passion for tech take part in this too?

  6. Abhishek Biswas

    JS all the way baby…

    JS is the Thanos of coding world.. Can easily vanish all other languages with a snap…

  7. Xumatro

    I started out learning Python, then moved on to C#. I think it was the perfect choise. Python is really easy to learn and understand, it will teach you the basics about programming. Then C# is a little bit more advanced, but it's also a bit more powerful (in some aplications). Personally I love either of them and could recommend them to everyone.

  8. BestPS Gamer

    I started Learning HTML at the first , I know its not a programming language at all but I want to know whats next , I really want python but people says its really hard and I'm still not even a small programmer so… I dk what to do

  9. abankwa regan

    please Treehouse, I have started learning R as a programming language does it mean I should put a stop to it and start with different language as you'if mention in your video since R programming language is not among your list ?

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