Programmer is an important, popular and interesting profession today. What are we not doing digitally? In both business and personal spheres, it is hard to imagine a world without well-functioning, convenient and user-friendly software. Because the demand for good programmers exceeds the supply, the programming profession offers excellent career opportunities. And because of the rapid pace of IT innovation, programming is also a very dynamic field of work.
Programming languages are a software programmer’s most important tool. They are the basis for building functional and cool applications, platforms and portals, solutions that tackle business challenges and make life more pleasant and easy. Some programming languages are easier to get started with than others and therefore extra attractive. At the same time, you actually have to be careful not to get stuck in that oh-so-fine programming language you started with. In fact, discovering other programming languages broadens your skillset as well as your horizons, which is good for your professional and personal development.
In this article you’ll read about which programming languages are a good starting point for starting and building a career as a programmer, but we’ll also show you why it pays not to be too rigid when choosing a programming language or IT subfield. Take advantage of it!
Learning to program: which programming languages are best to start with?
If you want to get into programming, you have a choice of different technical “flavors”. This list already gives you an impression of the enormous diversity of programming languages available, but it is far from complete: it can easily be expanded with many more options, while new variants are also added every year.
All these programming languages differ from each other in various ways. Consider the varying technical complexity, but also issues such as popularity, workflows and specific application areas. Popular programming languages have the advantage of having a large user community. There are many forums and sites you can go to for answers to your questions and solutions to problems you run into while programming.
Finding your way through the dense jungle of options is quite a challenge as a novice programmer. To make the choice a little easier, we briefly list the most suitable programming languages for novice programmers.
Python is listed as one of the easiest programming languages to learn and therefore has a low barrier to entry. Some visual programming languages, such as Scratch and Blockly, for example, are still somewhat simpler, but at the same time very limited in their capabilities. We use Python primarily for applications such as data analysis, machine learning, scripting, web development and IoT applications.
A major reason for Python’s accessibility is that its syntax (which you can think of as the grammar a programming language uses) is perfectly readable, even for beginners. Python is also very similar to the common English language that many people in a business environment use almost every day. Even if you’ve never faced Python code before, you’ll understand it pretty quickly if you understand English well. Another advantage of Python is that you need to issue far fewer instructions to perform a task than in many other programming languages. The large (inter)national community of Python users is a helpful resource and question guide for both novice and more experienced programmers.
HTML and CSS
Technically, HTML and CSS are not programming languages. HTML is a markup language. With CSS, which stands for Cascading Style Sheets, you can give your HTML a nice look by adding colors and styles, for example. The two languages are very important to know as a web developer or frontend developer, for example. So they do provide a good springboard toward the exciting and multifaceted world of programming. They offer easy-to-understand rule sets, even if you still have relatively little technical knowledge and are far from being a programming guru.
HTML uses a compact tag-based structure that is easy to understand even without programming experience. CSS also uses a simplistic structure, this means you need to invest relatively little time to learn much about the technique. The great popularity of HTML and CSS also makes it easy to find a lot of information and help, so you can get familiar with all the ins and outs of these programming languages even faster.
PHP is a programming language that often comes back to large projects. WordPress, for example, is based on PHP. You probably know that a lot of websites and blogs are made in WordPress. PHP’s syntax is tremendously similar to that of HTML, while in PHP you also easily use reusable pieces of code and built-in functionalities. Because PHP is open source, there is plenty of free documentation to help you master the language at lightning speed. PHP also integrates very well with popular databases such as MySQL, Oracle and Sybase.
Broaden your horizons
That can be such a waste. Instead of limiting yourself to one or two languages, it is much more fun and professionally interesting to explore a larger part of the programming landscape. Compare it to a carpenter or photographer: those people also have multiple tools in their toolbox or photo bag. Makes sense, because not all construction jobs or photo assignments can be done with the same tools. Photographing a wedding requires different lenses than beautifully capturing shy wildlife.
It’s exactly the same with programming: what is the perfect programming language for one application or website often works a lot less for another. By mastering yourself in multiple programming languages, you eventually become a “polyglot developer”. This means that you are not stuck with a particular programming language, but are flexible, allowing you to decide which language best suits what you want to develop on a project-by-project basis. Just as a photographer has a bag of different lenses, flashes and filters for a variety of jobs, a polyglot developer has a broad skillset that he or she can use according to the expertise and skills needed.
A curious disposition in programming not only makes your job more fun, dynamic and challenging, but also has benefits in the job market. A versatile developer is more interesting to most organizations than a “one-trick pony”. You can expand your knowledge with, for example:
- Java, the world’s largest platform-independent language for building web applications, Android apps, games and computer programs.
- Swift. It lets you quickly create high-quality apps for iOS, Mac and Apple Watch, among others.
- C#, one of the most popular game engines in the world.
- Shell, a program that lets you perform complex tasks with relatively simple actions. Consider, for example, cleaning up log files or removing duplicate lines in a file.
- Ruby, a language extremely suitable for creating web applications, web scraping, parsing and creating web clients.
Learn more: Young_Coders is happy to help!
Are you a novice programmer? Would you like to discover which programming languages suit you? And do you like to broaden your technical horizons? Young_Coders is happy to help you. Ontdek_Tech ‘s trainings provide plenty of opportunities to expand and sharpen your programming knowledge and skills. Curious about what Young_Coders can do for your IT career? Then check again our page on starting your IT career!