Programming for Beginners: Languages You Need to Know

Getting into programming? Here are the best languages to learn in programming for beginners.

Coding, programming and developing, oh my! The opportunities for coders and programmers are endless today. With careers in software development growing at a rate of 24% and high average annual salaries of $103,560, this is a great field to get into. If you’re a beginner and looking to get into programming, it can be overwhelming with the number of programming languages available today. From Python to C++ and F#, we’ve found the best programming languages you should learn and we’ll let you know just how to get started learning programming for beginners.


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Programming for Beginners

Let’s start with what a program is, and what programming means. A computer program is a set of instructions executed by a computer, and programing is writing those instructions so that a computer can understand them. Programming is just one part of computer science. To learn more about other areas of computer science, check out our guide on how to get started.


Why You Should Learn Programming

You don’t have to be a programmer to know programming and you don’t need to have aspirations to become a programmer in order to learn programming. Learning programming languages is a great way to get ahead in your career. It can open new doors for you in your current company, and is an excellent addition to your resume if you are looking for a new job.


Learning a programming language is also a foolproof way to change careers or start in a new field. Programmers come from all kinds of backgrounds, and it is possible to get a job in computer science with a bit of self-study and a lot of self-discipline!


Careers in programming are enough of a reason to learn programming languages. Programming careers offer high salaries and an increasing rate of job growth. Not to mention it is exciting to be part of building something, and there is always something new to learn in computer science. A career in programming comes with many opportunities with different types of companies — every company needs programmers in today’s tech-centered world.


Skills You Need to Learn Programming

1. Patience:


A lot of patience is needed to learn programming. Programming includes a lot of time spent sitting and looking at the computer screen.


2. Problem Solving:


Sometimes your code won’t work, and you’ll need to go through your code, be resourceful and figure out what went wrong.


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3. Perseverance:


When your code doesn’t run the way you’ve expected, it can be extremely frustrating. You need a lot of perseverance to not give up until you get the code right.


4. Sharp Memory:


While there are countless shortcuts for code today, you will still need to remember those shortcuts!


5. Self-Motivation and Independence:


Programmers usually have a lot of independence within their companies, and need to be very self motivated to get the job done quickly and efficiently.


How To Choose The Best Language For You

There are two different types of languages and depending on what you want to do with your programming language, you will need to choose to learn either a dynamically or statistically typed language.


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Dynamically Typed


In dynamic, programmers don’t have to assign specific types for the variables they create. This language is usually easier for beginners because it is more flexible and you can spend more time building and less time learning.


Statistically Typed


Statistically typed programs are more stable and maintainable, but take more code to build something. This type of language is used for company back-end, games and mobile apps.


First, decide what you want to program, or what area of programming you are interested in, and find out what language it is written in. There are different languages for Web, iOS, Android, and servers.


Area of Programming Languages Needed
Front-End Developers:


HTML, Sass, Git, Github, JavaScript, JQuery, CSS


Website Designer:


 HTML, Sass, Git, Github, JavaScript, JQuery, PHP, WordPress


Back-End/Full Stack Developers:


HTML, Git, Github, CSS, Ruby on Rails, PHP


Mobile App Developer:


HTML, CSS, Git, Github, Objective-C, Swift, Android



What Are The Best Programming Languages for Beginners?




While these two aren’t technically programming languages, they are still considered computer languages and are a requirement for web developers and designers, so it’s a great place to start if you are looking to get into websites.





HTML is a text language, and CSS is the styling language. Both tell your browser what to do with each web page. Websites are made of site titles, navigation bars, headlines, paragraphs and footers and HTML separates those.


CSS makes the page more beautiful by introducing colors, fonts, borders, and spacing. Many entry-level web developers, social media marketers and UX designers use these languages so it’s a great place to start for beginners.




JavaScript makes a website interactive. It is one of the older programming languages but it is still used by about 95% of websites today. This language takes the HTML and CSS mentioned before and moves them around a web page. JavaScript makes it easy to incorporate all three languages into a program. It is a language you will want to learn as a front-end developer. With JavaScript you will be able to animate the parts of the website that the user sees including the buttons and drop-down menus.






Python is the second-most in demand job based on statistics for 2018. This is one of the more widely-used languages and is constantly growing in popularity. It is fairly easy to learn and can be used for many programs. Python is used for both web development and software development. It is the language of choice for machine learning, which is growing rapidly in computer science. For this reason and the expected growth of machine learning, Python is a great language to get started in right now.







This programming language is responsible for animation and interactive elements of a program. Java is the most popular programming language, and for many good reasons. It can be used across systems without having to change code. Over 20 years old, Java still remains one of the most widely used by developers worldwide for hardware and operating systems. All Android devices are based on Java and most large companies use Java for their back-end development. For more on Python vs Java, read here.







SQL (pronounced ‘sequel’) is a database programming language. All information on the web is stored in a database — not within the website itself. When you access a web page, the server sends out a request for information from the database. In order to get that information in and out of a database, your program needs to talk to the program of the database, or SQL. SQL is a rapidly growing programming language, and is expected to be the next language to know.





How to Get Started Learning Programming

You don’t need a degree in computer science to learn programming, although it will help you understand basic concepts of computers and computer networks.


Here are some options to get started learning programming:

  • Teach yourself using blogs, online articles, and video tutorials.
  • Find free online courses such as with Khan Academy.
  • Other online courses that offer coding classes for a fee: EdX, Udemy, Codecademy .
  • Get a degree. There are plenty of flexible, online options such as UoPeople, which offers both Bachelor’s and Associate’s degrees in Computer Science. Both of which will get you fully prepared for a career in programming and CS.
  • Looking for more ways to learn coding for free? Here’s how to get started to learn to code for free.

As a beginner looking to learn programming, it can be difficult to navigate the many programming languages and to decide where to start. The languages we’ve listed are great starting points. It’s recommended to learn one or two, and add on more as you get further in the field and you know more about what is needed for your specific career path. Happy coding!



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