Deciding which programming language to learn first is a lot like trying to decide a new spoken language to learn. Some may be easier to learn than others, may be more widely used, and can help improve your career prospects more (especially if you know multiple). Thanks to technological advances over the last few decades, there are now dozens of programming languages available to learn, with Codecademy reporting that this number is as high as over 600 languages! It can be daunting to decide which are worth pursuing, and there are a number of things you must consider before choosing which programming language is best for you to learn, such as:

  • Your skill level – some languages are easy for new programmers to pick up, but others are more demanding and better suited for those who already have experience.
  • Your career goals – if you want to work in a specific area of I.T. such as web development or application design, you may need to know certain programming languages more than others. Choose a language that aligns with both your short and long term goals. 
  • The long term prospects of a language – some languages, such as Javascript, have been standard for years. Others may soon be obsolete or updated, meaning that you may find yourself having to relearn a newer version in the near future. 

 

While this list is by no means exhaustive, here are some of the most in-demand and popular programming languages you will find being used across the I.T. industry.

 

Python

Python is quite an all-rounder as far as programming languages go. It can be used in web development, machine learning and game design to name a few areas, which makes it a popular choice for first-time programmers who want to get to grips with the basics. Its user-friendly interface and versatility means it often tops lists of programming languages to learn, and its range of science and data applications make it a great choice for those who are interested in the field of data science. 

 

HTML5

HTML5 is the foundation of most websites, and is the programming language responsible for some of the most basic elements you will find displayed on a webpage, such as text and pictures. HTML is generally regarded as an entry-level programming language that will teach you how to build a website from scratch, which makes it essential to front-end web development. Once you have a solid understanding of HTML, and have built a few websites yourself, you should be able to progress to more advanced programming languages such as…

 

JavaScript

JavaScript is seen by many people as one of the most essential programming languages to learn, especially for those who want to pursue software or front-end development. According to Stack Overflow’s 2020 Developer survey, Javascript is the most commonly used programming language for developers, and it has held this title for eight years in a row. Many popular websites such as Facebook and YouTube rely on Javascript to make their content interactive, and as a language that works across all major browsers, this is also a good option for programming beginners and aficionados alike to improve their skills with.

 

Learning a new programming language takes time and patience – be prepared to make mistakes along the way, but enjoy learning a new skill!

C#

C# was originally developed by Microsoft, and over the years it has been adopted by developers for Windows, iOS and Android. C# is the programming language that the game engine Unity is built from, and one-third of the top video games on the market are designed with this. If you’re interested in building video games, it would be incredibly useful to have knowledge and experience of working with C#. However, like the other C-languages, C# has quite a steep learning curve for beginners, and is generally regarded as one of the more advanced languages to learn. Therefore, it’s probably best to work your way up towards this language, although there is a wealth of resources and help available online if you think you can handle the challenge.

 

C/C++

C is one of the oldest programming languages still in use, and has very similar features to the newer, enhanced incarnation that is C++. They are often grouped together in job adverts, so if you already know one of these programming languages then it’s well worth making the effort to get up to speed with its partner. Both are essential if you want to learn how to create resource-heavy programs like operating and cloud computing systems, and are also very commonly used in the video game industry. Again, like C#, both take quite a high level of knowledge and practise to master, so these are probably more suitable for experienced programmers. 

 

PHP

Here’s a fun fact for you: over 80% of websites are created using PHP. Slack, WordPress and Etsy are just some of the websites that use PHP in their design. Although it was first created back in 1994, there is still a demand for PHP developers in the job market because of how many websites use it, and it remains one of the most popular backend programming languages to learn. Given its age, there is a huge community of active users that can provide support, and as one of the easiest programming languages to learn on this list, there’s no reason not to give it a go!

 

Our Web Development course will introduce you to all of these languages, giving you a strong foundation to build your programming skills and impress employers across the I.T. industry. Find out more information over on our website here, and get started on the path towards the I.T. career of your dreams with I.T. Career Swap!