What is the Best Code to Learn First for Beginners

Last Updated: April 19, 2024 8:18 am
What is the Best Code to Learn First for Beginners

You’re ready to plunge into the coding world, but where do you even begin? With so many programming languages, it can feel like you’re staring at a buffet with no idea what to put on your plate. What is the best code to learn first? Do you go for the tried-and-true classics or the trendy new flavors everyone’s raving about?

Well, fear not! We’ve got your back. In this post, we’ll break down the best coding languages for beginners to sink their teeth into. No more analysis paralysis – just a clear roadmap to kickstart your coding adventures. Let’s crack open this coding conundrum and find the perfect language to get you started on your programming journey!

    Top Programming Languages to Learn First

    When choosing your first programming language, the options can feel overwhelming. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Lets review what is the best code to learn first.

    As someone who’s been in the trenches of coding for years, I know firsthand which languages are the best starting points for beginners. And I’m here to share that knowledge with you.

    JavaScript, Python, HTML/CSS, SQL, Java, C++, C#, PHP, Swift, Kotlin

    These are the heavy hitters in the programming world. The languages that are in high demand and can open doors to a wide range of opportunities.

    According to the 2023 Stack Overflow Developer Survey, JavaScript, HTML/CSS, SQL, and Python are among the most widely used programming languages by developers across all levels of experience.

    But popularity isn’t the only factor to consider. You also want to think about the types of projects you want to work on and the career path you want to pursue.

    For example, if you’re interested in web development, JavaScript is a must-learn. It’s the backbone of interactive and dynamic web pages.

    On the other hand, if data science or machine learning piques your interest, Python is the way to go. Its extensive libraries and frameworks make it a powerhouse in those fields.

    Factors to Consider When Choosing Your First Programming Language

    Choosing your first programming language is a big decision. It’s like picking a starter Pokemon. You want one that will be a strong companion on your coding journey.

    But with so many factors to consider, it can be tough to know where to start or what is the best code to learn first. That’s why I’ve broken it down into the key areas you should focus on.

    Job Market Demand

    Let’s be real, most of us are learning to code with the goal of landing a great job. So it makes sense to choose a language that’s in high demand in the job market.

    Take a look at job listings for software developers and you’ll see a pattern emerge. Languages like JavaScript, Python, and Java are consistently at the top of the list of desired skills.

    Salary Potential

    Of course, demand is only part of the equation. You also want to consider the earning potential of different programming languages.

    According to data from PayScale, the average annual salary for a software engineer in the United States is around $88,000. But that number can vary widely depending on the specific language you specialize in.

    For example, the average salary for a JavaScript developer is $90,000, while a Python developer can expect to earn around $96,000 per year.

    Learning Curve

    As a beginner, you don’t want to choose a language that’s so complex it feels like you’re trying to decipher hieroglyphics. Trust me, I’ve been there.

    That’s why it’s important to consider the learning curve of different languages. Some, like Python and JavaScript, are known for being beginner-friendly with their simple syntax and readable code.

    Others, like C++ and Java, have a steeper learning curve and may require more time and effort to master.


    When you’re just starting out, it’s hard to know exactly what kind of projects you’ll want to work on in the future. That’s why versatility is key.

    Look for a language that can be used across a wide range of applications and industries. JavaScript, for example, can be used for everything from web development to mobile apps to server-side programming.

    Python is another versatile language, with applications in web development, data analysis, artificial intelligence, and more.

    Community and Resources

    Learning to code can be a lonely journey at times. That’s why having a strong community and plenty of resources at your fingertips is so important.

    When evaluating different programming languages, take a look at the size and activity level of their communities. Are there active forums, meetups, and online groups where you can connect with other learners and get help when you’re stuck?

    Also consider the availability of learning resources like tutorials, documentation, and online courses. The more resources there are, the easier it will be to learn and grow your skills.

    Benefits of Learning JavaScript as Your First Language

    If you’re still on the fence about which language to start with, let me make a case for JavaScript. It’s the language that I started with and it’s served me well throughout my career.

    Versatility in Web Development

    JavaScript is the language of the web. It’s used to create interactive and dynamic elements on websites, from simple animations to complex web applications.

    If you’re interested in web development, learning JavaScript is non-negotiable. It’s the foundation that everything else is built upon.

    But JavaScript isn’t just limited to the front-end. With the rise of Node.js, it’s now possible to use JavaScript for server-side programming as well. This means you can use the same language for both the client-side and server-side of your web applications.

    Abundance of Resources

    One of the best things about learning JavaScript is the sheer amount of resources available. There are countless online tutorials, courses, and books that can help you get started.

    And because JavaScript is so popular, there’s a huge community of developers who are always creating new tools, frameworks, and libraries to make development easier and more efficient.

    Some of my favorite resources for learning JavaScript include freeCodeCamp, Codecademy’s JavaScript course, and the Eloquent JavaScript book.

    High Demand in Job Market

    Remember how I mentioned that JavaScript is in high demand in the job market? Well, let me put some numbers to that.

    According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, JavaScript has been the most commonly used programming language for eight years in a row.

    And when you look at job postings for web developers, you’ll see that JavaScript is almost always listed as a required skill.

    So if you’re looking to break into the tech industry, learning JavaScript is a surefire way to make yourself a competitive candidate.

    Advantages of Starting with Python

    If web development isn’t your thing, or if you’re more interested in data science and machine learning, Python might be the language for you.

    Readability and Simplicity

    One of the biggest advantages of Python is its readability and simplicity. The syntax is clean and easy to understand, even for beginners.

    Python uses indentation to define code blocks, which forces you to write neat and organized code. And because there’s no need for curly braces or semicolons, your code will look less cluttered and more readable.

    This simplicity also makes Python a great language for learning programming concepts like variables, loops, and functions.

    Extensive Libraries

    Another big advantage of Python is the vast ecosystem of libraries and frameworks available. These pre-written packages of code can save you a ton of time and effort when working on projects.

    For data science and machine learning, libraries like NumPy, Pandas, and Scikit-learn are essential tools. They provide powerful functions for working with data and building machine learning models.

    And for web development, frameworks like Django and Flask make it easy to build web applications quickly and efficiently.

    Rapid Prototyping

    Python is also great for rapid prototyping and experimentation. Its simple syntax and interactive shell make it easy to test out ideas and see results quickly.

    This is especially useful when you’re working on data science projects and need to explore and visualize data.

    With Python, you can write a few lines of code and immediately see the output, without having to compile or run a separate program.

    Why HTML/CSS is Essential for Aspiring Web Developers

    If you’re interested in web development, you might be wondering why you need to learn HTML and CSS. After all, aren’t those just for making things look pretty?

    Well, yes and no. While HTML and CSS are used for styling and layout, they’re also the foundation of every website and web application.

    Building Blocks of Web Pages

    HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the standard markup language for creating web pages. It’s used to structure the content of a page, like headings, paragraphs, and images.

    CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is used to style that content and make it visually appealing. It controls things like colors, fonts, and layout.

    Together, HTML and CSS form the building blocks of every website. Without them, the internet would just be a bunch of plain text.

    Styling and Layout

    While HTML is used for structure, CSS is where the real magic happens. With CSS, you can transform a boring, text-heavy webpage into a beautiful, interactive experience.

    You can use CSS to control every aspect of a page’s appearance, from the color of the text to the size of the images to the layout of the content.

    And with the rise of responsive design, CSS is more important than ever. Responsive design allows websites to adapt to different screen sizes and devices, providing a seamless experience for users on desktop, tablet, and mobile.

    Foundation for Web Development

    Learning HTML and CSS is also important because it provides a foundation for more advanced web development skills.

    Once you have a solid understanding of HTML and CSS, you can start learning JavaScript and other programming languages that are used for web development.

    And if you decide to specialize in front-end development, HTML and CSS will be your bread and butter. You’ll use them every day to create and style web pages and applications.

    So if you’re serious about web development, learning HTML and CSS is a must. It’s the first step on the path to becoming a full-fledged web developer.

    Key Takeaway: Starting your coding journey? Focus on languages like JavaScript and Python for a mix of demand, salary potential, and beginner-friendliness. Don’t forget HTML/CSS for web development basics. Choose based on the projects you love and the career path you aim for.

    The Importance of SQL for Data Management

    If you’re looking to dive into the world of data, there’s one language you absolutely need to know: SQL. It’s the backbone of data management and analysis, and it’s a skill that’ll serve you well no matter what industry you’re in.

    Relational Database Management

    At its core, SQL is all about managing relational databases. These databases store data in tables, with each table containing rows and columns. SQL allows you to manipulate and query this data, making it easy to find the information you need.

    I remember when I first started working with SQL databases. It was like a whole new world opened up to me. Suddenly, I could organize and analyze data in ways I never thought possible. And the best part? SQL is a standard language, so once you learn it, you can apply it to any relational database out there.

    Data Analysis

    But SQL isn’t just about storing data – it’s also a powerful tool for data analysis. With SQL, you can aggregate data, calculate averages and sums, and even perform complex statistical analyses. It’s like having a supercharged spreadsheet at your fingertips.

    I’ve used SQL to analyze everything from sales data to customer behavior. By writing a few simple queries, I can uncover insights that would have taken hours to find manually. And with the rise of big data, SQL skills are more valuable than ever.

    Integration with Other Languages

    One of the great things about SQL is that it plays well with other programming languages. Whether you’re working with Python, Java, or PHP, you can easily integrate SQL into your code to interact with databases.

    I’ve built countless web applications that rely on SQL databases to store and retrieve data. By using SQL in conjunction with other languages, I can create powerful, data-driven applications that solve real-world problems.

    Java and C++: Powerful Languages for Diverse Applications

    When it comes to versatile programming languages, Java and C++ are two of the best. These languages have been around for decades, and they’re still going strong. Why? Because they’re powerful, flexible, and can be used for a wide range of applications.

    Object-Oriented Programming Concepts

    One of the key features of both Java and C++ is their support for object-oriented programming (OOP). OOP is a programming paradigm that organizes code into objects, which can interact with each other to perform complex tasks.

    Learning OOP concepts like encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism can be challenging at first, but once you grasp them, they’ll change the way you think about programming. And Java and C++ are two of the best languages for learning and applying OOP principles.

    Android App Development

    If you’re interested in mobile app development, Java is the language you need to know. Android, the world’s most popular mobile operating system, is built on Java. By learning Java, you can create powerful, feature-rich apps that run on billions of devices worldwide.

    I’ve built several Android apps using Java, and I can tell you firsthand that it’s a rewarding experience. With Java’s extensive libraries and frameworks, you can create apps that do everything from playing music to controlling smart home devices.

    Game Development

    C++, on the other hand, is the language of choice for game development. Many of the world’s most popular game engines, like Unreal Engine and Unity, use C++ as their primary language.

    I’ve dabbled in game development using C++, and I can attest to its power and flexibility. With C++, you can create high-performance games with stunning graphics and complex physics simulations. It’s a challenging language to learn, but the payoff is worth it.

    Enterprise Software

    Both Java and C++ are also widely used in enterprise software development. Many large companies rely on these languages to build and maintain their mission-critical applications.

    I’ve worked on several enterprise projects using Java and C++, and I can say that they’re both up to the task. Java’s robustness and scalability make it ideal for building large-scale applications, while C++’s performance and low-level control make it perfect for systems programming and other performance-critical tasks.

    Emerging Languages to Keep an Eye On

    While established languages like Java and C++ are still going strong, there are always new languages emerging that are worth keeping an eye on. These languages often bring fresh ideas and approaches to programming, and they can be a great way to expand your skill set.

    Swift for iOS Development

    If you’re interested in iOS app development, Swift is a language you should definitely check out. Developed by Apple, Swift is a modern, fast, and safe language that’s designed specifically for building iOS and macOS applications.

    I’ve been learning Swift recently, and I’m impressed by its clean syntax and powerful features. With Swift, you can create beautiful, responsive user interfaces and leverage Apple’s extensive libraries and frameworks to build feature-rich apps.

    Kotlin for Android Development

    On the Android side of things, Kotlin is a language that’s been gaining a lot of popularity recently. Developed by JetBrains, Kotlin is a modern, expressive language that’s fully interoperable with Java.

    I’ve used Kotlin on a few Android projects, and I’ve found it to be a joy to work with. Its concise syntax and null safety features make it a great alternative to Java for Android development.

    Choosing the Right Language Based on Your Goals

    With so many programming languages out there, it can be tough to know which one to learn first. The key is to choose a language that aligns with your goals and interests.

    Web Development

    If you’re interested in web development, JavaScript is a must-learn language. It’s the backbone of the modern web, and it’s used to create everything from simple websites to complex web applications.

    But JavaScript isn’t the only language you should learn for web development. HTML and CSS are also essential for creating the structure and style of web pages. And if you’re interested in back-end development, languages like Python, Ruby, and PHP are all great choices.

    Mobile App Development

    As I mentioned earlier, if you’re interested in mobile app development, Java and Kotlin are the languages to learn for Android development, while Swift is the go-to language for iOS development.

    But mobile app development isn’t just about the language – it’s also about the frameworks and tools you use. For Android development, you’ll want to learn Android Studio and the Android SDK. For iOS development, you’ll need to learn Xcode and the iOS SDK.

    Game Development

    If game development is your thing, C++ is the language you’ll want to focus on. It’s the language used by most major game engines, and it’s essential for creating high-performance games.

    But game development is about more than just programming. You’ll also need to learn about game design, 3D modeling, and other specialized skills. And if you’re interested in mobile game development, you’ll want to learn Unity or other game engines that support mobile platforms.

    Data Science and Machine Learning

    For data science and machine learning, Python and R are the languages of choice. These languages have extensive libraries and frameworks for data analysis, visualization, and machine learning.

    But data science and machine learning also require a strong foundation in mathematics and statistics. You’ll need to learn concepts like linear algebra, calculus, and probability theory to truly excel in these fields.

    Learning Resources and Getting Started

    So you’ve decided which language you want to learn – now what? The good news is that there are tons of resources available to help you get started, no matter what language you choose.

    Online Tutorials and Courses

    One of the best ways to learn a new programming language is through online tutorials and courses. Websites like Codecademy and Khan Academy offer free, interactive courses that can help you learn the basics of programming.

    For more in-depth courses, platforms like Udemy and Coursera offer a wide range of paid courses taught by industry experts. These courses can be a great way to learn more advanced topics and gain practical experience.

    Books and Documentation

    Another great way to learn a new language is through books and documentation. Most programming languages have official documentation that can help you learn the syntax and features of the language.

    There are also countless books available on programming, ranging from beginner-friendly introductions to in-depth guides on specific topics. Some of my favorite programming books include “Clean Code” by Robert C. Martin and “The Pragmatic Programmer” by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas.

    Open Source Projects

    Once you’ve learned the basics of a language, one of the best ways to gain practical experience is by contributing to open source projects. Websites like GitHub host a vast collection of open source projects that you can explore and contribute to.

    Contributing to open source projects not only helps you gain experience, but it also allows you to network with other developers and build your portfolio. And who knows – you might even end up creating your own open source project someday.

    Coding Communities

    Finally, don’t underestimate the power of coding communities. Websites like Stack Overflow and Reddit’s /r/learnprogramming are great places to ask questions, get feedback on your code, and connect with other developers.

    Joining a local coding meetup or attending a hackathon can also be a great way to meet other developers and learn new skills. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even attend a conference or workshop to learn from industry experts and network with other professionals.

    Key Takeaway: Dive into SQL to manage and analyze data like a pro, regardless of your industry. Explore the power of Java for mobile apps and C++ for game development. Don’t miss out on emerging languages like Swift and Kotlin for cutting-edge app creation. Your coding journey starts with picking a language that matches your goals, from web development with JavaScript to machine learning with Python.


    So, what’s the verdict? The best code to learn first depends on your goals and interests. Want to dive into web development? JavaScript is your new best friend. Keen on data analysis and machine learning? Python is the way to go. Dreaming of crafting mobile apps? Swift and Kotlin are your dynamic duo.

    Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The key is to pick a language that aligns with your aspirations and gets you excited to code. And hey, once you’ve got one language under your belt, learning the next one becomes a whole lot easier.

    Your coding journey is just beginning, and the possibilities are endless. So, choose your first language wisely, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to build something amazing. Happy coding!

    About Lomit Patel

    Lomit Patel is the Chief Growth Officer of Tynker, with 20 years of experience helping startups grow into successful businesses. He is also the author of the book "Lean AI" which is part of Eric Ries' bestselling "The Lean Startup" series.