Top Six Best Programming Languages for Beginners

Introduction

Programming is one of the best career choices in today’s world as more and more services are shifting online. Apart from enjoying a lucrative salary and a luxurious lifestyle, the programmers also get a wonderful opportunity to analyze and solve problems through codes. However, choosing a particular programming language that could fulfill one’s desires, expectations and/or job satisfaction still remains a daunting task for a budding engineer.

The most crucial question for any beginner who has just started learning how to code is- “Which programming language should I study as a beginner?” To start with, it can be a little bit cumbersome, intricate and perhaps challenging for a first-timer considering that there are many different programming languages available to choose from. And above all, choosing a programming language based on your requirement and suitability can give you goosebumps.

This article exclusively written for young aspiring coders will surely guide one in making that big decision. We bring to you a list of coding languages that are not only easy to learn as a novice or beginner, but we have provided a complete reference in terms of the profitability and popularity associated with these languages. So let’s get started and witness the top six programming languages driving the World currently:

  1. Java

    Java, which should not be confused with JavaScript, is a well-known general-purpose language basically designed to be easier to use than C++. It has been observed that 90% of the Fortune 500 companies have been using Java to develop desktop applications and website back-end systems. Android apps are also developed using Java.

Question:  Why should you learn Java?

Answer: The programming language Java has many features. Some of the important characteristics of this language are:

a) Beginner Friendliness- Generally, Java was designed to be relatively beginner-friendly in that it assumes the programmer is not that smart or careful, so programmers will be less likely to shoot themselves in the foot when coding Java apps.

b) Relatively Simple to Use- Java is a high-level language, which means Java abstracts away (i.e. handles for you) most of the complex details of the machine (computer) such as resource management, memory management etc. Java is static in nature. Thus, you can focus on programming instead of worrying about the little details many consider both tedious and difficult.

c) Job opportunities- Java is the 3rd Most Demanded Skill on Angel list. Many Tech giants such as Google or Amazon also use Java to develop the backend of their websites, and because Java has pretty good performance, a lot of startups who reach the scaling point would integrate their apps with Java to power features that need to have good performance. According to Indeed.com, Java developers are in high demand compared to other programmers.

d) Java has the 2nd Largest StackOverflow Community.

e) Java is the 2nd Most-tagged Language at GitHub.

 

  1. C/C++

    C is a high-level programming language whereas C++ (pronounced “C plus plus”) is a programming language that was built off the C language. On one hand the terminology POP (Procedure Oriented Programming) is associated with C language, and on the other hand, C++ is an OOP (Object Oriented Programming) language.

Question: Why should you learn C/C++?

Answer: You should always learn “root” programming languages in order to appreciate modern languages. The basics can be picked up very quickly and due to its ease of understanding, learning a root programming language is very essential especially in the nascent stage of coding. Interestingly, the basics of C can be grasped over a weekend. C is a very popular language for embedded systems, IoT (Internet of Things), Arduino microprocessors etc. In fact, a different flavor of C language like Robot C is specifically used in robotics.

Though these languages are static in nature, yet C/C++ has heavily influenced almost every other programming language. Our big operating systems (and kernels) like Windows, macOS, Linux, BSD/OS etc rely mainly on C/C++. It is also worth noting that there are no built-in functions in these languages so you can start developing algorithms on your own. So if you are planning to be a developer on a system or application level, you should learn C/C++. It will help you write performance-oriented and low-level codes when it really matters and better understand lots of APIs (for example DirectX, OpenGL, Vulkan in the graphics corner etc). Also, it will definitely further your horizons!

 

  1. PHP

PHP (recursive acronym for Hypertext Preprocessor) was designed for the web, and it does the job well. Facebook has made serious investments into PHP.

Question: Why should you learn PHP?

Answer: 80% of the top 10 million websites use PHP. PHP is particularly popular for freelance work, since many small businesses or non-technical people would want to use WordPress, Wix, or other popular content management systems to set up their websites or shopping carts.

a) PHP offers a beginner-friendly environment. PHP was designed to make web development easier, and many beginners find it effortless to pick up and get started with. In fact, PHP code was so easy to pick up, many non-programmers end up being able to hack PHP code together without truly understanding the code.

b) PHP is a dynamically typed language. This means there are no hard rules on how to build features, and you’ll have more flexibility solving problems using different methods. Furthermore, PHP is also more forgiving of errors, so you’ll still be able to compile and run your program until you hit the problematic part. It is therefore an optimal choice in writing dynamic server-side codes.

c) Job opportunities: If you plan to work as a freelancer, PHP is likely a good skill to learn. Overall, PHP is still widely used by the majority of the web, so there should still be a consistent demand for PHP developers. Many shopping cart tools have also been built with PHP, so apart from being a favorite in the big community, it is a popular choice for online businesses as well.

d) PHP has the 3rd Largest StackOverflow Community.

 

  1. PYTHON

    It’s is a high-level programming language, meaning it’s far from a machine language, making it easier for beginners to grasp. Furthermore, being a general-purpose programming language, Python is quite versatile for different sorts of projects.

Question: Why should you learn Python?

Answer: Professionally, Python is a great choice for backend web development, data analysis, artificial intelligence and scientific computing. Many developers have also used Python to build productivity tools, games and desktop apps, so there are plenty of resources to help you learn how to do those as well.

a)   Beginner Friendliness– Python was designed to be easy to understand and fun to use. Fun is a great motivator, and since you’ll be able to build prototypes and tools quickly with Python, many find coding in Python a satisfying experience.

b)   Easy to Understand– Being a very high-level language, Python reads like English, which takes a lot of syntax-learning stress off coding beginners. Python handles a lot of complexity for you, so it allows beginners to focus on learning programming concepts and not have to worry about too many details.

c)   Very Flexible– As it is dynamically typed language, there are no hard rules on how to build features, and you’ll have more flexibility solving problems using different methods and writing server-end codes.

d) Job opportunities- On Angel List, Python is the 2nd most demanded skill and also the skill with the highest average salary offered. With the rise of big data, Python developers are in high demand as data scientists, especially since Python can be easily integrated into web applications for carrying out tasks that require machine learning.

e) Python has 5th Largest StackOverflow Community.

 

    5. Ruby

Ruby is a very high-level language, which means Ruby abstracts away (i.e. handles for you) most of the complex details of the machine. Thus, you can quickly build something from scratch with fewer lines of code.

Question: Why should you learn Ruby?

Answer: Many Ruby developers find it fun to work with Ruby, and fun is a great motivator when learning to code. Ruby was made popular by the Ruby on Rails framework, a full-stack web framework that makes prototyping a breeze, making it a web framework of choice for many startups and coding beginners alike.

a)      Easy to learn and get started with– Ruby was originally designed with the goal of making programming fun, and in Japan, where it came from, Ruby was used to make games. Ruby is succinct and reads like English, which makes the code easy to understand for coding beginners.

b)     Flexible– As a dynamically typed language, Ruby does not have hard rules on how to build features, and it is very close to spoken languages. It offers tremendous flexibility in server-side coding and for solving problems using different methods.

c) Job opportunities– Startup businesses are a huge thing, and there’s plenty of opportunity as a Ruby developer – it is the 4th most demanded programming skill on Angel List. Startups, in general, are also more open to hiring non-computer science majors onto their development team as long as you have proved yourself worthy.

d) Ruby has the 8th Largest StackOverflow Community.

e) Ruby is the 3rd most tagged language at GitHub.

 

    6. Javascript

Not to be confused with Java, JavaScript allows you to build interactive websites. JavaScript has become an essential web technology along with HTML and CSS, as most browsers implement JavaScript.

Question: Why should you learn JavaScript?

Answer: You must learn JavaScript if you want to get into web development, and you must learn it well if you’re planning on being a front-end developer or on using JavaScript for backend development. Furthermore, JavaScript usage has now extended to mobile app development, desktop app development, and game development. All in all, it has exploded in popularity and is now a very useful skill to learn.

a) Easy to learn- JavaScript is somewhat easy to get started with as it is a high-level language, which means JavaScript abstracts away most of the complex details of the machine so you can focus on learning how to program. What’s more, you can get started with coding JavaScript straight from your browser without setting up any development environment, which is a reason many beginners seem to like it.

b)  Fun- JavaScript is mainly used for frontend development, and there are various tools that will allow you to quickly get a working prototype with JavaScript.

c) Job opportunities- With more and more businesses moving online, demand for JavaScript developers has been rocketing. JavaScript is also the most demanded programming skill at Angel List. If you want to use JavaScript for backend development, the average salary in the US for Node.js developers is about $98,962.

d) JavaScript has the Largest StackOverflow Community.

e) JavaScript is the Most-tagged language at GitHub.

 

Conclusion

As we have studied about the afore-mentioned top six programming languages, let us sum them up on the basis of popularity on StackOverflow and on the basis of projects on GitHub in the following table.

Programming Language Popularity in StackOverflow (in %) Number of projects on GitHub
Java 36.3 986K
C 15.5 239K
C++ 19.4 413K
PHP 25.9 559K
Python 24.9 1M
Ruby 8.9 870K
JavaScript 55.4 2.3M

 

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