If you’re interested in learning how to program, you might be wondering which language to start with. There are a number of different coding languages out there, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. But some languages are easier to learn than others. For example, Python is a high-level, general-purpose programming language that is good for many things due to its reliability and ease to understand but it’s slower than other languages like C++ because it uses an interpreter. First let’s answer a common question we see among aspiring developers…
Why should I learn more than one programming language to code?
Coding is like being a detective. You can tell who did what by the clues they leave behind. Different people do different things with their jobs and so it’s important to know more than one programming language. With coding, this means that you need to learn how to program in many different languages because they each solve problems in different ways and can offer novel alternatives in situations you may be stuck in.
So let’s get into our recommended top five coding languages for beginners.
Coding with Python
Python is a versatile programming language that can be used for a variety of tasks, such as web development, web scraping, game development, data science, artificial intelligence, and more. It’s precisely because of its readability that many (including us) deem it as a top language you must familiarize yourself with as a developer and best of all it’s free!
Because it is very similar to the English language, many people who have never coded before can pick it up quickly thanks to its simple syntax. Python is a user-friendly language that has graphical user interface (GUI) desktop applications. Some examples of applications that you can use Python for are 2D and 3D imaging, as well as animation software such as Blender. YouTube is another well-known use case of Python.
Pros of Learning Python
- Python is open-source and free to use.
- Cross-Platform and Convenient!
- An abundance of libraries and frameworks available for Python is supported by a vast and diverse community.
- I know I’m repeating myself but it’s easy to use!
- High scalability and potential to grow with you
Cons of Learning Python
- Memory hog due to Python’s structure demands.
- Doesn’t use a compiler so it’s slower than other common languages
- Can lead to bad habits because of its simplicity
Learning Java Coding
Java is a long-standing software language that has been in use for decades. It’s an object-oriented, multipurpose programming language that may be used on any platform. This is thanks to its Write Once, Run Anywhere (WORA) functionality so we see it on Windows, Mac, heck even toasters, etc.
There are a lot of devices that use Java applications, an estimated 3 billion devices. As you can tell by now, Java is used in a lot of different ways for a lot of different reasons. One of the emerging reasons now is big data. Android app development also uses Java as its language of choice. It’s a versatile and reliable language that continues to be one of the most popular languages in the world.
Pros of Learning Java
- Like Python, fairly simple to pick up and learn how to write, compile, etc.
- Platform-independent use!
- Very robust and reliable, stable
Cons of Learning Java
- Unfortunately, also like Python, it’s big on using up your computer’s memory
- Although Java source code is compiled, it’s still interpreted by the virtual machine so it’s slower than other natively compiled programming languages
- Lengthy codes that can be tough to read through and debug out of sheer size.
Swift is a newer language created by Apple Inc. It was designed to be a more powerful and easier-to-use alternative to Objective-C, another popular language used by Apple for OS X and iOS development. Swift is also a cross-platform and open-source language, so it can be used on many different operating systems and devices.
Swift is now the main language used by Apple for developing all of their new apps and features. According to Apple.com, Swift “was designed to be anyone’s first programming language, whether you’re still in school or exploring new career paths.”
Pros of Learning Swift
- Secure and Open-source
- Efficient memory use!
- Cross-platform (this is also a con specific to Swift)
Cons of Learning Swift
- Cross-platform support is not as good as in other languages
- Because of its relatively young age (created in 2014), there are limited resources and support for Swift.
- If you’ve used anything made by Apple, you know that their devices don’t usually play well with 3rd party apps. Swift is no exception
Learning How to Code C#
C# (# is Sharp) is a multi-purpose programming language developed in the 2000s by Microsoft. It’s a very powerful language that is similar to Java. In fact, it was created to compete with Java. Many applications you use every day are developed using C# such as Visual Studio, an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) used by programmers. IDEs are basically code editors on steroids that have a ton of features like debugging tools and libraries all in one place.
Pros of Learning C#
- C# is a high-level language, meaning it’s easier to read and write than some lower-level languages
- High flexibility and efficiency
- It’s object-oriented so working with data is more streamlined
- The learning curve is not too drastic and there’s a large community to back you up.
Cons of Learning C#
- Not cross-platform (normally)
- Requires .NET framework
- C# products cannot interface with hardware.
- Can be tough to start as a true beginner with 0 programming experience
Learning to Code with Golang (Go)
Remember how much faster Google Chrome was compared to its competitors when it first launched in the late 2000s? Cool! Well Golang, or just “Go”, is a programming language developed by Google in the mid-2000s, and like all the other languages on this list, Go is highly-regarded for its simplicity, and readability for beginners.
But where Python and Java are considered slow, Go is called Go for a reason because it can GO real fast and since its open-source debut in 2012, it has become a very rewarding language to learn. Users of Go include tech giants like Dropbox, Netflix, Ethereum, and more.
Pros of Learning GoLang for Programming
- It’s simple. Yes, I sound like a broken record but it’s the truth! It’s probably the easiest one aside from Python.
- Ample support. Just look up #golang on Twitter or on forums and see what I mean.
- Built to scale
Cons of Learning GoLang for Programming
- Like mentioned with Python, GoLang can lead to bad habits because of how simple it is.
- Built-in Automations can lead to high error rates
- Relatively new still.