Which Programming Language Should You Learn?

With hundreds of languages to select from, deciding where to start as a new programmer might seem daunting.
IT Blog and Development
3 minute(s) read
Published on: Feb 05, 2024
Updated on: Feb 05, 2024

However, several key criteria help determine the best options based on your goals, interests, and learning style. By weighing these factors, you can pick a language that enables an impactful and enjoyable start to coding.

iOS apps use Swift

Consider Your Goals

Your aims for programming shape the ideal language to learn first. Are you seeking a career change to software development? Want to automate tasks and analyze data? Plan to build mobile apps ? Let your goals guide language selection.

Web Development

For front-end web coding and website creation, JavaScript is the primary language for interfacing with webpages and adding interactivity. HTML and CSS provide web page structure and styling.

For backend web programming, options like Python, Java, and JavaScript (Node.js) allow for serving dynamic content and connecting websites to databases.

Software Engineering

Languages like Java, C#, C++, and Python comprise the bulk of application, backend, and systems programming roles. Though more complex for beginners, their wide usage justifies the initial learning curve.

Data Science

Python dominates with easy-to-use libraries like NumPy, Pandas, and sci-kit-learn for data analytics and machine learning. R and Julia are other top choices due to extensive tooling for statistical computing.

Mobile Apps

Native Android apps use Java or Kotlin, while native iOS apps use Swift . React Native enables writing both quickly in JavaScript. For simpler cross-platform apps, options like Flutter (Dart) or web frameworks exist too.

Consider Your Background

Your current experience also influences which languages are the quickest to learn.

Little Technical

For beginners, Python, JavaScript, and Swift offer relatively straightforward syntax compared to heavier languages like C++ or Java. Start simple to build confidence.

Some Programming

If you have related hobbyist experience or took a computer science course, Java, C#, and C++ will feel more familiar thanks to their ties to other popular languages.

Web Design

Leverage HTML and CSS knowledge to expand into programming interactive webpage behavior with JavaScript and web application backends.

Data Analysis

Level up spreadsheet and other analysis skills by automating data tasks with Python and statistical programming languages like R or Julia.

Consider Learning Style

Consider Learning Style

Learning style plays a significant role in what the first language enables your success.


For practical learners, options providing immediate feedback like JavaScript (webpage effects), Python (scripts), and Swift (mobile apps) get you building early.


For visual learners, visual programming languages like Scratch or block-based coding interfaces help teach coding logic and patterns. Then, you can transition to a syntax-based language.

Studying Examples

For analytical learners, abundant online code examples, Q&A forums, and documentation aid languages like Python, JavaScript, Java, and C#.

5 Recommended First Languages

By aligning your first language with goals, experience, and learning tendencies, you can set yourself up for that critical initial programming success. Here are 5 top options to consider:


General-purpose, readable syntax, colossal community, data science libraries, web back end.


It runs natively in web browsers, powers interactivity on websites, and is full-stack with Node.js.


Object-oriented code for desktop apps and back ends, huge ecosystem, in demand for jobs.


It was created by Apple for iOS and MacOS apps, with clean syntax and seamless Apple ecosystem integration.


Like Java, but for Windows apps and the .NET ecosystem, the smooth upgrade path is from visual block coding.

By aligning your first language with goals, experience, and learning tendencies, you can set yourself up for that critical initial programming success.

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