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Best Programming Language to Learn

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Learning to program will increase both your earning potential and your desirability as an employee. (It’s also arguably 1 of the most in-demand skills on Earth right now!) There are many different programming languages and some languages are used more often than others. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the best programming languages to learn and how you can get started coding today. 

Our Top Picks

One of the toughest decisions that programmers must make when they first start learning how to code is the choice of which language to learn. Though most coding languages share some overarching similarities, there are a few key differences between each language and not every language has the same capabilities. It’s inefficient for a single programmer to attempt to learn each of the dozens of coding languages that exist — especially when you’re first learning how to code.

We’ve narrowed down our list of the best programming languages to learn to the top 6 languages that are used most often by professional programmers. Below, you’ll find a brief explanation of each language and how it’s most often used by professional developers. We used the following criteria to determine which languages made the list. 

Frequency of Use

Some languages are much more commonly used than others, while a few select programming languages have fallen out of fashion almost entirely. We included only the most popular programming languages on our list to ensure that you can use the skills you learn in a professional capacity. 

Language Capabilities

Your career goals will be an important deciding factor as you select a programming language. For example, though JavaScript is a very popular language for front-end and back-end development, it’s not suitable for video game or desktop application coding. We varied our selections and included a few languages with multiple uses to maximize your skillset.  

Skill Level

Select programming languages build off previously conceived languages. This means that some prior knowledge is required to get the most out of these languages. We’ve created our list with a focus on beginner-oriented languages that don’t require a ton of programming experience. 

Now, let’s move onto our recommended programming languages for beginner developers. We’ve also included a suggested course to begin your education with for each language. 

1. JavaScript

Unrelated to the Java language, JavaScript is one of the most commonly used programming languages. According to Stack Overflow’s 2019 developer survey of over 90,000 programming enthusiasts, about 70% of programmers stated that they had coded in JavaScript at least once in the last year. JavaScript is a versatile language used for front-end development, back-end development and mobile app programming. 

The Complete JavaScript Course 2020: Build Real Projects!

All Levels • 172 videos • 27.9 hours

The Complete JavaScript Course 2020: Build Real Projects! by Udemy

Who it’s for: Anyone interested in learning how to master the basics of JavaScript and some of the language’s more complex functions.

Price: On sale for $15.99 

The Complete JavaScript Course 2020 is suitable for total JavaScript beginners. The course includes over 28 hours of video demonstrations and the course instructor goes into detail on each function’s capabilities. This easy, intuitive explanation system allows you to remember what you’ve learned and helps you use the concepts you’ve gone over in class to gain coding skills with a practical purpose. Take quizzes and complete projects to solidify your new coding skills even further. 

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2. Swift

If you’re interested in mobile app development, Swift will quickly become your language of choice. Built from the ground up to be forgiving yet powerful for mobile app developers, Swift is widely used to develop iOS and macOS applications. Swift is also used in almost every iOS app, from WordPress to Flappy Bird. 

iOS 11 & Swift 4 – The Complete iOS App Development Bootcamp

All Levels • 478 videos • 48.9 hours

iOS 11 & Swift 4 – The Complete iOS App Development Bootcamp by Udemy

iOS 11 & Swift 4 is an ideal course choice for beginner programmers who want to learn how to create their own app. Though you’ll need an iOS device to begin, the course requires no prior coding knowledge for mobile or desktop languages. iOS 11 & Swift 4 includes nearly 50 hours of video instruction complemented with 103 articles to enhance your coding abilities even further and troubleshoot problems. iOS 11 & Swift 4 is also Udemy’s most popular coding course for Swift students, with over 115,000 students and an average rating of 4.7 out of 5.0 stars. 

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3. Scala

If you’re a math-oriented person, consider choosing Scala as your primary programming language. Scala is an updated version of the classic Java language and includes many of Java’s best features — like its Object Oriented Structure and JVM runtime. Scala was designed to be more math-forward, which allows concurrent programs to run simultaneously. Scala is most often used for desktop application programming and back-end development.  

Scala Applied, Part 1

Beginner • 114 videos • 5.8 hours

Scala Applied, Part 1 by Udemy

Though Scala isn’t known for being a particularly beginner-friendly language, Scala Applied includes a free Stairway to Scala instruction course to get you started. Scala Applied introduces programmers to some of the core concepts of Scala and how it differs from other programming languages. Scala Applied includes 5.5 hours of video tutorials organized into 6 convenient modules. You’ll learn how to create classes, analyze large sets of data and create higher functions after completing this course. 

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4. Python

Often considered to be the most beginner-friendly programming languages, Python uses English-like statements to code functions and concepts. With friendly data structures and many free open-source modules, Python is commonly used for back-end development and mobile app coding. If you’ve never had any kind of experience with programming, Python is an excellent beginning language. 

Learn Python Programming Masterclass

All Levels • 382 videos • 53.6 hours

Learn Python Programming Masterclass by Udemy

Learn Python Programming Masterclass is your 1-stop-shop for a complete introduction to the Python language. The course includes all of the software and applications you’ll need to get started, making it a perfect entry point into any type of programming. Learn Python Programming Masterclass includes over 50 hours of on-demand instruction video and free projects and articles to enhance the skills you’ve learned in class. Learn Python Programming Masterclass currently has an average student rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. Over 205,000 students have already begun to code with this beginner-friendly course. 

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5. Ruby

Ruby on Rails (or “Ruby” for short) is another common choice for back-end web development. Tech companies like Twitter, Airbnb and Shopify all began using Ruby on Rails.

Many beginner programmers choose Ruby as their 1st programming language because the Ruby community is notoriously welcoming to beginners and helpful with even very basic questions. The Ruby community even has an unofficial motto: “Matz is nice and so we are nice,” encouraging Ruby developers to model their considerate behavior after language inventor Yukihiro Matsumoto. 

The Complete Ruby on Rails Developer Course

All Levels • 462 videos • 45.8 hours

The Complete Ruby on Rails Developer Course by Udemy

The Complete Ruby on Rails Developer Course is an intuitive and easy-to-follow programming class that’s ideal for anyone’s first coding experience. The course begins with a logical warm-up that introduces you to the basics of the Ruby language, then moves onto video lessons and 8 projects to use what you’ve learned in a functional fashion. There are over 46 hours of in-demand video included with the course, and you’ll learn how to complete functional apps and programs by the time you finish the class in full. 

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6. C#

C# (pronounced “C sharp”) rose into popularity in the 2000s by introducing object-oriented programming. Similar to other C languages like C++, C# is most suitable for Windows-based programming and mobile app development running on Windows software. 

C# Basics for Beginners – Learn C# Fundamentals by Coding

Beginner • 161 videos • 12.8 hours

C# Basics for Beginners: Learn C# Fundamentals by Coding by Udemy

As the name suggests, C# Basics for Beginners is an introductory course to C-derived programming languages with a focus on C#. The course includes 6 hours of educational materials and helps you master the fundamentals of C# with the .NET framework. You’ll also receive access to 11 articles and 10 downloadable resources to enhance your education while you’re away from your programming workstation. 

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Your First Coding Experience

No matter which language you decide to begin with, it’s important to understand that the realm of computer programming is constantly evolving and changing. Keeping your skills sharp with ongoing education and support will help you keep your programming skills current and help you compete in the in-demand tech market as languages advance.