The Best First Programming Language to Learn

What’s the best programming language for a new developer to learn?

A tweet that I recently read on Twitter was from a prospective developer asking what is the best and easiest first programming language to learn. It’s a good thing he wasn’t asking this in the 1980s. The first language I learned was a fake assembly language on a fake cardboard computer in high school. Yes, some teacher thought that the best first experience with computer science was learning a cryptic language on an imaginary computer. All of this being taught in a room full of Apple 2’s and Commodore Pets. Needless to say I was not inspired to pursue a career in this field and my goal was still electronics engineering.

Getting back to the tweet… there is no “best” language to learn. The first language that most people learn these days are Java or Python. Once you learn basic programming concepts, you then need to decide what kind of software developer you want to be. If you want to build web sites, then learn PHP, JavaScript, or Python and of course HTML and CSS. If you want to build games then C++ is the best choice but C# and Java are good too. Decide on what you want to build and do a little research to find out what the tools of the trade are.

As for the “easy” part, this shouldn’t be a factor in learning a language. Python is being pushed as a great language because it so easy to learn. This is hardly a good reason to learn something that you’ll be using to make money. The programming language is the easiest thing you’ll learn. The hard part will be the problems people will be paying you to solve for them.

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